That’s One Tough Mudder

Extreme physical events like Tough Mudder, Warrior Dash, and Rugged Maniac are obstacle courses that push participants to their physical limits, and land some in the hospital—or worse. But despite physical trials and risks, the events are swiftly rising in popularity with young people around the world. Today, Ypulse staffer Mike Miller gives us a first-hand look at his experience surviving Tough Mudder, and just why extreme events that might seem like torture to some are attracting hundreds of thousands of Millennial participants. 

 

 

Tough Mudder events are described by the creators as, “probably the toughest on the planet.” They are 12-mile courses with roughly 24 obstacles designed by British Special Forces. It’s mud from end to end. It’s fire pits, ice baths, and teams of walls. You’re jumping, climbing, swimming, and crawling. In between all of that, you’re running, jogging or walking. You don’t want to stop moving, because if you do you’ll never start again. I don’t know if it’s the toughest event on the planet, but it’s the toughest thing I’ve ever done. And Millennials around the world can’t get enough of the extreme challenges.

Tough Mudder is about physical toughness. It only lasts 3 hours, but it’s 3 hours of non-stop running, sometimes through waist deep mud. It’s 3 hours of carrying a 100lb log a half-mile through the woods, up a muddy slope and then back down. It’s 3 hours climbing over 14-foot walls: 10 of them. Tough Mudder is about mental grit. You want to stop running, and just rest for a minute. You want to be home in bed, warm and rested. Signs along the course remind you how miserable you are, how many miles you have left. It gets harder and harder to ignore those thoughts while you’re crawling through mud under barbed wire, charged with 10,000 volts of…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “When I hear the phrase ‘The American Dream' I think…A loaded term that is meaningless these days. At this point, I'd be happy if I can manage to live a mostly comfortable, independent life. Is that The American Dream? I don't know.” –Male, 25, PA

When it comes to kids using tablets and smartphones, most of the attention is given to the dangers of it all: what will it do to their attention spans, their minds, or their health? But there are potential positives to their mobile use as well. One (Millennial) mom’s reasons for continuing to give her kids handheld devices include the importance of encouraging their technology and problem solving skills, expectations that they will know how to use them in school, and a hope that her girls will be involved in tech in their futures. (Hip Mombrarian)

This might be the year that vending machines became a full blown marketing trend, and Nike has put their own athletic spin on the tactic. Their recent “secret” vending machine in NYC, the Nike+ FuelBox, dispensed products like hats, shirts, and socks that visitors could only pay for with daily points from their Nike+ FuelBands, encouraging exercise in exchange for goods. (Engadget)

We’ve seen FoMo, the rise and fall of YOLO, and now social media has given us MoMo, the “Mystery of Missing Out.” Unlike FoMo, Fear of Missing Out when you see your friends posting a ton of fun pictures on social media, MoMo is the anxiety that results when friends stop posting. In the words of one Millennial, “’what can be so good that they aren't posting?’” It might seem silly to some, but for a generation used to being connected with friends nearly all the time, the feeling of exclusion that results from being left out and unaware of what’s happening is real. (Jezebel)

The value of higher education is already being questioned by Millennials, and evidence is continuing to mount that college systems and hierarchies need to be rethought. One former Yale professor is making headlines by telling parents not to send their kids to Ivy League schools, and that those who attend are not the “winners in the race we have made of childhood” but that instead elite education produces “anxious, timid, and lost” young people. (New Republic)

Oh, Barbie. She's had a rough year, and Mattel recently released an Entrepreneur Barbie in an attempt to tap into girl power marketing, and revive flagging sales. But is the reality that Barbie is just too perfect for today’s kids? The brand’s offbeat, weirdo Monster High dolls do far better than pristine, “clean cut” blond icon. Tapping into new trends in toy tech and giving Barbie a renewed sense of “imaginative play” might help, but at the same time post-Millennials, like the generation before them, could be turned off by anything that doesn’t show some flaws. (The StarPhoenix)

Quote of the Day: “When I hear the phrase ‘The American Dream’ I think of 1950s cliches, the economic downturn of 2008, and how college debt has pretty much made it impossible.” –Female, 17, RI

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