I began training for my first Spartan Race back in early 2015. A few friends in my PT class and I decided to sign up for the Spartan Super in Asheville, NC in August of 2015. Prior to this race, I felt like I had lost my way a bit with training and knew I needed a spark of motivation to get me going again. The Spartan Race was just the motivation I needed! Thanks to one of my classmates (shout out Ashley Pease!), I began to attend a Spartan SGX class at a local gym in Johnson City, TN called iTrain Fitness. The class was fantastic! It was extremely challenging and it definitely prepared me well for the race. We were afforded the opportunity to train on several of the obstacles that we would face come race day, and I can’t say enough good things about training with a group of people that share similar fitness goals!
Come race day I was nervous, yet excited to embark on this Spartan journey. I was lucky enough to run this entire race with a small group of friends, which made for a great experience! Don’t know what I would have done without them! Side note: to anyone who plans to do a race like this, I highly recommend running it with a group of people for both encouragement and teamwork to make it through the obstacles.
Just to even get to the start of the race we had to climb over a few walls. I failed miserably, but was helped over by some great Spartans. Once we began the race, we were almost immediately submerged in a pit of muddy water. This would set the tone for the rest of the race. We swam, carried heavy things, crawled under barbed wire, climbed various ropes and walls, and ran our way to the finish, completing a few burpees along the way. (If you fail or do not complete an obstacle you must complete 30 burpees before moving on). Close to 4 hours later we completed the race! The picture seen below is the very last obstacle and boy were we glad to see it! We had officially become Spartans!
Joe De Sena (creator of the Spartan Race) frequently talks about “grit”, a characteristic that every Spartan finisher possesses on some level. The Spartan Race teaches you that when the going gets tough you can either “Spartan Up!” or quit. This philosophy has definitely translated over to my personal life as I am now a much stronger person. My personal philosophy has always been “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard” and I feel this Spartan Up! mentality further confirms that life is better when you work hard! How do we become better people if we are not consistently faced with challenges to overcome? If we always take the easy way out, what will we do when presented with an obstacle? We MUST learn to overcome obstacles no matter how daunting they may seem. This is what the Spartan Race is all about! If you would have asked me prior to ever signing up for a Spartan Race if I thought I could complete an 8.2 mile race with 28 obstacles, I would have been hesitant to answer yes, but now I embrace the challenge and can’t wait to complete another race!
If you’ve been inspired by this post, please sign up for a Spartan Race! It will change your life for the better! And if you’d like some inspired reading please check out Joe De Sena’s book: Spartan Up! A Take-No-Prisoners Guide to Overcoming Obstacles and Achieving Peak Performance in Life and his Spartan Up Podcast. AROO!