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Overcoming Obstacles: Meet the Inspiring Mudders of Tri-State, London South, North Carolina & SoCal

By Matt Alesevich | 22. December 2014

 

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 Dallas, Dublin, Hamburg and Missouri, let’s meet the motivating Mudders of Tri-State, London South, North Carolina and SoCal.

Thien than su Chet (TNT) - Tough Mudder Tri-State Finisher


In 2002, I was diagnosed with leukemia. I don’t have a choice about what happened to me, but I do have a choice in how I handle it. I never let the idea of failure enter my mind and spirit. The way I see it, I don't live with cancer-- cancer has to live with me. I know that I will begin to mentally and physically deteriorate, so I need to keep going.

Helping others on the course is like watching your kid open up a Christmas present.

Tough Mudder gives me something to train for. It gives me a sense of purpose. It reminds me of how life is supposed to be. Just like in life, on a Tough Mudder course, you have to run on your own, but if you need help, it’s there. Nothing motivates me more than helping someone through an obstacle that they can’t complete on their own. Helping others on the course is like watching your kid open up a Christmas present. [Watch TNT tackle TM Tri-State.]

Vicki Edwards - Tough Mudder London South Finisher


Two thousand fourteen was the 30th anniversary of my brother's death from cot death, or SIDS, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. He was just four weeks old. My family and I decided to make 2014 Terry's year and fundraise in his memory. We've done half marathons and the London Marathon; hosted karaoke nights and had an 80's disco. Tough Mudder was the final event of our fundraising year. Then before the event, a colleague of mine got into a motorbike accident suffered a horrific leg injury and heavy bleeding. Had it not been for the London Air Ambulance, he would have lost his life. I spoke with my mum, and she told me that Tough Mudder had to be for him. We achieved our targets for Terry, so, with my mum's blessing, I bullied my colleagues into raising much-needed funds for the London Air Ambulance to thank them for everything they do. Hell yeah.

Justin Falls - Tough Mudder North Carolina Finisher


Eight years ago, I woke up in an ICU unable to move. I had suffered a paralyzing injury and thought my life was over. After I learned that my spinal cord wasn’t completely severed, I became determined to gain back as much mobility as possible. With family and friends at my side, I fought hard to stay positive and continue therapy to gain back my independence. Eventually I learned how to drive, water ski, and play tennis.

We are so much more than the scars we carry.

Last year I met Zack Paben, a burly, bearded man who lost his fingertips in a childhood accident and runs a non-profit called More Heart than Scars. After hearing his personal story about the psychological and physical pain he’s endured and overcome, he convinced me to join his Tough Mudder team, and I had a blast getting muddy with my new friends. To me, Tough Mudder is a great metaphor for the struggles we share with each other. When we work together, it becomes much easier to overcome life’s obstacles. We are so much more than the scars we carry.

David Tyson Perry - Tough Mudder SoCal Finisher


I’m a T4-T6 paraplegic. On December 8, 2003, when I was 19, I fell off a rooftop while working as a roofer. I’m now actually healthier today than when I fell because I want to finish Tough Mudder courses with my friends, my family, my team--Team Go Hard. I might show up with a team of eight, but when we’re on the course, everyone is a teammate. The camaraderie from every single person is emotional and exciting. The best thing I’ve heard on course is someone telling me that I have a group of friends that they’d drop into any trench with. I have the greatest teammates in the world: Steven Perry, Alexa Andreasen, Alfredo Pineda, William Self, Hector Torrez, Matt Johnson, JD Luevano and Taylor Luevano.

Having previously featured the inspiring Mudders of Dallas, Dublin, Hamburg and Missouri, our month of inspiration continues tomorrow, as we highlight the motivating Mudders of Houston, Central Florida, Sydney, Adelaide and World’s Toughest Mudder.

To share the story of your own Mudder journey, visit the official Mudders of 2014 page.