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Nine ONU Law students compete in Tough Mudder Competition

Apr 21, 2012

On April 14, nine ONU Law students participated in one most grueling competitions known to mankind.  Tough Mudder Competition>>

Jason Carter, Nick Fiorilli, Greg Hammond, Kristine Holland, Steve Keslar,  Brandon May, Mary Oliver, Hope Smalls, and Justin Traino

Tough Mudder events are hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie. With the most innovative courses, half a million inspiring participants, and more than $2million dollars raised for the Wounded Warrior Project, Tough Mudder is the premier adventure challenge series in the world.



Law school has been a challenging experience in itself, lots of sweat, blood, and tears. We spend most of the day working the mind - but frequently neglect the body - so we wanted to apply that same level of commitment and dedication to the physical side. When both the mind and body are strong there is seldom one can't do.

I personally did the Tough Mudder competition to see how far I could push myself. I am a runner, but certainly not a climber. I learned how to push myself, but with the help of my team, I pushed myself even further than I knew was possible. During the months of training, we really got to know one another, and a strong bond was built. What I think we liked most about the competition was that it was not an individual race, it was about teamwork and having each other’s back. We embodied the meaning of family on that day. God knows that standing at 4'11'', I would never have been able to get over a 12 foot wall without the support of my team.


After mentally challenging ourselves over the past few months, an extreme physical challenge, with a great cause, seemed like an ideal way to achieve a healthy balance. 


As a life-long athlete, I was dealing with a bit of an identity crisis making the transition from personal achievement defined by athletics into an environment like law school, where achievement is based on academic excellence.  I've been pleased with my academic performance thus far at ONU.  For some reason, though, I felt the need to prove to myself that I still have what it takes to challenge my body the same way law school challenges my mental stamina each day. Tough Mudder is the greatest challenge I could find that would do just that.  I figured go big or go home!  It was definitely tough, but we all finished by working together, as a team.  Participating with other classmates was so rewarding because, beyond empathizing with each other in the rigors of law school, we share the memory of conquering one of the TOUGHEST physical challenges out there. It was awesome!


I chose to do Tough Mudder because it offered a unique and very challenging opportunity to push myself to limits both physically and mentally. The training and preparation for this event served as a great way to maintain a regimented schedule in which I could focus on getting in the best shape possible, while balancing a rigorous law curriculum.  But most importantly, it allowed me to develop great friendships and camaraderie with my fellow classmates - and in the end, that is what Tough Mudder is all about!  


As I'm strengthening my mind, I think it's good that I should do the same for my body. I made a promise to myself that after beating cancer, every year I would do at least two extreme events to challenge myself and prove my strength. One down, one to go!


My reason for participating in the Tought Mudder competition was that law school has been the toughest mental experience of my life, and with graduation fast approaching, I felt that I needed to challenge myself physically - put some of the mental endurance to the test. It all worked out. We had a blast and I'm extremely grateful not to have broken anything so I won't be hobbling across the graduation stage!