MuckFest® MS Chicago is next weekend, so Puck had us put together a list of his favorite places to play in the Windy City when he’s taking a break from rolling around in the mud!
Let yourself be a tourist for the day and check out Chicago’s coolest landmark.
Head over to Millennium Park to take in the sights and sounds of the Windy City. Don’t forget to see Chicago’s most iconic piece of art; Cloud Gate, also known as The Bean. Taking a photo at The Bean is a cool way to see the Chicago skyline as it reflects off the mirrored surface of the sculpture. Puck tells us the best view of the city is from the top, but with The Bean sitting 12 feet tall we might need to grow some wings to verify his opinion.
Enjoy a hot meal after a long day in the mud at any pizza joint in town.
If Chicago is known for anything, it’s the deep dish pizza. Whether you decide to eat your pie at Lou Malnati’s, Giordano’s, or Gino’s East, one thing is certain, you’ll have enough cheese and sauce to satisfy any pizza craving. And if you’re anything like Puck, your order will be inspired by MuckFest MS with fresh muckshrooms and extra muckzzarella.
Make sure you don’t touch anything with your muddy hands at any of Chicago’s world famous museums.
Not only does Chicago have world class pizza, but you can also find a handful of world-class museums along Lake Michigan. Whether you’re into art, history, or animals, Chicago has got you covered! For a relaxing day after MuckFest MS, Puck likes to stroll through the Art Institute of Chicago, The Field Museum, and the Shedd Aquarium. He recommends you do the same, but just make sure you take a bath first. The museums aren’t a fan of his muddy wing prints on the glass.
Thought you saw some nutty stuff at MuckFest MS? Check out Second City!
Known for being the starting ground for some of the greatest comedians around, Second City is the perfect place to continue laughing after MuckFest MS. Catch a show or even take a comedy class on the same stage that the likes of Bill Murray, Tina Fey, and Steve Carell have all graced. And if you hear any “quacks” in the midst of all the laughs, you’ll know Puck is somewhere enjoying himself.
Check out the view from the Skydeck that may be even better than the top of Crash Landing.
Open 365 days a year, this 1,353-foot-tall building lets you venture out onto a glass ledge from the 103rd floor. Known as the Willis Tower and the tallest building in the western hemisphere, the Skydeck let’s those brave enough step out onto the glass and take in an aerial view of the Windy City. Now you’ll officially be able to say that you’ve seen Chicago from Puck’s perspective!
There’s nothing Puck likes more than a good song. Well… maybe when that song is all about him! Check out this Puck serenade by Muckers Liv and Jake.
After validation comes empowerment. When you’ve been clear with yourself about your challenges, and more importantly your gifts, it’s time to do something with those gifts.
I once read that there is a theory of businesses management called “Empowerment.” It states that if employees are given access to ample information, resources and given some authority, they become more productive and have more opportunities for success. While I do not suggest running your life like a business, I do like applying this concept in my own life. Finding the tools to help you succeed are key as you can’t do anything alone. I have loved spending the last couple weeks with Puck. Not only has he reminded me to stop and smell the flowers, he has been pushing me to show the world what I can do. With his constant cheering in my ear, I have taken advantage of all the resources and information that are at my disposal. And I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that the moment I opened myself up, amazing opportunities for success came my way.
8:30 AM- Puck and I take the dogs outside to play. The spring time sunshine and fresh air is a great way to start the day.
9:45 AM- What better example of national and individual empowerment than voting? After months of nightly binges of election coverage, Puck and I feel very empowered getting out to vote. Just before he slipped it in the voting machine, I could see Puck had scribbled the phrase, “Stop calling it a Lame Duck session” on his ballot.
12:00 PM- Puck and I are so excited that spring is finally here. Just like a solar panel we are gaining energy from the sun. The warmth and sunshine gives us an opportunity to go outside and do a little gardening and a bit of handiwork/wingwork.
