There seems to be a niche market of failed journalists who have nothing better to do than to bash those working harder than them. Huffington Post has published a blog post entitled “Don’t Ask Me To Sponsor Your Tough Mudder Race.” I felt the need to respond. While the author is clearly entrenched in his self-limiting way of life, there is hope that his readers are not.
The picture above is of a guy LITERALLY running through fire. That’s not a photoshop. It isn’t CGI. It’s dry brush (probably from Texas. Texas has the good brush) set on FIRE. His life, apparently, is so bad that he is running through burning bushes and basically immolating himself. I need to know. Does he have like a classroom of kids at home or are his in-laws living in that pseudo-illegal apartment above the garage?
Umm, no. While I do not know this man in particular, I am betting that he is running through fire as part of a race built to test your courage as much as your strength and speed. Some of us want to see what we are made of. It does not mean that we are trying to escape some horrible condition at home. All that would be needed in that case is a trip to the local bar.
Is he training for special forces? No? Are you sure? Okay, but he has a number on his chest, so this must be something important enough that it warrants a permanent record of this grand event.
No. Nothing important.
While it may not be important to you, many of us do keep full records of where we have been and what we have accomplished. It is important to us.
We’re approaching Memorial Day, and though it’s widely adopted as the unofficial start of the summer season, it’s also the unofficial start to your asshole co-worker asking you if you want to do this year’s Tough Mudder with him–or Spartan Race, or Gladiator Walk, or WARRIOR DASH, OR WHATEVER THE FUCK YOU’RE CALLING YOUR DUMB RACE.
Here’s a scenario that I just thought up but is probably close to one-hundred percent accurate:
[Typical office conversation between a guy doing one of these races and myself if I had an office job.]
Bro: Bro… you want to do Tough Mudder with me this year? It’s a crazy course, bro.
Me: (Doesn’t reply. Just walks away.)
Dude, are you okay? Need a hug? Want a cookie? Trouble at home? A normal person would simply respond with, “No thanks, not my thing, but you go have fun.” Or even with, “That sounds interesting, what do I need to be able to do?”
One of my coworkers that did her first Spartan alongside me:
Contrary to their names, this adult playpen that you’re going to has literally nothing to do with or is in no way associated with and should never be confused with ancient Rome or gladiators. Or high school football players for that matter.
Look at the picture below. I mean holy shit!!! POP QUIZ: One of these guys is doing a Tough Mudder, and the other was in THE MOVIE, Apocalypto.
I think the Tough Mudder could outrun Mr. Apopcalypto. Total non sequitur, but that doesn’t seem to bother you.
These races are a lot of things — mainly they just fall into the descriptive adjectives column like ridiculous and fucking ridiculous– but what they are not are races designed around methods used by Russel Crowe when he was bulking up for the role of Maximus. Don’t let Don from Accounts Receivable fool you. He’s no more of a man than you because he climbed up a mud wall with oiled up ropes studded with cactus thorns (Cacti thorns?). You still drive a Dodge Dart, Don. And I doubt that the Spartans who fought in the Battle of Thermopylae had toe fungus.
The idea of what makes one a man is debated throughout the centuries. But if Don from Accounts Receivable has trained properly, he can handle himself better in an emergency than you can, likely is stronger and in better health. Oh, and you realize that military forces throughout history have used assault courses to train their troops, right?
Your void of innate masculinity is really astounding, Mr. Endurance Guy, so I understand this desire of yours to “challenge yourself.” Actually, I don’t. But it makes perfect sense that these glorified obstacle courses would be created by Ivy leaguers– two Havard Business School grads, in fact. Because really, what evokes toughness, gladiator biceps, and human growth hormone inundation like a couple of twenty-six year old hardos named Seth and Dougie…
First off, do you understand what the word projection means?
Oh, Ivy Leaguers could never be tough? Ever hear of these guys?
BUT I GOT A MEDAL AND A RIBBON, GOD DAMMIT!!!!!
Congratulations. You just rewound your life to 4th grade. Has that 5K mud race certificate of authenticity gotten you laid by chance– by a human, I mean?
Might have happened.
What ever happened to snuggling up on a banquet seat with a ginger tea and Jonathan Franzen novel on a Saturday? What? I’m not a man you say? Excuse me, but real men vacuum. I don’t need to pound my chest like an ape and prove my testosterone count to anyone…
Neither do we. Dude, I’m not here to prove myself to you, I don’t beat my chest and I enjoy a good cup of tea. I also like seeing what my mind and body are capable of, and pushing them to do more. Enjoy your tea and vacuum up your cheetos crumbs.
Except you, girl.
I wouldn’t mind washing that mud off of you if you know what I mean (wink emoji).
Down, boy. Pretty sure her response is going to be something like:
Chris Peak is a freelance writer from Boston.
Chris Peak is a blogger who appears to have nothing legitimate to write about and is wasting his time with this.
Oh, by the way, did you even mention sponsorship anywhere but the title?