One of the first things you’ll notice upon walking into Tough Mudder Headquarters is a cast of characters as electrifying and diverse as our on-course obstacles. And while there’s no doubt you’re familiar with our military-style obstacles, few have a chance to meet the minds behind the mud-coated madness. So to give you a behind-the-scenes, insider look at TMHQ, over the next few months, we’ll be serving up some TMHQ Q&As to help you get to know some of our most admired team members.
In the hot seat today? Director of Corporate Sales Matt Hirschbiel...
In exactly ten words, what do you do for Tough Mudder?
I help make boring things (team-building) fun for your company.
What were you doing with your life before coming on board at TMHQ?
Not ruining running shoes in one day.
What was your first day at TMHQ like?
Overwhelming. There is an abundance of talent and intelligence here at Tough Mudder, and when you combine that with a million acronyms that you don’t know, it's a lot to handle!
I think people have this perception that TMHQ is just a big barn filled with people throwing mud at each other. Well, I’m here to tell you, that's exactly what it is.
What is your typical morning routine?
Depending on the day, I generally wake up, workout, eat a big veggie omelet and then spend about 10-15 minutes making fun of Ben Johnson, our head of public relations, for his eating habits. He could put down a burrito and four doughnuts before getting out of bed, and none of it ever gets in his beard, which is really disappointing. After that, if nothing is on my calendar, I spend whatever time I can talking to customers and working with our corporate clients to help them plan events.
Who sits to your right at TMHQ and what is the best thing about him or her?
[Senior Website Manager] Alia Avidan, who is the Khaleesi of our website. The best part about sitting close to her is always hearing about she found some way to get herself into a social situation with only one, very undesirable, path out. She's also very smart, so that's helpful when I need to bounce ideas off someone.
What is your definition of “best lunch break ever?”
Assuming I actually take a lunch, the best lunch break ever would be any type of food on board a helicopter flying over the beach.
What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever done?
I don't think this is weird, but other people do: I take the ice bucket bag from hotel rooms and tie it over the remote control. Those things are gross.
What’s one thing you’ve seen on course that has restored your faith in humanity?
It’s always cool to see a wave of wounded warriors [representing Wounded Warrior Project.] I’m speaking of no particular instance or anything, but I worry about a bum knee or injured shoulder or being cold or something stupid, and these guys blow through the course with one leg like it was just any other day. Watching veterans tackle our course is really inspiring, and it constantly reminds me how lucky I am to have my health and how thankful we all need to be for their sacrifice.
What is the hardest laugh you’ve had at TMHQ?
I’m not sure if I can remember one specific time, but we do spend a lot of time laughing around the office. There are always good stories from events, pictures of Mudders getting electrocuted, etc. I think people have this perception that TMHQ is just a big barn filled with people throwing mud at each other. Well, I’m here to tell you, that's exactly what it is.
If you were a Tough Mudder obstacle, which one would you be and why?
Has anyone answered this question with "Just the Tip?”