27.8.13

Tough Mudder: Proof Americans are Soft

Your Grandpa has been telling you for years that America has gone soft. The Great Generation took the beaches of Normandy and shed real blood. Our generation pilots drones from the safety of air conditioned bunkers and catches happy hour at the end of their shift.

We all tend to write off our Grandpas they are old. We live in great times when Apple holds annual press releases and announces our IPhones are now obsolete.We spend months speculating what new features will cause us of forsake our current models and we cheer when we are told we'll need to drop $500 to stay current. If Apple made Grandpas, yours would be declared obsolete seven-nine times by now. No wonder you haven't visited him at the nursing home. Don't feel guilty. You're a product of your conditioning.


All is not lost. I can make your grandfather's point for you. This weekend I completed my first Tough Mudder adventure challenge. My team of five ran through 10.5 miles of mud covered hills. We crawled in mud under barbed wire, jumped over fire, jumped into a dump truck payload filled with ice water, climbed over eight foot high walls, ran in the woods carrying logs, sprinted up a half-pipe, and got electrocuted with 10,000 volts of juice. And summofabee if we didn't pay a lot of money for the privilege.

Me and My Mudder Team
How does the existence of an adventure race prove Americans are soft? Imagine its the height of the Industrial Revolution and it's your job to convince steel workers, mechanics, and assembly line workers it would a good idea to send $100 to sign up for a Tough Mudder. They'd laugh you out of the foundry. These folks went home each day grabbed a beer and collapsed into Lazy Boy recliners, exhausted. Every day was a Tough Mudder for them.

Don't believe me? Go tell your grandpa you're think about signing up for an adventure race that has an event called the "Artic Enema." He'll think you're the one whose mind is slipping.

No, Tough Mudder is for soft folks like myself who sit at desk every day and get paid to think, talk, and write about big loft ideas. It's people like me who sip Starbucks to stay alert in the afternoon who need an adventure race to feel alive, not the generations before. It's shock therapy for a generation living disembodied lives in front of screens.

So Grandpa was right after all. It's  a crying shame he's been replaced by Siri.


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