On June 13th, with Northstar in the background in beautiful Tahoe, California, a group of Mohawk and Karastan employees gathered at the break of dawn to push themselves to their limits. Wearing blue shirts emblazoned with the motto: “Come Clean with Mohawk,” this diverse group of employees put their training to the test. They endured grueling obstacle courses: ice-cold “enema” baths, tear gas, mud pools, electrical shocks, and miles upon miles of uphill racing. When the group crossed over the finish line at Tahoe’s Tough Mudder, they felt exhilarated and exhausted, proud of themselves for completing one of the most challenging obstacle courses on the planet. As the group stood together for a victory picture, one Team Mohawk Member, Kassidy Callori, 33, from Rancho Marietta, California, beamed with a special joy. This is Kassidy’s third Tough Mudder—completed only 15 weeks after giving birth to her daughter
Since many women can barely fit into their non-maternity clothing three months after birth, let alone participate in a Tough Mudder competition, Kassidy earned the title of “Toughest Mama on the Planet!” We interviewed Kassidy to find out how she was able to conquer this latest Tough Mudder race, and what inspirational messages she has for people considering training for a Tough Mudder.
Q: How long have you worked for Mohawk?
A: This September will be five years with Mohawk and over a year with Karastan.
Q: What do you do for Karastan?
A: I’m a Karastan Territory manager, and my territory includes 65 accounts from Fresno up to Reno, and over Redding, California. It’s one of the biggest territories on the West Coast! My responsibilities include product knowledge presentations and overall assistance to help our retailers understand and sell our products.”
Q: When did you decide to compete in the Tahoe Tough Mudder?
A: Tahoe was my third Tough Mudder race! I was out on maternity leave when I heard that they were going to be doing the Tahoe Tough Mudder as a team and Mohawk would be sponsoring it. Michelle Cowger, a colleague at Mohawk, asked if I would do the Tough Mudder with her, and I decided it would give me a good incentive to get the baby weight off. It was a great goal! I had done the same Tough Mudder two years ago when my son was less than 5 months old, so I knew I could do it when my daughter was only 3 months old.
Q: How many people were in Team Mohawk?
A: There were 18 people as part of #TeamMohawk. There was a group from San Diego that we hadn’t met before, and a group of five that came up from Southern California. It was a very broad spectrum of participants, from hard surface representatives, to Karastan representatives, and even their spouses.
Q: When did you start training?
A: I decided to participate in the race when my daughter was 5 weeks old, and I started training when she was just 6 weeks old.
How long did you train?
A: 10 weeks total.
Q: What was your training regiment?
A: My experience with past Tough Mudders really came in handy training this time. Four days a week, I’d run 2–4 miles. Sometimes if I couldn’t run during the day and push the double stroller with the baby, then I would run at night. I did a lot of core work and a lot of push-ups, pull-ups, and additional core-focused exercises four days a week. I ended up doing a lot of squats with the baby in my arms, which added a good 10 pounds of extra weight!
Q: What did you think about this Tough Mudder?
A: This was the most fun Tough Mudder so far because the weather was perfect in Tahoe, and when you do a Tough Mudder in the cold it’s really miserable. This was a lot of fun, the weather was warm, there was a great group of people, and it was really fun to run as part of Team Mohawk.
Q: What were your favorite, and least favorite, Tough Mudder obstacles?
A: My favorite obstacle was called Dead Ringer, which you were only allowed to do if you were a veteran of Tough Mudder. It was really cool because my husband and little guy were both there to watch me swing across! My least favorite was called Cry Baby, which is a tear gas obstacle. You feel like you can’t see and your eyes are watering; a lot of people got out of that obstacle and said they really didn’t like it.
Q: That image of you feeding your daughter only minutes after completing the course is pretty amazing. How did you feel afterwards?
A: It felt so great to have both of my children, and my husband, there to watch me compete. They saw me finish the last of the obstacles and were so proud, and it was feeding time for my daughter, so it was just natural for me to pick her up and feed her. I know I was filthy but I just didn’t care; when it’s feeding time for the baby, she comes first!
Q: You’re a pretty inspirational Tough Mudder participant. What would you tell people thinking about doing a Tough Mudder?
A: You can do it! I love doing Tough Mudder because you see people of all ages, sizes, and handicaps, and they compete with a team where everyone helps each other. It’s about telling yourself you can do it, and going out and finishing it. It’s such a huge sense of accomplishment and very rewarding and very fun.
This year, Mohawk Flooring has partnered with Tough Mudder to promote our Tough Mudder Challenge. We put our new SmartStrand® Forever Clean carpet— the toughest, easiest to clean carpet on the planet™—to the test at several Tough Mudders across the country. Thousands of muddy feet trampled over our SmartStrand Forever Clean carpet, leaving behinds layers of caked on, sunbaked, mud, dirt, and grime, that was later cleaned to reveal the soft, beautiful carpet looking as good as new! For more information about our partnership with Tough Mudder, and the Tough Mudder Challenge, visit our website.
Curious about our Tough Mudder Challenge? Watch these two videos to see how we were able to clean our new SmartStrand Forever Clean carpet after a muddy Tough Mudder race!
Have you participated in a Tough Mudder competition? What do you think about Kassidy’s story? Let us know in the comments.