Meet the mudder…
Hi, my name is David Didier and I just completed my 17th Tough Mudder!
I mudder because…
I mudder because of this community. This community is above and beyond anything I’ve ever experienced in my life. People who were once strangers are now lifelong friends… they’re positive, energetic, don’t complain, they just “do.” Everyone’s here to help others live a better life and overcome obstacles both on and off the course.
What’s your favorite Tough Mudder location?
Living in Wisconsin, the closest location to me would be Chicago so that’s my favorite. It’s flat and there’s no hills which makes it even nicer. Wherever World’s Toughest Mudder is is always a good place, too.
What made you want to do your first Tough Mudder?
I heard about Tough Mudder in 2013 through a friend at work and it piqued my interest because I thought it was something unique. I was just starting to get into physical fitness, and I thought, “yeah, this looks interesting, let’s sign up for this.” I actually talked my son and a family friend into it and we did our first one in Wisconsin in 2013. I’ll never forget before the start of the event when Sean was doing his thing, I literally kneeled down and said a prayer, “please Lord get me through this,” and He did. We had a great time! I’m hooked now, I bleed orange.
What makes you keep coming back to Tough Mudder?
The community makes me come back. If it weren’t for the people here, I wouldn’t be here because I’m not going to go out there and torture my body. I’m a 62 year old cancer survivor and the last thing I want to do is beat myself up more than I did already. I’m around people who are so positive and influential and who are now lifelong friends; they bonded to me and I bonded to them in a way that you don’t always see in the real world. This community is just incredible.
If you had to convince someone to do a Tough Mudder, what would you tell them they need to know?
You need to know that it’s not easy, it’s called Tough Mudder for a reason. You’re gonna get muddy and dirty, but you’re gonna have help during every obstacle. You’re never out there doing it alone. Even if you come alone, there will be someone there to help you. Typically what I’ll say to someone if they’re not comfortable doing the event right away is to volunteer first. Get a feel of this community and I guarantee you’ll be hooked. Yesterday while working the info tent, we had so many new people come in. I asked them to find me afterward to let me know what they thought… Every one of them loved it and signed up for next year.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen or done at a Tough Mudder event?
I have to think… there’s been so many crazy things. The craziest thing I’ve done is when I was going through my cancer treatment in November of 2018, I made up my mind that I was going to cross the finish line at World’s Toughest Mudder in 2019. Exactly a year later, I crossed the finish line at World’s Toughest Mudder. That’s probably the craziest thing I did.
How has Tough Mudder helped you face your fears from the on-course experience?
You come into this with a clean slate the first time you do it. You have no clue what to expect. You can talk about Tough Mudder all day long, but until you actually do one, you don’t know what to expect. After you do one of these courses and overcome the obstacles, it builds up a confidence in you that you didn’t know you had. Or maybe you knew you had it, but by going through the course and through these obstacles, you realize you can do more in life than you thought you could do.
Tell us about a cause you’ve raised awareness for in the past, or that you would raise awareness for by running a Tough Mudder…
I plan on raising money for the Aurora Cancer Care Clinic which is the cancer care center that treated me. That’s my main focus – helping them to help others overcome cancer.
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Some sentences may be adjusted to improve readability due to the nature of transcribing in-person interviews.