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: “Bojack Horseman was my favorite show last year because it was funny and real. Maybe too real, just beautiful.”–Male, 23, AZ

Binge drinking in college is common, and suggested reasons for the behaviors range from boredom to helicopter parenting—but it’s also possible they’re drinking to extremes to escape extreme stress. Today’s college students can have an “intense preoccupation with success” thanks to the competition it takes to get into schools, fear of the tough job market, and looming loan debt. In this context, “blacking out has become so normal that even if you don’t personally do it, you understand why others do. It’s a mutually recognized method of stress relief. To treat it as anything else would be judgmental." (NYTimes)

Once again, Millennials’ food preferences are “killing” a major product. Young consumers’ preoccupation with health have caused a yogurt problem for General Mills, where sales in the category have nosedived 15%. The downturn is likely due to the new perspective that sugar, not fat, is the real diet evil, a shift that has caused low-fat and low-cal foods to “fall out of vogue.”(As we predicted.) In more positive, related, news for the brand, organic and natural products have seen “immense growth.” (MediaPostMSN)

More teens are on YouTube than on the biggest social networks, according to research from the National Cyber Security Alliance and Microsoft. Their poll of 13-17-year-old internet users found that 91% say they use YouTube, compared to 66% who use Snapchat, 65% who use Instagram, and 61% who use Facebook. Their heavy use of the site is one of the reasons that YouTube creators have more influence over their purchase intent than traditional TV and movie celebs. Interestingly, the second most-used platform was actually Gmail, with 75% of teens reporting they use the email app. (eMarketer)

Millennials have been called out as a threat to the diamond industry, causing Twitter to offer their own blunt explanationsfor why the generation isn’t buying the “sparkly status symbols.” But hold up: De Beer’s annual report has declared, “Millennials spent nearly $26 billion on diamond jewelry [in 2015]…acquiring more than any other generation.” So why is everyone saying they aren’t buying diamonds when they reportedly purchased 45% of retail sales in four major markets? It might be another case of a narrative about the generation being more click-worthy than the reality. (Forbes)

This month, the Generation Beauty event brought together Instagram beauty influencers, beauty brands, and their loyal teen fans for a weekend of meet-and-greets and product samples. Young consumers are undoubtedly looking to their favorite digital personalities for product recommendations, and say it’s best “when they give their honest opinion,” trusting those posts more than those where copy is read directly off a package—“a dead giveaway that it’s sponsored.” Collaborations between brands and social influencers are reportedly especially popular with fans. (Racked)

Quote of the Day: “Jane the Virgin was my favorite show to watch last year because it was dramatic, yet relatable and hilarious. I also love the fact that it features many women actors and actors of color.” –Female, 17, Guam

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