Gardner's episode airs Tuesday, Dec. 12, at 10 p.m. on CMT.
Jennette Gardner hates running. So when her sister-in-law came to her with the opportunity to run a race in 2012, she was a little hesitant.
Then she found out it was an obstacle course race.
“I found out you could jump off of stuff and climb over things and win money,” Gardner said. “I was like, ‘OK, cool. Sign me up.’”
After that race, she was hooked.
Now, the 5-foot-3, 122-pound 32-year-old has competed in multiple races all across the state, including the Spartan Race and the BattleFrog. If she wasn’t winning, she came in the top three in every race she entered, Gardner said.
“I just realized that I was pretty fast and thought, 'why not keep doing it?'” she said. “The one thing about obstacle courses is that they really expose your weaknesses. It really shows you what you’re strong at and what you really need to work on. In order for me to want to win and continue to compete, I decided to step up my game.”
To train, Gardner built an obstacle course of homemade equipment — complete with body weight drills, tires, an 8-foot and 4-foot wall, a 13-foot climbing rope, rings and hoops — in her backyard where she works out individually and hosts boot camp three times a week.
This is in addition to her duties as a stay-at-home mom.
“It’s definitely a balancing act,” said Gardner, who homeschools her 7-year-old and 9-year-old. “I like to squash the typical stay-at-home mom mentality some people might have. Yes, the family is important, but health and fitness are important, too, so I try to balance that with them to show them that just sitting in front of the TV is not OK. Let’s get outside and go do things and be active.”
This year, her competitive streak led her to compete in the Broken Skull Challenge, a series of physical challenges hosted by professional wrestler “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Even though Gardner was knocked out of the competition in the one-on-one combat round, she said the experience was unforgettable.
Her episode in the challenge premieres Tuesday, Dec. 12, at 10 p.m. on CMT.
“My biggest fear was obviously the one-on-one combat,” Gardner said. “I don’t wrestle people. It’s not in my nature. … [But] I learned that I’m a lot stronger than you think. It takes a lot out of you, so to be able to go there and do as well as I did, I was proud of how far I did make it.”
But of all the obstacles Gardner has faced, none of them compare to the challenge of being a mom.
“Being a mom is way harder than an obstacle course, for sure,” she said. “Being a mom is a nonstop, 24 hour, 7 days a week, 365 days a year job, and it’s truly amazing and tiring all at the same time.”