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Being a Mudder℠ is all about taking on the obstacles in your life and the enormous sense of accomplishment that you feel when you overcome it.

Sometimes a few words of wisdom is all it takes to move man into action. During the toughest of times, we all access our internal, inspirational arsenal for reassurance and motivation. And as all Mudders know, inspiration, like plunging off Walk the Plank, is something you can never get too much of.

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To no surprise, TMHQ is home to many a dream job, and arguably the most coveted among these is Head Course Designer—a title held by one bold soul since Tough Mudder's inception in 2009. An ever-elusive, globetrotting go-getter, we caught up with the maddest mind in mud this off season to ask the questions on every Mudder's mind.

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Like “eating right,” “working out right” is a phrase subject to a myriad of contradicting claims that blur the line between fact and opinion; universal truths and case-by-case exceptions —and rightfully so—like no two human bodies are identical, neither are the goals of two routines

Mixed in with the myriad of muscle-building misconceptions, there are, however, unarguable universal truths that apply to every body on every routine. To help set the record straight on commonly disputed workout words of wisdom, let’s go through some oft-overheard “gym-isms” and decipher fact from myth once and for all.

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When Ryan Atkins told the border control officer his reason for entering into the US from Canada in mid-November, the officer noted that Raceway Park, host of World's Toughest Mudder 2013, was a common calling for crossing Canadians that day. Without missing a beat, his girlfriend, Lindsay, sitting beside him, wittingly remarked, “Yeah, but you haven't had the winner come through yet, have you?”

Days later, Lindsay's quick-witted prophecy would ring true, and Atkins, a virtually unknown dark horse, would be crowned World's Toughest Mudder after racking up an astonishing 100 miles of obstacle-riddled terrain in 24 hours. Eager to get to know Mudder Nation's Canadian course-crushing role model, we recently caught up with Ryan to talk strategy, inspiration and what it means to be a Mudder.

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The only parts of your body not throbbing are those you've lost feeling in. You stop to wince, and the dried mud on your face cracks where the smiles did eight miles ago. You look up and there she is—Everest. “Why didn't they put this earlier?” you think to yourself. Followed by, “How do I get up this thing?”

As the devious answer to this question is far too obvious, let's spend our TMHQ quality time today on the second question. Straight from our mad-minded course creators, here are Tough Mudder's top five tips for toppling Everest.

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As Tough Mudder's head course designer likes to say, jumping into Arctic Enema “is like quickly eating ice cream and getting punched in the balls at the same time.” Technically speaking, however, TM's 0-Degree Dumpster of Daze is an industrial sized dumpster filled with ice cold water and ice cubes topped with a barbed wire wooden divider that Mudders must swim under—the long way.

Arguably TM's most feared obstacle and paradoxically its shortest, there are a few small things to keep in mind to reduce your stress on this sultan of suck. So without further ado, here are TMHQ's top tips for warming up to Arctic Enema.

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While Joe Perry might not be a household name, it's hard to deny that he's a household face around here. His unmistakable mug has been a welcomed regular on our courses as well as our social media pages throughout 2013. It was with utter curiosity that we caught up with Joe over the holiday break to find out if the Mudder behind the mask was as quirky as his appearance.

As it turns out, Joe recently built a Tough Mudder course in his backyard, and he will soon be inducted into his hometown's Sports Hall of Fame for his performance at World's Toughest Mudder (WTM). Needless to say, we had a few questions for Joe...

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Devon Musko describes herself as just your average Ohio girl working a full-time job like everyone else. However, we beg to differ. In just over a year, Devon has completed 21 Tough Mudders, met hundreds of Mudder friends, slimmed down her weight and beefed up her confidence. Jokingly, Devon says she’s not shy about discussing “her inspirational journey from fatass to badass,” and ever since her first Tough Mudder, well, it was “mud at first sight.”

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Before reading on, take a few seconds to think of your greatest fear. Feel the vulnerability. Experience the mental, or even physical, tension within. Done? Now congratulate yourself—you're completely normal.

Here at TMHQ, we think fear gets a bad rap. This year, instead of being paralyzed by your fears, let them motivate you. So as you begin your journey standing up to the great bully that is that four-lettered F word, here are some helpful hints to keep in mind:

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