Anyone who has ever had the audacity to compete in the annual Spartan Death Race enters only if he or she has already lived a full life and is not concerned about compromising it.
The event is a true testament to how much the body, mind and spirit can tolerate over a 48-hour period.
Just how dangerous this ultimate test of human endurance can be is indicated boldly by the organizers' website at YouMayDie.com.
Regardless, an estimated 300 men and woman have signed up, including a Los Angeles firefighter and paramedic who thinks he's got the right stuff to compete against some of the toughest and strongest athletes on Earth.
The local hero's goal is more than reaching the finish line; his focus is all about supporting a noble cause.
Steve Stern, a 39-year old professional triathlete who works at Fire Station #62 in Mar Vista, has been training relentlessly for the 40-mile race to help raise needed funds for the Widows, Orphans & Disabled Fireman's Fund, an organization that provides emergency aid to families of firefighters who have been injured, disabled or killed in the line of duty.
The first person to finish the obstacle course in less than 24 hours will walk away with a $100,000 reward. The 2012 Spartan Death Race runs from June 15-16 in Pittsfield, Vermont.
In previous competitions, athletes have had to carry 20-pound, splintering tree stumps for hours on end, chop thick wood non-stop for 120 minutes, worm their way through filthy mud beneath the cutting teeth of barbed wire and negotiate a treacherous 2,200-foot climb to a mountaintop.
"The key things are the endurance, the difficulty of the challenges and the mental component," Stern told the Venice-Mar Vista Patch. "It's more like a survival-type challenge with a number of tasks."
Stern and his competitors will be equipped with a survival kit that includes a lifejacket, dress shoes and knitting needles. Water and nutrients will only be provided by a single clipping from a Bonsai tree.
After reaching the mountaintop, challengers will then be put through a mental test that will range from having to recite verbatim blocks of passages from historic documents to naming the first 10 presidents of the United States in precise order.
According to event organizers, less than 10% of those who have dared to enter the taxing contest have completed it, even if they were a Navy Seal with elite military training.
Yet, Stern is hopeful the experience will be beneficial to his charity and his growth as a human.
"You learn how to be more flexible and adaptable in this race," Stern told the Mar Vista-Venice Patch. "It makes me feel grateful that I can compete. There are plenty of people around the world who go through these struggles every day and I'm going to do it for just a few days.
"It makes me feel more grateful."