Meet Tonya

“I am a fighter, and because God has given me my health and my life, I want to give back.”

A Mother, Powerlifter & Now, Mud Runner
After watching her mother, mother-in-law and aunt all fight breast cancer – Tonya realized that she was blessed with a healthy life that she needs to embrace and live to the fullest. Since then she has been powerlifting, mud running, racing for breast cancer and encouraging those around her to battle through life!

What 3 words would your friends use to describe you?

Determined. Compassionate. Full of energy/excitement.

What is the biggest obstacle you’ve overcome in your life?

Believe it or not – realizing that I have this life to live, and I need to live it to the fullest! I have a blessed life, I’m not sick or unhealthy and I’m done wasting time. I watched both my mother and my mother-in-law go through breast cancer and survive. My aunt is currently fighting breast cancer and it has been tough. I have gone from 195 lbs (at 5’6″) all fat, all the way to 114 lbs (skin and bones and unhealthy), to just the right weight now. I decided to live life – to take care of myself and challenge myself while encouraging those around me to FIGHT! I’ve done the Susan G. Komen race in St. Louis with my mom, my mother in law, and recently my aunt. I do ANYTHING I can to support them and bring them hope!

I am a fighter, and because God has given me my health, and my life I want to give back. I do everything I can to bring awareness to those struggling. I did The Battlegrounds in May and got two of my kids involved in the last mud run we did – The Crusher race. I have five kids, ages 19, 14, 10, 9 and 4 – I want to be a role model and live a healthy lifestyle for them. I’ve been Powerlifting for two years and I’ve done three United States Powerlifting Association meets. I’ve gotten first in my age/weight class all three times. I’ve SET three records, replaced three other records – and then replaced my own records! (A total of nine state Powerlifting records.) I’m 44 and never thought I’d be a powerlifter! I love it!!!

Anything I can do physically to push myself I’ll try and do! I’ve run 7k’s, and 10k’s – and my bucket list includes training and running a full and half marathon. Every Memorial Day weekend I do the Murph Challenge with friends and family, and EVERY Tuesday I’ve been doing the 20Tuesday deadlift challenge – both to raise awareness for Veteran suicides. Everyday 20 veterans commit suicide. Enough is enough, they need help, and they deserve respect.

What does life’s better when battled mean to you?

When things happen in your life for the worst – instead of curling up in a corner and giving up – you should stand up and face it head on and BATTLE IT!!! You never know how the outcome is gonna be, but you can at least say you’ve given it your all!

What’s your favorite Battlegrounds obstacle?

My favorite obstacle is the Gauntlet! It IS TOUGH!!!! It will school you, knock you down, beat you up and show you who’s boss! So many different things to conquer – it’s a true challenge!

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

This fall will be my second Battlegrounds, and my third mud run. I’ve been bitten by the Mud-Bug and I LOVE it!!

Races Conquered


Total # of
Races Conquered


My Battle Advice

Don't quit, don't give up!! Life is worth it! You NEVER know who you are inspiring! I want to thank my sister (my lifetime best friend) Stacy Atteberry for signing me up and encouraging me to run my first ever mud run at The Battlegrounds! We've done several types of races together and we're gonna do more!! We have both decided that a healthier lifestyle is MUCH MORE FUN!