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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 Tri-State, London South, North Carolina and SoCal Houston, let’s meet the Mudders of our final five 2014 events: Central Florida, Sydney, Adelaide and World’s Toughest Mudder.
Kristian Lindsey - Tough Mudder Houston Finisher
I have fibromyalgia. I don't look sick, but chronic pain and fatigue are things I battle every day. Tough Mudder has become a big part of my life and something that has helped me to cope with my illness, both physically and emotionally. I've done three, and my goal is ten. I want that black headband. Having a Mudder on my calendar is motivation for me to go running after work on days when I really just want to collapse. Sometimes I feel like I don't have the energy to get through the day. On those days I remind myself that if I can finish a Mudder, I can finish a day at work. To me Tough Mudder is so much more than just an event. It's a reminder that while I may be sick, I'm not broken.
Don Manley - Tough Mudder Central Florida Finisher
I am 61 years old, and I’ve run eight Tough Mudder’s over the past three years. After my first TM I knew I had to get my son involved. I met my son, Hector Manley, while doing earthquake relief in El Salvador 14 years ago, and I have passed on my passion for adventure and helping others to him. Hector recently raised $70,000 for the Wheelchair Foundation and the Wounded Warrior Project.
The desire and need to help someone else took precedent over everything.
We were able to take 300 wheelchairs to El Salvador and personally distribute them. We even had 10 fellow Mudders, wearing their headbands and T-shirts, travel with us to deliver the wheelchairs. During the event, Mudders passed us cheering. Others slowed down to offer words of encouragement. Some begged with tears in their eyes to be apart of this. The desire and need to help someone else took precedent over everything. Tough Mudder brings out the best in people.
Andrew Short - Tough Mudder Sydney Finisher
I am a 35 year old born with cerebral palsy. I was motivated to do Tough Mudder by my gym trainer, Lee Campbell. I have been training and working hard with him for three years. Tough Mudder was the most amazing therapy experience ever. I was pushed as I have never been pushed before. Not even I can believe that I did it.
Michael Fraser - Tough Mudder Adelaide Finisher
I had three resolutions for 2014: No soft drinks, no alcohol and to complete every Tough Mudder in Australasia on both days. Just three weeks from the first event in Melbourne, however, I dislocated my shoulder and tore apart the AC joint in a hockey game. I was told I shouldn’t run, but did it anyway, making it through the course very slow.
I made many new friendships on course that will last a lifetime.
After that first event, I started raising money for RSPCA, an animal cruelty prevention charity. The support of friends, family and complete strangers has kept me focused on my goal. As the events and laps (16 total) flew by, I made many new friendships on course that will last a lifetime. I have never felt such a feeling as I did when I crossed that finish line with my five friends on the last day of the last event of the 2014 Mudder season. It was such an amazing feeling.
Amy Palmiero Winters -World’s Toughest Mudder Finisher
It seems like a lifetime ago that I lost my leg in a tragic motorcycle accident. In one single moment, my life changed forever, but did that stop me? No. Life’s tragedies taught me how to overcome all the obstacles life throws my way, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I started the One Step Ahead Foundation dedicated to giving children with physical disabilities positive experiences through sports to build confidence and courage and increase self-esteem. At World’s Toughest Mudder, I think I smiled the entire 24 hours. I get out there in hopes to help others see that obstacles are a part of life, and just like the WTM obstacles, it’s up to us to figure them out.
And that's a Mudder Stories wrap for 2014. To read all 57 Mudders of 2014 stories and upload your own, visit the official Mudders of 2014 page.