Remember him? He used to smack the shit out of people with a giant Q-tip on American Gladiators. These days, he lends his likeness to Gladiator Rock ‘n’ Run mud races. Three years ago, I ran one. Well, half of one.
My hand slipped on the monkey bars and I caught my foot on the side of a poorly dug mud pit. Broke my ankle in three places. It was gross (WARNING - it's still gross).
Up until then, I had been a dedicated Crossfitter and kickboxer. Great way to deal with the stress of a PR account job. Endorphins are a powerful drug. Sure I wasn’t doing what I wanted, but no one does, right? I couldn’t feel the dissatisfaction on a soul-crushing level.
100 to zero in an instant. Two surgeries, five screws and a plate that still clicks when I rotate my ankle. Six months to heal and six months of rehab. No outlet.
I quit a week before my 30th birthday and signed up at The Creative Circus. Today I’m rounder, but I’ve found something I’m talented at and love. Sunday nights are no longer reserved for dreading the coming week. Though I've never worked harder, I've never been happier.
I still pass my old office on the way to school. Driving by, I can't help but think if I had only fallen a few inches to the left, I may still be up there. Or if I hadn't signed up for that particular race. Or if Dan "Nitro" Clark hadn't gained B-list celebrity status on American Gladiators and years later leveraged his nostalgic appeal to cash in on the burgeoning mud race market of the late '00s and early '10s.
But he did. And I did. And here we are. Thanks, Nitro.