Former Northborough resident to compete on ‘Tough as Nails’


Former Northborough resident to compete on ‘Tough as Nails’
Renee Kolar, who used to live in Northborough, will be competing in the upcoming season of “Tough as Nails.” (Photo/Laura Hayes)

NORTHBOROUGH – One day, Renee Kolar was watching season one of CBS’ “Tough as Nails” reality show when she had a thought.

“I was like, ‘I might be able to do this,’” she recalled.

Now, Kolar, who used to live in Northborough, will be competing on season four, which debuts on Jan. 4.

“Tough as Nails” tests working-class Americans who compete in challenges. Kolar, who is a dry mason, will be competing against other contestants who work a number of jobs, including welders and pipeline laborers.

“You have to be mentally strong, and you have to be physically strong,” Kolar said.

The best part of the show, she said, is it’s very positive.

“You’re so intense when you’re actually there, and you just want to be the best you can be,” Kolar said. “The people around you are actually doing that also. They’re encouraging you. They’re making you be a better person or try harder or do this or do that. It’s actually the most amazing experience of a lifetime.”

Meet Renee

Kolar moved to Northborough when she was three years old. Though she didn’t graduate from Algonquin Regional High School after moving to Leominster in her sophomore year, Kolar said Northborough made her into the person she became.

“The community is tight. The people are kind to everyone, and I did have the most amazing experience in Northborough,” she said.

Now, the Kolars live in Marshfield. During the pandemic, she started Yardscapes by Renee and Sons.

“My husband was very supportive. He just said, ‘Renee, just go ahead and do it. Do it,’” she recalled.

So, she put Yardscapes out on social media, but after a while, the community was reaching out to inquire after her services and also help promote her business.

A family affair, her two sons, James and Charlie, do labor while her daughter, Julia, writes the quotes.

To prepare to compete on the show, Kolar ran every day and workout both before and after work. In the meantime, she would still work her physically-demanding job.

Through participating on “Tough as Nails,” Kolar said she met “wonderful, amazing people.”

“It’s an amazing cast,” she said.

Her “Tough as Nails” journey also inspired her sons to try out for hockey and rugby at college.

“If you really want something, it’s possible. You’ve got to love it, and you’ve got to love what you do,” Kolar said.


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