Becoming Captain America – How to train for, and dominate, the Tough Mudder

(Note: Not an actual photo of me)

We need a team

To say that I’m excited for the May 4th release of Marvel’s The Avengers is an extreme understatement. I’m PUMPED! As a matter of fact, let’s take a break for a second to watch a preview:


Ahh, can’t wait!

Ok, back to the topic at hand.

Probably the toughest event on the planet

In case you’ve been living under a rock for a while, there’s this 12 mile adventure race that’s come out in the past few years called the Tough Mudder. Some of the goodies one can expect to encounter during this event:

  • Running through fire
  • Swimming through ice cold water
  • Crawling through dark tunnels underground, and in some cases, partially under water
  • Slopping through miles of energy-sapping mud
  • Finishing the race by being jolted with 10,000 volts of electricity

Not your average walk in the park.

Intimidating. Difficult. Painful. Exhausting. Potentially dangerous.

Exactly the type of thing worth doing

Cap can’t do it alone

For those who have seen Captain America: The First Avenger, you’ll recall that Captain Steve Rogers wasn’t able to defeat the Red Skull or HYDRA on his own. It took a team of heroes along with him to squash the bad guys.

While I have yet to see The Avengers (soooo excited!), I’m pretty sure that he doesn’t go this one alone either.

Step 1 to dominating the Tough Mudder, or outer space aliens

Find a group of rough, tough dudes who are willing to face the challenge with you.

Friends, let me introduce you to Thor, The Hulk, and Iron Man. My teammates.

Not only is it cool to dress up like superheroes for an adventure race, it’s even cooler to run said race with a team of dudes that have been preparing for it together.

Step 2 (which really kind of precedes step 1, but who’s counting?)

Train like a mad mother for it!

This video from this article was the first of many cold, wet training sessions in the hilly woods of upstate New York and Northeast Pennsylvania.

Once we all had paid into the race financially, the real price needed to be paid, in blood and sweat.

Why pay so much?

Interestingly enough, one of the biggest excuses I’ve heard from other would-be Mudders as to why they “couldn’t” (or rather, WON’T) do the Tough Mudder, is the cost. Yes, it cost each of us roughly $180 to participate in this event. And I can somewhat understand how that may be a daunting price to pay for 3-ish hours of seeming torture.

But the people that think that way are missing all of the pieces of the puzzle.

They weren’t there in the woods or the weight room, sweating it out, freezing it out, bleeding it out, with us.

They weren’t the ones flipping tires.

They didn’t run the hills.

They didn’t swim through ponds or creeks in February and March, take ice baths or cold showers.

They didn’t see the investment that we were making.

Better because of it

$180 does seem like a lot of money. But not for me, and not for my Avenger buddies. I see it as a simple “tax” that we had to pay to become better.

Better at fitness.

Better at toughness.

Better at life.

It’s the type of investment we pay to do what my buddy Steve Kamb calls “leveling up your life“.

And to my bros and me, and all those who walked away from PA this past weekend with the orange headband, it’s worth it.


One goal down, 11 more to go.

I’ll leave with 2 questions: What are you doing to move toward your next goal? To level up?


Will I see you at next year’s Tough Mudder?

Talk to y’all soon.

– JC