Tuesday, 12 September 2017

It Takes A Tribe by Will Dean - Book Review


In August, I completed my first Tough Mudder Half event. I have completed a few of their, now retired, Mudderella events, but the actual Tough Mudder Half was a whole other ball game. The course was a whole ton harder and a whole lot more fun because of it.

I was on such a high after the event that once I found out CEO and founder Will Dean had a book coming out about the origins of Tough Mudder, I knew I had to get my hands on a copy.

It Takes a Tribe is as much about the history, path, and growth of Tough Mudder as it is about resilience. About leadership. About dealing with your crap and moving on to what's next.

I love Tough Mudder, so I really enjoyed reading about how Tough Mudder came to be and the journey the company has been on. I especially loved learning the process for creating and testing new obstacles. The list of "crazy obstacle ideas" that they've passed on was fascinating, and I immediately shared them with my Tough Mudder team. We were all grateful those particular ideas didn't make it through the planning phases :)

Dean also talks about being an entrepreneur and the lessons he's learned starting his own business. He's open about his failures and discusses not only how he started his own company, but also how he was able to set the scene for the birth of a tribal culture among the 3 million Tough Mudder participants. Every person who completes a Tough Mudder event becomes part of "Muddernation". Many Tough Mudder obstacles are designed so that they must be completed with a team. Even for the strongest athlete, it would be impossible to complete 100% of Tough Mudder alone. One of the participants is quoted in the book saying, "there is that human touch point. You don't get held up that much in life, but it's an important thing."

Between each chapter are inspirational stories of individuals and teams who have run Tough Mudder for very special reasons. People who have overcome the worst parts of life: cancer, child loss, blindness, and more waking up and saying "I'm going to do something hard today." It is impossible not to be moved by their stories.

I found It Takes a Tribe to be very encouraging and many sentences of my copy are underlined. It's a quick read, and if you are a Tough Mudder fan, a young entrepreneur, or just interested reading more about the importance of persistence, I recommend you pick up a copy of this book. Mainly, Dean wants you to remember that the obstacle is the point. Whether on a Tough Mudder course or somewhere else in your life, the hurdle in front of you is not "not supposed to happen." You will find your way through, and you will come out stronger on the other side.

And to illustrate the point, Tough Mudder snapped this amazing shot of me slaying the Berlin Walls.
"No matter what place you come in ... 
no one is better than your best, and your best will make you better." 
- Sean Corvelle, Tough Mudder MC

It Takes a Tribe is out today. You can connect with Will Dean on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. To just check out more about Tough Mudder in general and find events near you, you can visit their website.

xo
Jenn

Disclaimer - I received an advance copy of It Takes a Tribe courtesy of Penguin Random House Canada. All thoughts and opinions are genuine and entirely my own. 

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