Would you pay for pain?
A car accident at age 16 left Michael Mills (left) paralyzed from the waist down. But he joined dozens of other men and women from all walks of life for the Go Ruck Challenge in Atlanta in late May.
June 7th, 2013
05:00 PM ET

Would you pay for pain?

By Tommy Andres, CNN

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

Atlanta, Georgia (CNN) - A lot of people that show up at a bar at one in the morning are probably wrapping up an evening of drinks with friends or a date that's gone well enough to last that long.

But if you were one of the several dozen folks who rolled into The Independent in Midtown Atlanta on the Friday before Memorial Day, your night was just getting started, and drinks were not on the menu.

These brave (or crazy) men and women had paid nearly $100 bucks to stay up all night and do some of the most grueling manual labor of their lives. Oh, and they would be yelled at the whole time. This is Go Ruck.

There are tons of obstacle races out there, but Go Ruck is not a race. There are no winners. In fact, you're punished if you surpass your team.

Go Ruck is U.S. Army Special Forces training for the everyman. It's push-ups and crabwalks, swimming and simulated operations. And all of it is done wearing a backpack stuffed with 55 pounds of weights.

In fact, that backpack is what started it all. It's called the GR-1 and it was created by a former Green Beret turned entrepreneur named Jason McCarthy. He says it was inspired by the ones he used in combat:

[1:23] "Here we had this bag, right? And we spent a lot of time on it. A couple years. But yet no one wanted to buy it."

Inspired by the exploding trend of obstacle races and the sense of teamwork he felt from his service, he started Go Ruck as essentially a marketing campaign for the backpacks. And it exploded. Since the first Go Ruck challenge in 2010 more than 12,000 people have participated in countries across the world.

So why do people pay for pain? Jason says it's all about learning that you're stronger than you think.

[6:37] "I think that when you show people what they're capable of, I think it's kind of like a drug. You see the world in a different place and you say this isn't that hard. Other stuff that you're doing, it's not that hard. And this is true of life as well. So, the popularity is just based on people seeing a better side of themselves and humanity."

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Filed under: Behavior • Health • Soundwaves • Sports • Stories
Voters forgive despite sex scandals
May 30th, 2013
04:26 PM ET

Voters forgive despite sex scandals

By Steve Kastenbaum, CNN

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) - Two years ago, then Democratic Representative Anthony Weiner walked into a hotel ballroom in New York packed with reporters and admitted that he sent lewd photos to women he met online.

Now, he’s asking for a second chance as he runs for mayor of New York City. Every day on the campaign trail he finds himself apologizing, like he did at a recent mayoral candidate forum in the Bronx:

[4:55] “I’m sorry. You put a great deal of hope and confidence in me and I did some very embarrassing things and I regret them.”

A few weeks ago, former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford won redemption in a special congressional election despite having run off with his Argentinian mistress for a week.

Kay Hymowitz is with the Manhattan Institute, a public policy think tank in New York and has written about these issues:

[2:53] “I think people are willing to forgive if they feel there’s been a real change and if they don’t have other choices that they’re not happy with and that seems the be the case here,” said Hymowitz.

But being given a second chance and actually getting people to vote for you are two different things.

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Making life easier for transgender teens in school
California is considering a law allowing transgender teens to choose their preference in high school.
May 28th, 2013
12:53 PM ET

Making life easier for transgender teens in school

By Jim Roope,CNN

Follow on Twitter: @jimroopeCNN

(CNN) - Psychology over biology.  A proposed law making its way through the California legislature would allow transgender teens to choose the bathroom, locker room facilities and sports teams of the gender with which they identify.

[0:30] “It’s like you’re being trapped in a body that doesn’t fit you. And it hurts.”

Nineteen-year-old Darius was born a girl but always wanted to be a boy. He’s starting the process now, a year after graduating from high school. Although everyone knew he was born a girl, he tried to live as a boy throughout his four years in high school.

[2:54] “I mean sometimes when I would go into the male’s bathroom, I’d like wait there. I’d like wait in the stall until every guy was gone. It’s like you have to be overly careful about everything you do and that takes over a lot of your mind when you should be  focusing on education.” FULL POST

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The Tao of Jen Lancaster
Blogger and author Jen Lancaster spent a year trying to raise her living standards to Martha Stewart-levels.
May 17th, 2013
01:53 PM ET

The Tao of Jen Lancaster

Hosted by Michael Schulder

Follow Michael at: www.wavemaker.me

Editor's Note: Listen to the full interview in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) - Dear Fellow Parents who are worried about what college their children will get into and, after those children graduate from college, what will become of them in their professional and personal lives.

Please – before your next bout of worrying – listen to the story of Jen Lancaster.

Jen Lancaster does not have a roadmap for you to follow. And it’s not the path you probably have in mind for your children.

Because what parent would ever design a roadmap for their child that includes 11 years to complete an undergraduate degree? That’s how long it took Jen Lancaster to get her degree from Purdue University. FULL POST

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Filed under: Behavior • CNN Profiles • Culture • Voices
Trauma and the mind
The Cleveland, Ohio house where three women, who had disappeared ten years ago, were found alive on May 7, 2013.
May 10th, 2013
09:30 AM ET

Trauma and the mind

By Emma Lacey-Bordeaux, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @CNNEmma

(CNN) - This week all eyes were on Cleveland, Ohio as three women held captive for ten years emerged.

Amid the considerable joy there were also concerns. These women are physically out of danger but what about their minds? Experts say their experience must  have been quite traumatic.


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