POWAY, Calif.-- On Saturday, Tiffany Aab will take on the Worlds Toughest Mudder, a 24-hour obstacle course challenge in Las Vegas. But for the 40-year-old, this challenge transcends the race.
"When I accomplish an obstacle and do something it becomes that strength; a little big of my character or my spunk coming back," said Aab. "It's a great feeling. Overwhelming every time you cross the finish line."
Tiffany says Saturday will be emotional. Not only will she shave her head for the St. Baldricks Foundation, but the day marks one year of being breast cancer free, and marks Tiffany taking her life back after 5 years of domestic violence.
"I learned the makeup that works to cover bruises," said Aab. "I learned what to say and what not to say so people wouldn't ask too many questions. I learned to hide it from my family. It wasn't a way to live. When I see a hill or an obstacle I just say I can do this. If I can do something that the best athletes in the world are dropping out of and if I can do it I can do anything . Nothing can stop me."
The Poway resident says it's difficult to open up about her story. But then when she steps on the course she meets other individuals, all with stories of their own, and realizes she's not alone.
"The world is bigger than just my problems," said Aab. "I'm a little person in this world. We all have issues. We have things we aren't proud of. This community just brought so many people together."
Aab entered her first ToughMudder competition in April, and says since then she entered and completed 9 obstacle course challenges. While training and competing, Aab said she lost 60 pounds and gained a sense of hope that her future looks bright. Most importantly, she feels she became the strong mom her son deserved.
"It's good for him to see me in a positive light because for years I didn't think he was seeing me at my best," said Aab. "Having him see me strong instead of weak and having him tell me hes proud of me means a lot to me. "