This is your Mirrorman, with another reflection from this awesome 2017 Tough Mudder season. I consider parents to be our original heroes in this world, raising our future heroes, and enjoy seeing our participants strengthen their family, and team bonding through their experience on the courses.
Here is a really cool family and team bonding story from Tough Mudder Philadelphia that along with our TMHQ media crew, I had the honor of being a part of, and will remember the rest of my life.
It began for me with a call from legionnaire and team MUDCRO cofounder, Edward Buonocore. Edward tells me one of his teammates (Aaron), whom lives in the UK, and started the Euro chapter of team MUDCRO, has a son (Sean) here in the states, whom will be running his first mudder with the U.S. MUDCRO team in Philly, and wants to surprise his son by showing up unexpected, to run the course with him. Then Edward asked if I and TMHQ could help them make that happen?
The Back Story
Aaron (dad) originally from Seattle, at 17 years of age, and still in high school, had Sean (son) with then girlfriend, and they gave him up for adoption. Sean’s adoption parents stayed in contact with Aaron, but it wasn’t until 2 years ago that Sean himself began communicating with his biological father (to whom he referred to as his birth daddy - the army guy), through social media. Aaron’s service in the military landed him in Europe. He met his current wife Catia, in Germany, and they now live in Southeast London. In 2013 he ran his first Tough Mudder in Europe. In 2014 he and a friend were the first to do all 16 there, and in 2015, he completed his 25th. Philly was his 30th TM, and Sean’s 1st, but more significant, it became an awesome planned surprise for Aaron and his son to meet each other for the first time since Sean’s birth. With the help of Phyllis and James Mitchell (the couple that adopted, and raised him, and Sean refers to them as his parents), Aaron, Team MUDCRO, and TMHQ, the surprise reveal was came off perfect. Sean said he had no idea Aaron was going to be there, and was really shocked when he turned around to see the crowd part and his biological father walking towards him. And, as they hugged there was a loud applause and some teary eyes from our runners and spectators. It was a strong emotional moment felt by all of us.
When I asked Aaron how he was feeling leading up to the moment, he said,”nervous and excited.” He said Sean was kind of quiet at the beginning of the course, but by the time they got to Mud Mile everyone was loose and having fun. Sean told me later, that he was blown away by all the people involved to make it happen, and he really appreciates everyone. The last time I talked to both of them they were still feeling it was an amazing experience.
I personally feel very blessed that they would share a moment so special with the rest of us, and will remember this as one of the coolest Tough Mudder moments in my life.
A special thank you to Sean’s parents, Phyllis and James Mitchell for being there, always supporting and raising one hell of a son.
A shout out to team MUDCRO with over 650 members in the U.S. Denmark, Germany, Barcelona, Australia and the UK. You can learn more about them and their charitable contributions on their Facebook page.