By Caroline Lynch, ASF Volunteer and Warriors in Motion Coordinator
In late October, ASF staff and volunteers, as well as several wounded warriors, took on one of the toughest events of the summer season, the Tough Mudder. We decided to face this event with a team of 7 warriors, 4 volunteers and 7 staff members. Our team consisted of one wheelchair user, one below the knee amputee, and warriors with various different physical and cognitive injuries. Dan Burns, a professional photographer, followed us through the course and coached a visually impaired wounded warrior photographer. We even had a volunteer trailing us in a Polaris UTV as a support vehicle.
The event was amazing and exhausting! It took just under 8 hours to complete the almost10 mile course. The amount of people who positively responded to our team was remarkable. There was an abundance of cheers, high fives and encouragement coming from the other mudders, as well as staff and volunteers from Tough Mudder headquarters. One of our biggest fans was Mel, the warrior photographer, who had just met the entire team only a few short hours before.
The dynamic of our Tough Mudder team was something that is hard to describe. Anthony, who is a volunteer with ASF and an amputee, was being assisted by staff, ASF volunteers and the wounded warriors. The warriors were being assisted by staff, volunteers and each other. The teamwork that we saw at this event was simply astounding. Volunteers were helping volunteers, warriors were assisting the staff, everyone was there to help each other. The Tough Mudder was very successful because we all knew that this group of nearly 20 people started this journey as a team, and we were going to finish as a team. And that’s exactly what we did.
Once we completed the obstacle filled 12 miles, the team members could not get to a warm shower, food and a comfortable bed quick enough!