“The whole point of Tough Guy is to push people beyond their endurance barrier so that their survival instincts kick in,” says Mr Mouse.
“People who have done Tough Guy write to me afterwards and say ‘I really did meet God.’ There’s a new revelation to your mind that tells you ‘wow, I’ve done something that I never thought I would do. All the grot and materialism doesn’t matter. What matters is life and happiness.
“The camaraderie is the most magical thing. When you see someone stop their own run to turn around and help someone else… its beautiful. We give prizes for teams who stay together the whole way round.
He didn’t seem disturbed by the fact that I’d been driven to tears – twice.
“Isn’t it delightful to push your body to extremes?” he enthused. “You have to have the mind power to push beyond that limit of what’s normal again and again. That’s a good description of what TG is. Make yourself cry. Make yourself weep.
“You get hit by so many obstacles, one after the other – your mind blows, you start to live with it, enjoy it, your previous fear of heights is overcome because you are in a crowd…”
He’s right. Since Tough Guy I’m less of a wimp, less floored by the cold, and have overcome a 20 year terror of rollercoasters (much to my son’s delight).
Mr Mouse is already planning his ultimate dream obstacle – a 60m high statue of Jesus for competitors to scramble up then zipwire off into a lake.
“There are more obstacles and horror stories in my mind so look forward to more,” he promises.
Lifelong runner Mr Mouse enjoys a daily run – and ‘mud dance’ in the Tough Guy grounds. “You bend down, pick up your mud, then slap your stomach and rub it in your face,” he says. “It’s the fountain of youth. That’s why people who do Tough Guy look so young. There’s magic here… absolute magic.”