If you’ve heard of Tough Mudder, you know it’s not a race: it’s a test of personal grit and team spirit. A 19 kilometre, grueling, uphill, downhill, mud-filled, obstacle-riddled course based on military training. Why oh why would 27 travel insurance employees and executives from TuGo want to do this, you ask? 

Kiss the Mud Obstacle as part of Tough Mudder Challenge
“Kiss the Mud” anyone? Watch out for that barbed wire!

We did it to push our limits as individuals, to come together as a team, and to raise money for a cause that’s close to our hearts: Wishes Across Canada. We hope we made our charity, Make-A-Wish Canada® proud!

We braved one of the hardest Tough Mudder terrains: black bears, hills, and over 700 metres of elevation, and that’s not even counting the obstacles! It wasn’t an easy feat, but it was one of the most gratifying experiences, and we did it as a team. The motivational speaker at the start line set the tone by asking participants “When was the last time you did something for the first time?” This really resonated with many of us; as adults we often forget to try new things, take risks and simply have fun.

Some of the highlights of the day included slipping through the “Mud Mile”, hiking up the arduous “Cliffhanger” (alongside the Olympic ski jump hill—my calves are still burning) and avoiding the green slime under the ”Funky Monkey”!

People slipping and sliding through the Mud Mile Obstacle 2014
Slipping and sliding through the “Mud Mile”—the most fun of all the obstacles!
Our Executive Director, Kathy Starko, battling the Funky Monkey at Tough Mudder 2014. She made it across!
Our Executive Director, Kathy Starko, battling the Funky Monkey. She made it across!
We're all smiles after conquering the dreaded monkey bars! Way to go, team!
We’re all smiles after conquering the dreaded monkey bars! Way to go, team!

Conquering the “Everest” obstacle was only possible through teamwork. There were a few body slams, some feet-over-the-wall action, and pure perseverance. Try and try again was definitely put to the test!

This video says it best:
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zo-T-Hp1Pkw?rel=0&controls=0]

We had to work as a team to become Tough Mudders. This is why we did it: to remember how challenging life can be, and to remember to rely on others. That’s the reason we fundraise for Wishes Across Canada—to help create joyful memories for kids who really need them.

This is the kind of company I’m proud to work for. It was pure elation to cheer on my teammates. I’d like to share a few inspiring messages from our crew:

Mari: It was an awesome experience mudding it up and working through those obstacles together. I may be sore, but definitely not sorry.

Melissa: I’m so grateful to have shared this first with all of you. We stuck together, cheered each other on and helped through the tough times.

Char: The fear, challenges and laughs were so worth it.

Flavio: The women were the keystone of our success!!… You girls rock! It was an amazing experience—but only doable as a team!!… Doing it alone would’ve been impossible, but together we conquered it!

Marty: We never quit. We conquered our fears. We put our trust in each other and helped each other out. And we finished as a team. It was an amazing, unforgettable experience!

Kathy: We have earned and proven we are tough…together!

Jodie: I can’t believe all that we accomplished! I would not have been able to complete this without all of your help, encouragement and support. I couldn’t have asked for a better team.

Will: Great teamwork! More than a few fears were conquered!

Mike: There wasn’t one person on our team who didn’t help someone at some point in the day. For me that was my moment; watching all of us struggle at some point and then conquer at the next.

And finally, from our Travelling CEO, Patrick Robinson:

I’ve been here for a long time and I can’t remember a more enjoyable day. Great leadership, dedicated preparation, inspirational individual efforts and outstanding and thoroughly enjoyable teamwork. We rock! and dirt, and water, and mud…

In the beginning we were in it to raise money for Make-A-Wish, but in the end, we got more than we’d bargained for—the chance to know what teamwork really means, and the experience to apply that in the workplace.

Tough Mudder was an amazing experience! We couldn’t have done it with a better group of people, and without the generous support of our friends and family who donated and cheered us on. We’ve raised over $20,000 for Wishes Across Canada, and we’re just getting started!

Would you become a Tough Mudder? Or are you a Legionnaire? Share your stories with us!

Happy travels, and Mudder on!

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Why We Did Tough Mudder & Why We’d Do It Again

Oct 22 2014