LUBBOCK, Texas – Tommy Fergerson, a 61-year-old man from Lubbock competed in the World’s Toughest Mudder competition in Granbury, Texas on November 4.
Fergerson said the competition is a 24-hour race with about 15-20 obstacle courses, spread throughout five-mile intervals. Fergerson stayed up for 24 hours competing in the World’s Toughest Mudder and ran about 40 miles in total.
Fergerson was in a skydiving accident in 2011 that left him with an injury to his left arm where his arm was essentially hanging off of him, leaving it completely unusable.
Originally born in Lubbock, Fergerson moved away at 17 when he joined the Air Force. He said he was stationed in Abilene and spent six years in the service.
With his training in the Air Force, Fergerson said staying up for 24 hours wasn’t an issue for him.
Fergerson said he “enjoys competitions where you can push yourself to see what you can do.”
With being a little short-handed, Fergerson had to take penalties for the obstacles he wasn’t able to complete at the competition. Fergerson said some penalties were as long as a half-mile long.
Fergerson attributes his ability to stay positive despite his accident to his faith in God. Just eight weeks after his accident, he was back skydiving again.
Fergerson told himself, “okay I can’t use this arm, I am going to have to learn to skydive with one arm.” He added, “I wasn’t scared, I wanted to get back up skydiving.”
With 1,057 skydives under his belt, Fergerson continues skydiving today. Through his experiences, Fergerson created a non-profit, Clasp Life.
Clasp Life provides a network of resources for those who have experienced accidents similar to Fergerson’s, veterans and even those who struggle with depression.
The non-profit “helps people keep their independence,” Fergerson said. “We help those find hope and value in their lives, changing their quality of life.”
“If you ever want to feel good about yourself help someone else,” Fergerson said. “I don’t want anyone to struggle like I did.”
Fergerson has helped people make their lives a little more normal despite various accidents and obstacles they have faced.
“Don’t let an accident define you, it’s what happens after that defines you.”
At the World’s Toughest Mudder, Fergerson received the Sourcery Award. He said he was not sure what it means, but he enjoyed his time regardless of the award.