In this episode, a member of the Tough Mudder family, Cassie Hellyer, discusses her difficult upbringing, the importance of forgiveness and healing, her cancer journey, and so much more. After being diagnosed with ovarian cancer at age 21, Cassie has been a fighter and is currently in remission.
A LOOK INSIDE THE EPISODE:
TM: You have some special people in your life. Tell me about the people that were there for you and supporting you.
C: It’s actually pretty incredible. All of the people that have been my biggest support group through this, I met through Tough Mudder. Every single one of them. You (Sean), Carlos, Amelia, Team Four Eyes, Ann, Trevor. All of them, every single one in my support group that has gone above and beyond, I met because of Tough Mudder, which I think is just incredible. Carlos is one of my very best friends and we met on a whim and of course [Sean] became one of the most important people in my life to me. And I owe that to this silly little mud run. It became just a staple for me.
TM: Tell me about your start with Tough Mudder.
C: My friend, Mike, saw something about Tough Mudder and was like, “Hey, let’s do this mud run.” It was in Arizona in 2012 and I had just been re-diagnosed. He was like, “Let’s go do this. It’ll be good for you. It’ll be fun.” So, we went and we didn’t know what it was. We didn’t know what to do and we loved it, but the one thing I do remember from that year in Arizona is electroshock. For people who don’t know, you can YouTube, Arizona Electroshock Therapy 2012 and you can see how they had set it up. They weren’t quite sure what they were doing yet at that time. They had set it up so there were walls and they were stacked walls and there was like six inches of water in the chute. And then there were bales of hay, so you had to jump over the bales of hay and go around and jump and go round. It was so hot that people were blacking out, left and right. I remember I got hit a couple times and I made it almost to the very end and it just got me and all I remember is waking up and this guy was dragging me out of it. My face was down in the water like it could have been bad and this guy, getting shocked, like dragging me out the water I didn’t even know and I’m like that’s what the camaraderie thing is. That’s what this is about.
TM: Tell us about your experience with World’s Toughest Mudder.
C: It is the best experience anyone will ever have. It’s one of those things that really, really sucks a lot. Then, as soon as it’s over, you’re like, “Wow, that was the most amazing thing that I’ve ever done.” It’s not because it’s challenging, yes, it is, but it’s because of the people. The people are what make Tough Mudder and especially make World’s Toughest Mudder. There is such a beautiful camaraderie out there on the course, you want everybody to succeed. Everybody looks out for each other, even though it’s a race. Obviously, the higher ups and the contenders, we give them priority over everything, because that’s what our community does. We know. But the average Joe’s, you’re out there taking one foot in front of the other, and doing what you can do to hit your goal and you do it together. It’s absolutely incredible. I went from being a participant to my body just not doing it anymore, to being pit crew for Amelia, and Team Four Eyes, and it’ll be Carlos and Ann this year as well. That brings a whole different perspective to the race.