What do you get when you combine custom-built machines, an enthusiastic community, and a whole buncha’ mud?

A big mess of fun. (And maybe a little innovation?)

Image: A vehicle smashing through a pit of mud, a.k.a., mudding.

Source: lucaspapa // Pixabay

There’s something about a big patch of mud that makes you feel like a kid again. You take off your shoes, slip off those socks, and squish your feet into the slick, wet mess. Maybe it brings you back to mud pies and simpler times; when being covered in dirt was your goal and happy place. Or, maybe, you just like the way it feels.

But have you ever tried to drive your car through it?

Mudding is a popular motorsport throughout Canada and the United States that’s pushing both humans and their machines to the limit. Drawn by the challenge of getting your car, truck, bike, or ATV through the slippery mess, this community is continuously growing in popularity. And, with more and more vehicles being manipulated to perform better in these conditions, this sport is also becoming more creative.

This beautifully shot feature from JUMBO gives us a look into Mudfest; a yearly meetup in Wisconsin, U.S., where a rural field is flooded and hundreds of people come to play. Let’s take a look into this thriving, messy community and why they love it!

Via: JUMBO 1

So, would you ever want to go to Mudfest?

Although some of us try our best to fight it, we’re never too old or “mature” to play in some mud—play can be innovative. It can grow with us. These mudslingers seem to understand this. I mean, why not see how you can finagle your machine to make it through a giant puddle?

“I think everybody does it; they just do it in a different perspective of life. Some people play tennis. You swing twice as hard for the golf ball. Everybody has a hobby, and for some reason, we sure get a big crowd with people who like to play in mud.”

We have every permission to toy around with our machines and make them what we desire, then test them out and see what they can do! Nothing is set in stone. And really, the “mud” and the “machine” can be whatever you want it to be. Love bikes? Well, why not try to make them taller?

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How Tall Bikes Could Save the World!

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Play is hands down one of the most important attributes to our connective society.

Think about it; why is it so important for children, but then as we grow older, the support of our play decreases? Oddly enough, it seems that a lot of us choose, or have to, build routines around life’s stressors instead of finding ways to balance them with other activities. But what’s stimulating about that? How is that fostering new ideas? Where’s the innovation?

TED Radio Hour produced a wonderful episode all about the power that play has on us. You can listen to it all here.

We’ve actually featured one segment from the episode in the following article! Check it out.

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We’re all equal when our feet are covered in mud.

Stay open to new possibilities!

  • Sam

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” — Albert Einstein 

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  1. “Mudfest.” Vimeo. JUMBO, 21 Apr. 2018. Web. 23 July 2018. <https://vimeo.com/265915860>.

Sam has written and edited hundreds of articles since joining the EWC team in 2016. She writes about topics from the wonders of nature to the organizations changing the world and the simple joys in life! Outside of the EWC office, she’s a part-time printmaker, collector of knick-knacks, and taster of cheeses.