How do you feel? This question is very telling. When it is cloudy outside, we tend to feel down and when the sun is out we tend to have a “pep in our step”. There are several factors in our life that dictate how we are to feel at any given moment. What if you had the opportunity to go through an event that showed you how powerful you truly are? An event that was full of ups and downs with obstacles that you must overcome along the way? An event that allows you to truly see how strong you could be.
When you look at the values that embodies a Spartan Race they are life changing. One day you are sitting on the couch eating hot Cheetos using your stomach as a coaster. Then you realize that you need to make some changes to get back in shape. You hear about a bunch of crazy people that run miles of obstacles with a smile on their face. You find a website called “Spartan” and decide to take a chance. Throughout the next month you follow a specific plan that has you running, lifting, and hanging from monkey bars for fun. Finally, the race has arrived! You are at the starting line, they start chanting “AROO, AROO, AROO” and you are off. I want to prepare you for what your mind will say to you through the race. I am speaking from personal experience with the races I have been ran in the past. I have had these thoughts through all my races, and I want to share how I overcame the most recent race I ran and what I realized at the finish line of the Austin Super Race (10k with 25 obstacles).
Miles 1-2 – Why did I decide to do this again?
When you run past the gate you have an overpowering rush of adrenaline. When you have that sudden burst, you will have the tendency to run to hot out of the gate. Like a cheetah that is chasing an gazelle in the wild going for the kill to survive. You have the feeling that you can conquer the world, that you will run forever. The movie quote from Cars comes in your head “I am speed” and you believe that you are the living embodiment of Lightening McQueen. However, when the adrenaline wears off you are faced with the realization that you have only just begun this race and have a long way to go. This is the first test you will face, finding the reason you wanted to race in the first place. When you are wanting to make a lifestyle change there must be a reason. You do not wake up and decide to change your life without a reason. During your first mile and two you must remember the reason you decided to run in the first place. Just play that on loop in your head, breathe, and keep pressing on.
Mile 3 – 4 – And people call this fun?
I noticed a few things as I was running. 1. Replaying the eye of the tiger in your head does not give you superpowers. 2. There where a lot of people smiling through the race. Imagine that you had to run seven miles, face numerous trials along the way, and be happy while you were doing it. When I went through these obstacles, I had many thoughts of anguish, pain, and self-doubt on if I prepared enough. When you allow yourself to expand your horizons you begin to see you are capable of more than you ever imagined possible. When we as a human race are faced with adversity we adapt and overcome. When you are going through the race for the first time everything is built up in your head. After you go through a few races they all seem like achievable task. Instead of saying “can I”, you are left saying “yes I can”.
Miles 5-7 – I can do this……… where is my FitAid?
When you are at the end of the race you have a since of accomplishment. By this time you have climbed ropes, swung on bars, lifted stones, and went under water. You have willed your body to do things that are outside your comfort zone to be a better person. You made this decision for personal reasons that drove you to cross that finish line. Now you made it through the seven miles, now you are the one that others are calling crazy, and you have the power to overcome anything. You will be looking forward to the next race. You did it, you jumped over the fire and got your medal. Enjoy that FitAid with pride.
This mindset is life changing. You will have a renewed outlook that will have you walking a little taller, have a sense of accomplishment that others will not understand. The beginning of the race you will have worry and self-doubt, by the end of the race you will have renewed purpose and accomplishment. When you cross that finish line you will know, just rise up and keep pressing on.