Meet Arielle, a remarkable person who, just a few years ago, found herself navigating life from a wheelchair. Fast forward to today, and Arielle has not only reclaimed her mobility but has achieved an extraordinary milestone—completing five Tough Mudder events entirely on her own.
Join us as we delve into Arielle’s awe-inspiring journey.
What brought you to Tough Mudder?
I did my first Tough Mudder back in 2013. I was inspired by friends who had already done a few. I had not long had my Ehlers Danlos syndrome diagnosis. So, it was a struggle, but I do like to push myself. I wanted to prove to myself that even though I had a label for my wobbly joints, it wasn’t going to stop me.
I wanted to return and do more, but I started to decline with my health. And by 2019 I was in and out of a wheelchair through constant joint dislocations and pain. Around then I started having several seizures a day and going through times when I’d lose my sight. I was diagnosed with functional neurological disorder.
Back in 2021 I sadly lost one of my best friends to cancer. I was absolutely terrified of my body which wasn’t doing great and scared of my grief. I hit the gym as soon as they reopened after lock down. It was slow going but I was determined to reclaim my body. Later that year, on what would have been my friend’s birthday, I competed in a regional bodybuilding show as a disabled athlete and won. I also gained a qualification to nationals two weeks later which I also won. Competing gave me purpose and focus but I didn’t want to constantly compete. It was good to push myself, but the extreme nature wasn’t great, and I began to feel lost again.
Two years later during my gym journey, I have gotten stronger and learned to work with my body not against her. I got strong enough to put my wheelchair into storage. I also found therapy to help with my seizures. Currently I have been dislocation and seizure free for over a year. So being healthier I decided to take on Tough Mudder once again to raise money for our youth community group.
This year I got my annual pass and signed up to every Tough Mudder I could get to. I got my myself to 5 this year. The hardest thing was getting there alone and having the confidence to just turn up. Sometimes when I have been at some of the high challenges, I got really scared with having no team and trusting my joints. But TM mentality, the volunteers and other Mudders had my back encouraging me up and being there with a high five. Other legionnaires started to remember me and ask how I was getting on and how the fundraisers was going. The people I met on course have inspired me so much.
In 2019 I struggled to walk to the school and this year I managed a total of 92KM in OCRs. My goal was 100km so I just a little short.
Next year I hope to do 150KM in Tough Mudders to raise money for our youth community groups.
My 2024 goal is to get my 10+ and 20+ headbands.
JOIN THE MUDDER LEGION
Feeling the surge of inspiration? Now it’s your turn to step up, join the mighty Mudder Legion, and claim your own collection of headbands.
By embarking on this epic adventure, you’ll not only earn cool perks but also become an integral part of our vibrant Mudder community.
So, gear up, embrace the challenge, and let the camaraderie of fellow mudders propel you forward.