A TV show called “Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge” could seem daunting to some people.

But Jodi Theriault, a Portland mother of three who has been a competitive body builder and has continued to run marathons and urban obstacle courses since being hit by a car in 2014, had a “blast” while filming an episode of the competition series last summer.

Her idea of fun times included running an obstacle course with a 45-pound log on her back in 100-plus-degree heat, climbing 12-foot walls, and wrestling with other well-conditioned athletes. Her adventures on the show will be featured in an episode at 8 p.m. Sunday on the CMT cable network. The show is hosted by TV wrestling star Steve “Stone Cold” Austin.

Theriault, who works as a fitness instructor at World Gym in Portland and Maine Warrior Gym in Westbrook, said she especially liked meeting other competitive, fitness-minded women who were happy to share their talents and wisdom with others. Even though a $10,000 prize was on the line, Theriault said competitors helped each other off-camera. If one women was a wrestler or fighter, she shared her combat techniques. If one was an expert at obstacle courses, she shared her expertise with her competitors. Theriault got on the show after a relative sent her name and information into the producers.

“Everybody was trying to help each other; it was very empowering,” Theriault, 35, said of the filming last June in California. “We all got along and hung out. We went to the mall together.”

Theriault’s competitive running was sidetracked, violently, when she was hit by a car while running along Route 302 in Naples in the summer of 2014. She was training for the Boston Marathon, running in a bike/jogging lane, when a driver making a right turn hit her. She flew onto the hood of the car but said she didn’t know she was hurt at first, and didn’t go directly to the hospital. When her adrenalin “calmed down” she realized she was in pain. She had done serious damage to her sciatic nerve, required physical therapy and treatment by a chiropractor, and couldn’t run for three months.

“I knew I’d run again, I knew I could come back” Theriault said.

Besides saying she enjoyed her time filming “Broken Skull Challenge,” Theriault is prohibited from saying how she did on the show. So people will have to tune in to the show Sunday, as Theriault will be doing with her family. Her three children, ages 5 to 9, will be watching as well.

“My 9-year-old (son) is very competitive. He runs with me,” Theriault said.


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