3:00 PM- I don’t see how this day could get any better. I received a letter in the mail saying that I have been awarded a scholarship from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society so that I can continue to pursue my Master’s. Sometimes I’m scared that MS will limit my options in life, so it’s great to know that whenever I feel scared, that the NMSS has my back. This is why I run MuckFest® MS. I am so thankful to all the people who work for, volunteer and donate to the society. Their support has empowered me to live my best life, and to be able to make my life’s actions count for others with MS as well. When you give to the National MS Society, your donation has positive ripple effect that can touch the entire MS community. I run MuckFest MS not just because it’s an awesome excuse to have some fun, but because I know in my heart that it’s important. I’ve often said how difficult MS can be but, it’s so much easier knowing that the National MS Society wants to help empower me… and you.
7:00 PM- Having a special celebratory dinner tonight with Puck and friends, so naturally it’s sushi. While normally I would head to our regular place and pick up a couple of rolls, we decided to challenge ourselves and make it by hand. While it may not have been the most beautiful sushi in the world, (In Puck’s defense, it’s hard to roll when you have wings.) it certainly was delicious. Puck helped himself to more than a couple of bites.
10:00 PM- We all know sleep is important and since I am training, I’ve tried to get back on a better sleep schedule, so I’m heading to bed. The ripple effect continues as I drift off to sleep, the joy of the today’s empowerment is making me excited about the potential empowerment that tomorrow holds.
Empowerment is not just about showing the world what you can do, it’s also about asking the world for help. When you surround yourself with information and resources suddenly opportunities start opening up to you. Validation is mostly internal, it needs to come from deep inside yourself, but empowerment is when what’s inside of you comes out and is strengthened by what’s around it. I can think of no greater way to strengthen what’s inside of me then MuckFest MS. While the feeling of crossing the finish line is certainly wonderful, the most empowering thing about MuckFest MS is that you are instantly surrounded by a supportive group of friends. At each MuckFest MS, a community is built, one that works hard not to just recognize and validate each person with MS, but works tirelessly to give them the opportunity to prove to the world and to themselves how powerful they truly are. Puck is a wonderful symbol of empowerment, he stands for not just the silly fun you will have running in the mud, he represents all the people who work for support or are in any way a part of the National MS Society. Just like Puck, they want to help you to live your best life.
-Love Liv and Puck
We love featuring super star Muckers on our blog and this one is no different! Today we’re featuring a mucker who has a long list of ways she helps bring an end to MS. Paige Even is a recent high school graduate on her way to the University of St. Thomas this fall. She’s currently an invaluable member of the MuckFest® MS Council for the Upper Midwest Chapter. In her position, she helps work MS events, runs the Chapter’s social media accounts, and is the youngest chairperson they have ever had. With all of this under her belt, it’s no wonder Paige and her team, Momma’s Little Muckers, come out to MuckFest MS Twin Cities in full force.
MuckFest MS: Wow! You’ve really played an incredible role in supporting the Upper Midwest Chapter and MuckFest MS. Tell us a little bit about how you got involved with the National MS Society.
Paige: I did MuckFest MS Twin Cities for the first time last year. It was right around my birthday and I wanted to do it with a big group of friends and family so we could have fun together and raise money for MS. After the event, the Upper Midwest Chapter emailed me to say thank you for being a top fundraiser and asked if I would like to attend a board meeting.
MuckFest MS: So, after that you became more involved with the Chapter?
Paige: Yeah! I was the youngest person in the room and eventually they put me in charge of their social media accounts which is really fun. I’m now a chairperson on the committee.
MuckFest MS: What’s the best part about being on the board?
Paige: I really enjoy the people I work with. We work well as a team and it is invigorating to see that you are making an impact on people’s lives.
MuckFest MS: What do you like most about managing the social media accounts?
Paige: The best part about being the Social Media and Networking Administrator is creating a community through the internet, too. I am able to connect with people that I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.
MuckFest MS: What got you so involved in the first place?
Paige: My mom was diagnosed with MS in 2014. It’s been hard to watch, but the three of us (mom, dad, and I) are each other’s support system. I had to stop moping and get up and do something to change it. Being a part of the MS Society has really brought us closer together.
MuckFest MS: How has getting involved with the MS Society made an impact on your life?
Paige: It has given me a sense of community. Before getting involved I felt very alone, like my family was the only one going through this. But now I know that there are many people going through it. Being part of a community where others know exactly what you are going through is one of the greatest things you can experience.
MuckFest MS: What are the different roles you’ve played as a volunteer with the Chapter?
