If you are like me, you have a normal daily routine. You get up, brush your teeth, take a shower, get dressed, have breakfast then go to work. You work at your eight hour a day job, get in your car and head home. You get dinner ready, wash the dishes, watch some Netflix then go to bed. If by reading this and are asking yourself “how did he know that” then you have developed a pattern of normality. Having a steady routine is not a bad thing all the time. However, when a routine is set in your life it is easy to get in a rut. When you are in a rut, you are just existing. You are in a loop, doing the same thing repeatedly, which will cause you to live a mondain life. Before I go any further, I am not saying that you should not have a normal schedule. I am a father of three high energy children that need to be on a schedule in order to keep my mind from going insane. What I am talking about is breaking up the routine every now and again to expand your horizons. When you add new things in your life than you are growing as a person and expanding your repertoire.
I can think of nothing better for me then running a Spartan race. I had the opportunity to run the Austin Spartan Super. This race is a 10k (6.7 miles) race with 25 obstacles between it. The elevation is a little over 1,200 feet with rocks and hills along the way. Nothing about this race is easy, you must look deep in yourself and find the purpose of why you are even there. I started the race at 11: 00 am with the announcer saying, “what is your profession”? We all yell at the top of our lungs “AROO AROO AROO” and off we start. You begin your race heading down hill, the birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and you have the feeling that you got this. However, the first obstacle approaches and you conquer it with little to no effort. Then the next obstacle comes, which is a little bigger, and you get through it easy. When the next obstacle approaches it is bigger and you find yourself struggling to overcome it but, you complete it and keep running. When you go through these obstacles you are facing little pieces of yourself. You are coming face to face with your insecurities and doubts. Every time you overcome an obstacle you are saying that you can conquer the very things that are holding you back. These are some of the lessons I have learned through my race.
You will be faced with obstacles.
Through the race you are going to be face with all kinds of obstacles. Through this race I was tested in my vertical jump, my grip, my heart, my mind, and my integrity. When you are approaching an obstacle, you have a battle that is forming in your mind. You have already decided if you will win or lose, if you conquered the obstacle or has the obstacle conquered you? I remember one of the challenges I was faced with was called the “Twister”. It is a rotating monkey bar, once you grab a bar it twist before you grab the next bar. In my mind I began to have a panic attack. “will I be able to do this”, “will I fall”. “why am I here”? I did not perform at my best and had to suffer the consequences of my failure. When you are faced with anything in life you will have to battle it first in your mind. When you win the battle of the mind you can win it when you must face it in real life.
You will have setbacks before you can go forward.
My nemesis in the Spartan race is the Rope climb. It is a simple task, climb the rope and ring the bell. On this day I was losing the battle in my mind. After I did not complete this obstacle, I was directed to a square roped off section known as the burpee zone. The penalty for not finishing the task is 30 burpees. Let me paint a picture of what a burpee is. You stand up, you fall to your stomach, you stand back up, and you jump. Now that you have the physical picture, imagine that on your mind you are saying “this sucks” over and over again. You will have times when you fail. After you are faced with that failure you will have extra hurdles you will have to overcome. The only way to move on is to complete the hurdle. If you stay on the ground, you will never get on with your life. Get back up, complete the obstacle, and move on to the next challenge.
You will find renewed purpose.
There is a saying that I have heard” you will know at the finish line”. There is a sense of accomplishment when you finish a hard task. You have a mentality that you can conquer anything that comes in your way. When you feel like nothing can stop you then nothing will. Imagine going through life knowing that you can find a way to overcome the different obstacles before you. I know that life is not always going to be easy but, when you know you can turn out better on the other side you will have a new perspective on life. A man with no fear is one that can conquer mountains, now get out their and become the conqueror you are.
Life is not all sunshine and rainbows. You will be alone on an island, the clouds will form, and the rain will pour. When you are isolated the doubt creep into your mind. You will wonder if you ever see light at the end of the tunnel. The lesson that you learn is the power you have within yourself. It truly is you vs. you, and when you come out on the other side the power that you had all along shines through. You can conquer anything in life, after all you are a Spartan and your war cry is ringing loud “AROO AROO AROO”.