Chuluota’s Terry Lamb took on Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge and lived to talk about it
From the look on her face, it appeared the wind had been knocked out of her, or worse, she cracked some ribs. She barely made the jump from one flat-top totem pole to the next, and she was gasping for breath. But she had to find the strength to move on. There was ten grand riding on it.
Terry Lamb of Chuluota is one of a very select group of men and women who’ve had the opportunity to battle the Skullbuster obstacle course on the hit athletic reality TV show Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge. The course, which represents the grand finale of each episode, is a grueling series of outdoor physical challenges with a $10,000 cash prize waiting for anyone who can finish… and very few do.
Since Terry appeared on ex-pro wrestler Steve Austin’s show in May, she’s become a local celebrity, but don’t let her 5’3”, 118-pound frame fool you. She is one tough 24-year-old. Anyone who purposely enters a contest called the Broken Skull Challenge is a force to be reckoned with in anybody’s book.
Broken Skull Challenge invites eight elite athletes per episode to the Broken Skull Ranch on vacant land west of Hollywood – a replica of Steve’s real-life ranch in Texas. The eight contestants go head-to-head in four different battles until the last man or woman standing earns the right to take on the Skullbuster obstacle course and its intense test of endurance and might.
While Terry’s time on the ranch ended in a jumble of blood, sweat, and tears, it all started out innocently enough last year. Terry, an Oviedo native, was watching TV one night and stumbled upon the new show. Something about it was intriguing. She signed up to audition.
“I have never done anything competitive like that in my life,” says Terry, an optician by trade. “I go to the gym every day, but that’s just who I am. I am a very competitive person, and I always do my best to get it done, whether that’s work, school, everything.”
Months later, Terry got the call inviting her to compete. Before she knew it, Terry was wrestling another woman in a trench full of mud, racing with wet bags of sand (some weighing more than 60 pounds) and throwing them over a wall, and wrestling sumo style in an attempt to throw her competitor out of the ring. And that was just the precursor to the Skullbuster course.
“I had never wrestled or been in a fight before in my life,” Terry says. “But I did up my cardio workout and took a CrossFit class for a week before leaving. I felt in great shape.”
It paid off. In the end, Terry was the only contestant standing, and it was time for the Skullbuster, which involves eight feats of strength and stamina. There’s pole jumping, hill climbing with a 45-pound log, diving into an ice bath, and climbing a rope as the final challenge.
“By the end, my mouth was so dry, I was shaking,” says Terry. “But I got in the zone and was just trying not to die.”
Terry made it all the way to the final rope, but she was so exhausted, she couldn’t even begin the climb. The course had won.
“I was disappointed,” Terry says. “I wanted to win the money, but I still beat all the other contestants.”
As they say, things are not always the way they appear on television. Because of production issues, Terry’s episode that aired on May 2 was recorded last July. She had to keep the results a secret for 10 months. By the time the show aired on the CMT network, Terry was a year older and now married. She had moved on with her life, the excitement of Hollywood long gone. But when the commercials started running for her episode and it actually aired, it all came rushing back. Social media lit up. Terry was on TV and suddenly pretty famous.
“I would do it again,” she says. “If I could go back and change anything, I wouldn’t. You can’t really train for something like this, and I did finish. I have done nothing like that since, but my friends and family keep encouraging me to try other competitions. I’m thinking about John Cena’s American Grit.”
See you back on TV, Terry.
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