Tough Mudder's 10-12 mile military-style obstacle course is about much more than overcoming on-course obstacles-- it's a chance for people around the world to test their fitness while bonding with friends and fellow Mudders and overcoming physical, mental and personal obstacles along the way.
Faced with conditions ranging from broken bones to broken hearts, countless 2014 Mudders and their teams stepped up to the Tough Mudder start line with a mission to turn their scars into stars, and in the end, found that beyond the finish line awaited a new beginning.
So to honor the everyday men and women who, in true Mudder spirit, overcame seemingly-insurmountable obstacles both on course and off to become 2014 Tough Mudder finishers, we’ll be recognizing 57 motivational Mudders throughout the month of December--one from each Tough Mudder event this year.
Moving down the event schedule from South Florida, Poconos, Auckland and Vegas, let’s meet the motivating 2014 Mudders of London West, Atlanta, Central Texas and Kansas.
Oliver Hurrey - Tough Mudder London West Finisher
I'd never even been on a jog or raised money for charity before, but in January 2012, I got an email from my friend Doug saying he had motor neuron disease, the same horrific disease that took his mother. He quickly turned from a happy-go-lucky footballer to a frail shell of the kid I once knew. I had to do something, so I entered Tough Mudder-- an event about physical effort, bravery, teamwork, supporting friends, facing fears and helping people.
In the end, the loss of a mate has made me a better man.
I was able to raise a few thousand pounds for the Motor Neuron Disease Association and was in tears crossing the finish line. Doug died a year after his diagnosis, but he was so proud of what I achieved. Since then, I’ve formed Team Doug, and 20 of us have raised over £32,000 ($50,300) over three years. In the end, the loss of a mate has made me a better man. I’m now less selfish, more humble and committed to helping those who look after terminally ill patients.
Alex Worobec - Tough Mudder Atlanta Finisher
I was always the fat kid, and I'm gonna tell you from first-hand experience: it sucks. A lot. My senior year of high school, I maxed out the doctor’s scale. I’d estimate I was 375 pounds. I managed to drop a bit of weight in college through halfhearted trips to the gym and bouts of self-loathing-induced dieting, but nothing was sustainable. I hit my breaking point in May of 2012 when I went to the doctor and weighed in at 325 pounds, had a blood pressure of 185/90, a resting heart rate of 120 bpm and was diagnosed as pre-diabetic. I started going to the gym seven days a week, and I kept myself on a very strict diet. Today, I’m 225 pounds at 10% body fat, have a blood pressure of 120/65, and my heart rate is 50 bpm. I’m also in a fantastic relationship--something “Fat Alex” never thought possible. Tough Mudder gives me a reason to stay in the shape I got myself into. If I always have a Tough Mudder looming on the horizon, it'll keep me from slipping back into old habits.
Jason Bennett - Tough Mudder Central Texas Finisher
My younger sister died from a benign brain tumor in 2009. It was horror. I held her hand as she passed and afterward, I had difficulty sleeping, staying sober and living without being a miserable asshole. I was 38, the same age as my father when he died, and I began to evaluate my life.
After my first Tough Mudder, I knew I could do anything I wanted with my life.
Up until 38, I had been merely existing. I needed something to focus my energy on and found it in training, but I needed something more. When I found Tough Mudder, I didn’t think I could do it, but I wanted a real challenge and Tough Mudder was that. After my first Tough Mudder, I knew I could do anything I wanted with my life. I realized many things about myself, my strength and my will. I’ve taken control. I finished my degree. I was promoted at work. I moved into a bigger house. Whether it’s a coincidence or not, Tough Mudder has made me a better husband, father, boss and friend.
Paula Carroll - Tough Mudder Kansas Finisher
I’m 46 and have never been an athlete. My son is an Army sergeant and he asked me to sign up with him. I was so scared I cried, but I couldn’t tell my son “no.” If he could risk his life overseas for me, how could I not do this for him? He told me Tough Mudder was all about everyone finishing, and he promised me I’d cross the finish line. Throughout the course, he never left me. He never got frustrated with me. I wish the feeling of genuine support from strangers at Tough Mudder could be bottled. If all of humanity lived by Tough Mudder rules, the world would be a much better place.
Having previously featured the inspiring Mudders of South Florida, Poconos, Auckland and Las Vegas, our month of inspiration continues tomorrow, as we highlight the motivating Mudders of Chicago, Ohio, New England and Nashville.