We’ve been asking ourselves that question this week, and asking it of locals who are planning to take on the Tough Mudder course this weekend at Mount Snow.
The answers have been varied, but in general come down to a few basic themes: to challenge themselves, and to do something good for wounded vets. It’s hard to argue with those reasons. People are often willing to push themselves to the limit and beyond, to see how much they can endure. The allure of pushing one’s limit can be extremely motivating. The notion that Mudders can do that, while working to help injured soldiers, can be supremely motivating. After all, who gives more than a soldier who puts his or her body in harm’s way? That Mudders honor those efforts while competing can be a strong motivating factor as well.
A third theme stands out for many, to be part of a team where the whole is greater than its individual components. Not every Mudder participates as part of a team, but for those who do, the rewards of their team effort seem to far outweigh their individual satisfaction. Mudder teammates talk of the camaraderie developed in both training and the day of the event, of helping each other through the course, of not leaving anyone behind. Similar to military units, Tough Mudder teams learn the value of working together to achieve a common goal.
Learning to work together can be a very strong lesson learned, indeed. Sometimes we need to realize that the sum of our whole community is greater than its individual parts. We do best when we work together, as towns, businesses, or organizations. When we see the community as bigger than the individual parts, that’s when we can make real progress. For example, “Wilmington and Dover” work better than “Wilmington vs. Dover” or the two towns alone. Businesses work better collectively, either through the chamber of commerce or just two or three combining forces, instead of competing against each other. There are a number of examples, but we think readers will get the idea. There’s no reason we can’t take the essence of what drives Mudder and make that part of our day-to-day existence.
So here’s to the Tough Mudders who will challenge Mount Snow this weekend. We raise a beer to your efforts, individually and as teams. We admire your spirit, your willingness to help others along, your grace under pressure, and your determination.
They are traits we can all aspire to.