Paige: While working with the Chapter, I have done most of my volunteer work through the MuckFest MS Council. Through the council I have held the position of Social Media and Networking Administrator and now I am Chairperson of the MuckFest MS Council. My team and I have had an amazing time planning this year’s MuckFest MS. It is going to be muddier and muckier than ever before and I am so lucky to have been a part of it.
MuckFest MS: We know your mom lives with MS… does she participate in MuckFest MS with you?
Paige: My mother did not participate last year at our first MuckFest MS but she is participating this year and she is VERY excited about it.
MuckFest MS: What was it like last year to have her watch you cross the finish line?
Paige: When my team and I crossed the finish line last year it was one of the most amazing feelings! We all made it and had a fantastic time doing so. I made sure to give my mom a giant muddy and mucky hug. I am very excited that she will be a part of it this year.
MuckFest MS: What has been one of your favorite moments from MuckFest MS?
Paige: One of the best moments is half way through the course when you are dripping with mud and you are sweaty and almost contemplating why you choose to do this, then you look over at the signs along the course that say things like “This is Why You Muck” and then you look at all your teammates next to you and realize that you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else, doing anything else, with anyone else. That is my favorite moment.
MuckFest MS: Describe MuckFest MS in three words.
Paige: Amazingly fantastic time
MuckFest MS: Favorite obstacle?
Paige: The Slither, it is the one with the most mud, and I think the more mud the better.
MuckFest MS: What would you say to someone who has never done MuckFest MS before?
Paige: DO IT! If you are contemplating whether or not to participate, throw reservations aside and DO IT! You will not regret it.
MuckFest MS: Finish this sentence. “When I get into my #MudZone, I….”
Paige: …make sure to get everyone around me as muddy as possible!
MuckFest MS: You’re headed off to college in the fall. Will you stay involved with the Chapter once you start this new journey?
Paige: I hope to be involved while in college; I would love to take on a larger role if that is possible.
MuckFest MS: We hope so! Congratulations on such a big accomplishment and for all you do for the National MS Society. One last question, what will you be majoring in at your university?
Paige: I have been trying to decide that! The ultimate goal is to start my own nonprofit focusing on women’s rights around the world and approaching situations of oppression in different cultures. I want to do this in a way that is respectful to their culture and cultural practices. I was inspired to pursue this after reading the book “Half the Sky” in English my senior year of high school.
If you couldn’t tell, Paige is a super star Mucker and we had a great time playing in the mud with her in Twin Cities!
From Paige: The Muckfest Twin Cities, was a fantastic time! It had rained for two days leading up to the event, so the course was even muddier than expected! My team and I had an amazing time, and my mother was excited (and scared) to be taking part in the run this year. She kicked some major butt and took on the course like a champ! I couldn’t have asked for a better experience working on the Muckfest Council, and it was so exciting to see all our hard work pay off. Momma’s Little Muckers will be back for Round 3 next year, and I can’t wait! Muck on!
With all of the gold, silver, and bronze excitement happening down in Rio, we wanted to take a moment to feature our special medal and to congratulate the MuckFest MS heroes who are awarded this special recognition at the event.
When you fundraise $100 at MuckFest MS, you receive a medal recognizing your commitment to ending MS forever.
Because of you, there are more therapies specifically approved for treating and managing multiple sclerosis.
Because of you, there are more potential multiple sclerosis therapies in development right now than at any other time in history.
Because of you, multiple sclerosis is more quickly diagnosed, which enables early and sustained therapy to slow disease activity. Did you notice someone wearing a teal bandana at MuckFest MS? Many of our Muckers are living with MS, and they wear teal I MUCK IT WITH MS bandanas.
Because of you, there is greater awareness of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis and ways to address them to improve quality of life.
Because of you, scientists are making breakthroughs in identifying risk factors that increase a person’s susceptibility to multiple sclerosis, which will help lead to ways to prevent the disease.
Because of you, we will end MS forever.
While we sometimes get docked in event reviews and surveys because all of our finishers don’t receive a medal, we’re proud to showcase this elite group making strides against multiple sclerosis through their fundraising.
The MuckFest MS Staff
MuckFest® MS Twin Cities is next weekend, so we had Puck put together a list of his favorite places to play when he’s not flapping around in the mud and muck in the Twin Cities, where he gets to have double the fun!
