Looking for the life-changing sense of accomplishment a marathon provides, only without the monotony or the need to put tape on your nipples? Throw yourself into a pulse-throttling adventure instead: Tough Mudder, hitting Texas this month as part of an 11-market 2011 U.S. tour.
Unlike other namby-pamby mud-runs such as Warrior Dash, Tough Mudder is a 10,000-volt jolt to your berserker soul: a 9-mile trail run designed by British Special Forces, requiring camaraderie and mental grit to overcome 20 balls-to-the-wall obstacles that literally includes 10,000V live electric fences. Instead of the usual pavement-pounding tedium, you and your comrades will help each other crawl under a 100ft barbed wire mud pit, survive a 60ft gauntlet of fire, and navigate brain-freezing underwater tunnels, thus confronting the triple-fear of confined spaces, drowning, and those aliens from The Abyss. If you finish (and only 80% of participants usually do), you'll immediately be handed a beer, then step into a party with more beer, BBQ, bands, free (permanent!) tattoos, and the friends/family members you want around to help you celebrate the ultimate achievement: not crying.
To further inspire you, Tough Mudder's a proud supporter of the Wounded Warrior Project. So far 20,000 participants have signed up, and Tough Mudders have raised over $630,000 for the cause. Anyone who agrees to raise at least $150 gets $25 off their registration -- money you can put towards subjecting your nipples to some sort of dominatrix, if doing things the regular way is as monotonous for you as a marathon.