Tough Mudder journey’s don’t always start from the same point. Sure, we may all line up at the same starting line, listen to the same epic pump-up speech, but running a Tough Mudder doesn’t just start on the day of the event. In fact, the weeks, months leading up to it are where the run may really be made.
For Scott Daniel, his road to the starting line at 2015’s Tough Mudder Los Angeles, just as his road in life, was long, circuitous, and fraught with pitfalls. But Daniel persisted through it all and now, a year after taking his first Tough Mudder plunge, he’s readying to run his 15th and 16th events, as well as prepping for his first foray into World’s Toughest Mudder, the extreme 24-hour obstacle race designed to push mudders to their limits.
Daniel, who is deaf, was homeless in 2015, living out of his car, when the desire to push himself, to try something new furnished itself as an interest in OCR events, or Obstacle Course Races.
“I had originally planned on just doing one Tough Mudder and write that off my bucket list”
“I had originally planned on just doing one Tough Mudder and write that off my bucket list,” Daniel said. “I met a great friend while volunteering at TM LA and decided to go to TM Tahoe. I just keep doing another and another and have not stopped since then.”
As evidenced by Scott’s continued Tough Mudder experiences and his planned year-long exploration of the contiguous U.S. in 2017, hitting as many Tough Mudders as he can along the way, that desire to test himself, to seek out his limits no matter the circumstances or the issues that arise, whether from his deafness, or the natural ebb and flow of life, has not waned. Has maybe even grown. Daniel refuses to use his deafness as an excuse for why he can’t or shouldn’t do, well, anything.
“I do not consider being deaf a disability. It does become frustrating [sic] sometimes but I have accepted myself for who I am.” In fact, his deafness is part of what fuels Daniel. “We sometimes have to fight, work twice as hard to prove to the hearing community that we are no different.”
“I even have a Facebook page called Deaf Tough Mudders,” Daniel said. “I hope to be one of the TM ambassadors one day.” Being great, being more, isn’t just something Scott strives for – it’s part of who he is.
How else to explain Scott’s desire to try his hand at World’s Toughest Mudder, the grueling 24-hour obstacle course challenge designed to test competitors both physically and mentally, to bring them to their very limits and beyond?
Scott, who lives in Las Vegas, volunteered two shifts at WTM last year, helping to oversee Operation and Cliffhanger. So he knows just how tough World’s Toughest really can be. But he remains undaunted.
His goal is 50 miles, adding that anything more “would be awesome.” Considering the difficulty level of the race, he’s also got another goal in mind. “Staying warm and not getting hypothermia is a priority for me.”
When asked what it is about Tough Mudder that seems to speak to him, that maybe echoes some base element of his personality, that has already brought him back, time and time again, Scott’s answer was succinct and, in many ways, perfect. “I think I am awesome.”
Residence: Las Vegas
WTM History: I volunteered at the last WTM. Worked two shifts at the Cliff and Operation
Number of Tough Mudder Completed: 20 laps so far
2016 Mileage Goal: I am hoping for 50 miles but want to do 75 if possible.