People do any number of things in the name of “fun.” Some of the activities folks undertake to amuse themselves you wouldn’t catch me doing on a bet, dare or under threat.
A little Web research turned up a list of “hobbies” that many insurance companies turn their noses up at. The list includes:
1. Extreme mountain or rock climbing.
2. Skydiving and B.A.S.E. jumping, where people jump from buildings, antennas, bridges or rock formations.
3. Scuba diving.
4. Private aviation, which not only includes going up in a plane, but hot air ballooning and hang gliding.
5. Racing a car, motorcycle, go-cart or any other form of motorized vehicle.
6. Back-country skiing.
7. Extreme water sports such as power boating or boat racing. White water rafting and surfing are typically included.
9. Bungee jumping.
While not included on the list of insurance “no-nos,” I found myself listening wide-eyed recently as a person told me about his experience in a Tough Mudder event that took place last month in Topeka, Kan.
For the uninformed, Tough Mudder is not a race. On the Tough Mudder Website it defines its events as a personal challenge, where the objective is “simply to complete the course.”
The 10- to 12-mile course is filled with an assortment of hardcore obstacles that include mud, fire, ice-water and 10,000 volts of electricity. There are 12-foot walls to scale and underground mud tunnels through which one must slither.
Those who successfully complete the course usually need around three hours. But not everyone who pays good money to participate actually finish the course. In fact, according to organizers only 78 percent of the mudders successfully complete the challenge.
So why do it? These events, which reportedly have attracted over 1 million participants worldwide and raised more than $5 million for the Wounded Warrior Project, are intended to prepare each mudder to take on the obstacles in their life. There also is an “enormous sense of accomplishment that you feel when you overcome them.” And because it is not a competition, participants are actually encouraged to forge camaraderie by helping others on the course.
I failed to ask the Tough Mudder participant I know if he completed the course. He did assure me, however, that he is already looking forward to taking part in another one.
At this point it would be appropriate for me to tell you how inspired I am, and how I’m looking forward to taking on the Tough Mudder challenge. Truth be told, I don’t think I’m cut out to be a Tough Mudder.
I enjoy the fact that one of my biggest challenges is finding the TV remote amidst the pillows on the couch. Camaraderie? That’s what I build with my wife, Nancy, as together we look for the TV remote.
Page 2 of 2 - I can’t begin to imagine the hours of prep work it would take to get my body in shape to participate in (survive) such an event. I would have to say my philosophy in life is summed up by an e-mail forward sent to me recently by my brother, Larry.
“If walking is good for your health, the postman would be immortal.
“A whale swims all day, only eats fish, drinks water, but is still fat.
“A rabbit runs and hops and only lives 15 years, while a tortoise doesn’t run and does mostly nothing, yet lives for 150 years.”
Now before you write me off as someone whose life is totally devoid of risk and daring, just remember the next time that lightning flashes at night I’m likely out trying to photograph it. But please, don’t tell my insurance agent.