By Pat Caldwell
VALE – Megan Williams never expected to be on television.
Urged on by her father, though, Williams decided to apply for CMT’s Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge, a reality show where contestants compete for a $10,000 payout.
“I had never even heard of the show until my dad called me up back in May and told me I needed to apply for this bad ass show,” Williams said in an email exchange.
The national television show pits eight people against each other to compete in physical challenges. Contestants are chosen with athletic backgrounds such as CrossFit or mixed martial arts.
The challenges vary each show but all occur in the desert heat of southern California. The last competitor standing faces one more challenge to get the $10,000.
Williams wasn’t sure she would get picked for the show but she was prepared.
A former four sport athlete – basketball, volleyball, track and cross country – at Vale High School, Williams said she didn’t train intensely ahead of the show.
“I had plans to train but I just never got around to it. So all I did to train was I ran up and down the sledding hill out on Range Road between Willowcreek and Bully Creek. I ran it a couple times a week,” said Williams.
Williams, 22, applied on the CMT web site. To her surprise she was chosen.
In August Williams flew to California and competed in three events – the Summit, the Peak and the Death Grip.
Two competitors square off in each event.
In Summit, the two competitors race up a steep hill, trying to knock each other out of the way, to reach the top and ring a bell.
Williams won all three events, qualifying her for the Skullbuster challenge.
Williams realized she probably wasn’t going to compete in the second event.
“I messed up my knee in the first round and didn’t say anything to anyone so I could finish the day. I had plans to do the Skullbuster the next day but my knee was too stiff and swollen for me to do it,” said Williams.
She abandoned her quest to win the competition the next day.
Mentally, Williams said the competition wasn’t that hard.
“I say that only because I absolutely did not expect to even make it past the first round because of how physically built these women were,” said Williams.
Williams said she adopted a “nothing to lose” philosophy.
“Every time I was competing I just did my best and thought, well, I’m probably not going to win this so I have nothing to be nervous about,” said Williams.
Physically, though, the first-round obstacles took a toll.
“Toward the end of the day when I was doing a challenge – carrying the logs – I realized my arms were worn out from the events before,” said Williams.
That was a shock, she said.
“I went to throw the first log up and I really couldn’t do it. I had to use my shoulder and lower body to just hoist it up,” said Williams.
Williams said the competition forced her to use “muscles I didn’t even know I had.”
“You don’t feel much while you’re competing because of all the adrenaline, so when you wake up the next morning, discovering countless bruises, you’re wondering when the heck you got those,” said Williams.
Williams said she has no regrets.
“Both the competitors and the filming crew were full of amazing people. All of the girls had great sportsmanship. The entire thing was an awesome experience,” said Williams.
The episode Williams competed aired Nov. 28 on CMT. Those interested can check out the episode on the CMT website.
Have a news tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected] or 541-473-3377.