No it isn’t just a clickbait headline, although we can understand why you might think that. Matt’s story is the kind that makes your mouth drop open and the words, “Surely not?” roll off your tongue. But it’s true, in 2018 Matt ran a Tough Mudder course with a hole in his head. It was the result of an operation to remove a brain tumour and somehow neither the tumour itself, the operation, or the hole stopped Matt from crushing his goal.
Here’s the full story, told in Matt’s own words. Prepare to feel motivated, inspired and pretty proud to be a part of Mudder Nation with this guy.
Matt vs Brain Tumour
“Back in 2010 a pesky brain tumour was missed during a CT scan. It wasn’t discovered until 2018.
In 2016 and 2017 I completed my first and second Tough Mudder events. Thanks to that misdiagnosis in 2010, this means I completed my first and second Tough Mudder events and earned my orange and green headbands with a brain tumour. In 2018 I had brain surgery to remove the pesky little hitchhiker (which you’re very much awake for by the way!) I told a nurse sat next to me during the surgery that I’d be completing two Tough Mudder’s in a few months. She giggled and reminded me that I won’t be doing anything like that at all for at least a year.
Spoiler alert – much to the annoyance of my friends, family and consultant, I nailed my blue and yellow headbands 3 months after the brain surgery! Within a year of the surgery, I was told I had a hole in my head, leading to my brain. It was caused by an infection from the brain surgery – meaning the weekend I’d earned my blue & yellow headbands (for my fourth and fifth Tough Mudder events), I did so with a hole in my head. And this was confirmed by my surgeon.
Not long after I nailed my 5th Tough Mudder (dressed as a pink gorilla) I was told that my pesky hitchhiker missed me so much, it had started to regrow, meaning I’d completed a third Tough Mudder with a brain tumour hitching a ride all the way.
We all have a story to go with our headbands. When I see my headbands, it’s one of the rare times I actually get to feel proud.”
Matt Vs Tough Mudder Challenge
Despite all of this, along with a global pandemic, Matt has continued to be an active member of Mudder Nation. He even took on the first ever Tough Mudder Challenge, a 21 day fitness experience which involved running, reps and dunking into an ice bath (among many, many other things). He’s shown that nothing can stop him from doing what he wants, if he puts his mind to it and during times like these, it’s a mentality that many of us could learn from.
If Matt’s story has got you thinking about your next goal, then look no further. Tough Mudder Challenges runs every month and can be completed in your own home or neighbourhood. Or, if you’re looking for something to look forward to in 2021, our events all across the UK are on-sale now.