This fall, Tough Mudder is teaming up with the Infinite Hero Foundation for the Infinite Hero Honor Challenge to help stop the cycle of veteran suicide. In four corners of America, 200 of our toughest will form an unbreakable unit to take on a 10-hour endurance survival challenge, raising critical funds to support veteran care and mental health programs.
Since Tough Mudder has a long withstanding relationship with the military community, we are honored to help support this important cause. We’ll be highlighting several veterans to discuss their experiences serving in the military, how they manage their mental health and more. To start, we’re sitting down with army veteran Cutler Holland to talk about his experience serving in Afghanistan, how he deals with stress and what Tough Mudder means to him.
TM: Where and when did you serve?
CH: I was deployed to Afghanistan from 2012 to 2013, where I was apart of the Route Clearance Patrol. During my service I searched for IEDs and cleared routes to render the routes safe for transport.
TM: How have you managed your mental health since serving?
CH: There are a couple key points I believe in for positive mental health. First is planning: being prepared can help when dealing with stress. If you do not take care of all the little things in your life they will build up and will stress you when bad things happen. Which brings me to my next point: you can not control everything. You have to realize that most things are out of your control. You can only control your actions. You can plan and try to control factors to get the outcome you want but the world rarely follows your plan. You must be ready to adapt. Last, you have to have some fun. It can’t be all work, work, work. Everybody needs time to decompress. I try and focus on things I can control and I don’t worry about those things that are not in my control.
TM: What has Tough Mudder been like for you as a veteran?
CH: I’ve done three World’s Toughest Mudders and I really believe Tough Mudder is a good experience for a veteran. There is a sense of community and camaraderie, it’s challenging and fun. On course there is always someone willing to help out another Mudder with an obstacle and online, the Facebook groups help build that community. When people ask questions about events, many people are willing to give advice. It’s a good way to get advice from experienced Mudders. It’s nice to see people from all walks of life join together and compete at events, even during the competitive events everybody still helps out their fellow Mudder.