Raising a child can be a gauntlet of torture, both physical and emotional. From the anguish of childbirth to the bittersweetness of watching a son or daughter get married and leave the nest, it is one ordeal after another. And then there is the cruelest punishment ever inflicted upon parents, i.e., stepping barefoot onto a rogue Lego block. Sure, these colorful, multi-purpose Danish building blocks can play an important role in children’s lives, letting them be creative in a safe, fun way. But that doesn’t excuse the fact that stepping on one of the things can hurt like two separate motherfuckers. No one who has ever inadvertently stepped on a Lego block would ever want to replicate the experience. Those little plastic bricks are surprisingly sturdy, and the studs on top, though stubby and blunt, can really dig into the skin. And the corners. Dear lord, the corners. Did Satan himself invent these things?
Today, the brave and very foolish cast of the vaguely Jackass-esque U.K. webseries Where’s My Challenge have decided to tempt the fates with a cringe-inducing episode called “Lego Treadmill Challenge.” It’s exactly what it sounds like: One by one, the guys take turns running on a treadmill while the others dump Lego bricks on the track. Pain and hilarity ensue. “This is gonna suck,” the host promises. And it does, but only for the participants. For the audience, this is pretty damned delightful, as the suffering of others so often is.
The Where’s My Challenge lads have promised to do more videos like this one if the video receives more than 15,000 likes. At this point, the like count is up to 29,547, so it looks like more pain and suffering are definitely in their future. Series like What’s My Challenge can be seen as part of a large subgenre of self-torturing videos on YouTube. People challenge themselves in various ridiculous ways, often by eating something unpleasant or doing something physically painful, because their own lives apparently aren’t challenging enough already. Better to feel something awful than to feel nothing at all. People who walk barefoot over Lego bricks at least know that they’re alive in that moment.