Let yourself be a tourist for the day and witness different kinds of dirty animals at the Como Park Zoo.
After a Saturday of people watching you play in the mud, it seems fitting to venture over to the local zoo to catch less muddy, more adorable animals. And while these animals might not be tossing mud at you (we hope!), you’ll be able to relax with your team and have a great time seeing some of Puck’s favorite friends. Hey, you may even spot Puck hanging around in the exhibits.
Have you ever wanted to walk in the shoes of the President of the United States? Check out this famous local burger joint.
Matt’s Bar is most famous for inventing the “Jucy Lucy.” Two juicy hamburgers with molten hot cheese in between the two patties. The award winning burger has been praised by many, including Barack Obama himself. And even local celebrities, like Puck, will endure the long wait to indulge in this meat and cheese delicacy.
Thought you saw some nutty stuff at MuckFest MS? Check out some of the most unusual works of art at the House of Balls.
Artist Allen Christian created the House of Balls to display the curiosities and unique works of art he makes using any and all found materials. Puck thinks this free museum is a must see for all Muckers and their family and friends. But don’t worry, Puck thinks the House of Balls is incredible, but Big Balls will always be Puck’s favorite place to hang out.
After visiting the House of Balls, cross the street and catch a show at the brand new US Bank Stadium!
And not just any show… the second ever performance to grace the brand new stage at the US Bank Stadium will be none other than legends Metallica. So grab your MuckFest MS t-shirt, cut the sleeves off, and head bang the night away! You can guarantee Puck will be heading there after getting mucky on 8/20, complete with a featherhawk.
Not tired of being outside yet? Then explore one of the many parks in the Twin Cities area.
The Twin Cities area has been acclaimed for having one of the best park systems in the country and it shows. With over 5,000 acres of parks across the Minneapolis and St. Paul area you have plenty of opportunities to enjoy muck-free nature. Keep an eye out for Puck though. He likes to spend most of his free time outside scouting out new places he can turn dirt into muck.
At MuckFest® MS, there are so many reasons why our Muckers sign up to do the event. Today, take a journey with us through each obstacle at the MuckFest MS course and learn why these Muckers are doing the event. Then, watch the person we interviewed tackle the obstacle with their team. It’s our most personal journey through the course yet.
“I LOVE mud runs. I’ve done many OCRs with Colorado Obstacle Racers, but this is my first MuckFest MS!” –Zach
“We love mud runs, and we’re doing MuckFest MS for fun!” –Kevin
“I’m doing MuckFest MS because my mom and friend are living with MS.” –Jamie
“Our team does MuckFest MS because we love Tib, who has MS!” –Mayhem Muckers Team
“We love getting muddy!” –Jake, Bre, and John
“We’re doing MuckFest MS because our grandma and aunt have MS. It’s awesome to be able to do it for them, and it’s so fun!” –Brothers John and Jacob
“We’re doing the event to run as a family. We run for those who can’t run themselves.” –Josh, Chelsea, and Payton
“We’re doing it
3 words: Fun. Family. MUD!” –Herman, Susan, and Kate
Spider Web (Under)
“I’m doing it for ME. I was just diagnosed not too long ago, and this is my first National MS Society event!” –Amy
Tunnel of Love
“I’m a pastor at a local church, and there are people in our church who are living with MS. I do this for them!” –David
Spider Web (Over)
“Our Team Captain, Tiffany, has MS. We’re supporting her and supporting the mission!” –Mark, Team Tingly Toes
“We’re doing it for Cindy. This is our first time, and it is SO FUN!” –Coby
“We’re mucking for our friend, Brooke, who has MS.” –Kyle & Colin
The AbbVie Spinner
“This is our second time! We’re all neighbors. So fun!” –Eric, Amanda, Hanna, and Chris
“We did it as part of our gym! We wanted to do something together.” –Denise and Darryl
Skid Mark and Belly Crawl
“I Muck to raise money for MS and to play in the mud like a kid. We’re a big team of coworkers!” –Vincent
Finish Line Bell
“Our team of 15
because my sister Corrie has MS.” –Missy
MuckFestival, Refreshed by Traveler Beer
“Cheers! I do this for my dad who has MS.” –Katherine