I was a spectator at the “Tough Mudder” today in Beaver Creek, Colorado. Labeled as “probably the toughest event on the planet”, Tough Mudder events are hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie. Additionally, these challenge events have raised more than $3 million for the Wounded Warrior Project.
Photo (used with permission) by Dmitry Gudkov
The Tough Mudder website says, “To get through mud, fire, ice-water, and 10,000 volts of electricity, you’ll need teammates to pick you up when your spirits dip. To get over 12 foot-walls and through underground mud tunnels, you’ll need teammates to give you a boost and a push. Tough Mudders are team players who make sure no one gets left behind.” In fact, they make all competitors sign this pledge that stresses teamwork, camaraderie, and helping their fellow Mudders over individual success. I couldn’t help but think how important this type of attitude is in promoting success in any endeavor. This is particularly true in the often isolated life of an artist.
I recently rented a studio in Reis Studios in Long Island City. The building is filled with floors of other artists’ studios, with each artist working independently on their own projects. However, once a year, LIC Arts Open Festival organizes a community wide event with over 200 open studios, paintings, sculptures, music, dance, theater, a charity audition and more. This collaboration of arts entities, businesses and individuals gather together to spotlight the diverse artistic community in LIC. Like the Tough Mudder, it is the teamwork and camaraderie of all these people who create a successful event that works together to benefit the whole.
What goals would you like to accomplish? How can you work together with other “teammates” to help you realize this goal while benefiting everyone in the group? I would love to hear your ideas.