For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Broken Skull Challenge, here is a brief synopsis of the television show:
Professional wrestler Steve Austin hosts a television show on CMT called “The Broken Skull Challenge”. He invites eight elite athletes to his Broken Skull Ranch who then compete in head to head battles until only one is left standing. That competitor is then given the chance to win $10,000 if they are able to complete a series of physically demanding obstacles called the “Skull Buster”.
Will Doyle is a senior in the Sports Medicine and Fitness Technology (SMFT) program at the Lakeland KU campus. Along with being a student, Will is a Head Trainer at TBC 24 Fitness and works out six days a week. He received a once in a lifetime opportunity to participate in the Broken Skull challenge and did absolutely amazing! I was able to catch up with him and get his take on the experience:
First of all Will, congratulations on your success on the show! You really kicked butt out there! What made you decide to sign up for the show?
My mother actually. She was watching the show on CMT and texted me telling me to check it out. I watched an episode and at the end Steve Austin said if you think you have what it takes to compete, to apply at the website, so I did. One mother later, I received a phone call saying they were considering me for the show so I sent in pictures and videos of myself working out and had interviews via Skype with the producers. It took a while to hear back, so I thought they’d chosen other people, but they finally called and told me to hop on a plane to Texas. Out of the 10,000 people who applied, I was one of the 40 chosen for this season, so I felt pretty honored.
Can you give us a brief recap of your time spent at the Broken Skull Ranch?
Well, there were three challenges before the Skull Buster Challenge:
The first was “Rip Off” where two athletes have to wrestle each other to rip off an industrial sized Velcro strap that is attached to one of their ankles.
In the second challenge, I had to compete head to head with another contestant in a race up a 120 degree hill. Along the way there were 4 30lb bags attached to a 7 ft rope and buried 36 inches underground that we had to pull out and drag with us to the top.
The third challenge was called “Grip and Rip”. The last competitor and myself had to race to pull an extremely large tire across a lengthy stretch, and along the way add 3 weighted sandbags, bringing the total weight to 350lbs to be pulled across the finish line. After that was finished, we had to exhaustingly enter the pit and try to push the other guy out of the sandbag border.
Fortunately, I prevailed in all three challenges and was able to compete in the final Skull Buster Challenge. I completed 9/10 of the obstacles, but wasn’t able to finish the last one; the rope climb. I believe that the combination of complete and utter exhaustion and my lack of rope climbing skills were the reason I didn’t make it up the rope that day. Either way, I’m proud of my performance.
As you should be! That was an incredible display of athleticism. Do you think being in the SMFT program helped you at all in the challenges?
Absolutely. Before attending KU, I spent lots of time in the gym but since joining the SMFT program, I’ve actually started to push myself harder. Because I’m making a career out of being healthy and staying fit, it’s motivated me to stay focused and determined in the gym. Consequently, this aided me in all of the challenges at the Broken Skull Ranch.
What was the hardest challenge for you?
That darn rope – or rather the Skull Buster all together. As an athlete, it was the toughest workout I’ve ever experienced. Out of the three before the Skull Buster, I’d say the second challenge was the hardest for me. Running up that hill with the added weight completely gassed out my legs to the point where I couldn’t even walk. I had to take several minutes to compose myself before I was able to be back on camera.
How did you manage to make it as far as you did?
A lot of heart, and faith. I prayed throughout my whole time there; for strength and to show appreciation for this amazing opportunity. I really felt as though my family members were shining down on me, blessing me, and pushing me to move forward. Because of this, I was able to stay relaxed and confidence in all of the challenges I faced.
What did you learn from this experience?
I learned that nothing is impossible. With hard work and determination, you can achieve anything you set your mind to. I also learned to not judge a book by its cover and to be confident in your abilities. When I met the other contestants, I initially thought that there was no way I could compete with them. They were a tough bunch of men, but I had to keep reassuring myself that I had what it takes to beat them. I definitely gained a lot of confidence throughout this experience, and that is something I can carry on with me for the rest of my life.
Thank you Will, for allowing me to interview you and congratulations again on your impeccable accomplishments. You made KU proud!
As always students, if you want to share something on ELSE, or have any questions or comments, feel free to email me. I would LOVE to hear from you!
Your fellow KU student,