Last November, I woke up early and drove almost two hours so that I could run in the cold and mud for more than two hours to get a medal and a t-shirt.
It was totally worth it!
The Spartan Race was an incredible mental and physical challenge. Mentally, I had to commit to something rather insane and then follow through. Physically it was demanding, but certainly not impossible.
The first obstacle was jumping over fire about 50 feet from the starting line…into a four-foot pit of mud and water on the other side. Note that before my heat I witnessed a guy shatter his ankle in the mad dash to start the event.
I hesitated a bit trying to get a good jump and still ended up in the water, slamming down hard and jarring something midway in my back. I fell backwards in the water, but barely caught myself and moved forward. The pain was searing and I was afraid the compression I felt would end my day early as well. But I pressed on and after a bit the knot loosened and I could continue.
For three plus miles I jumped in and out of sand pits, went over, under and through walls, ran through the woods, crawled under barbed wire, traversed a very cold stream, carried a huge bucket full of sand, climbed nets and ropes, did burpees, scooted and swam through mud, crawled through a makeshift mine and did more burpees.
I helped a lot of people throughout the course, and was helped by as many or more. I didn’t catch their names. It was just people helping people.
My calves exploded in cramps at one point and I couldn’t walk. Afterward, I was covered in mud and blood, though I couldn’t see the blood until much later.
I questioned my sanity about 15 minutes in, and ended up finishing in two hours, thirty-five minutes and twenty-nine seconds. I placed 2493 of 2779 people. But I beat the guy with the broken ankle!
Since the event I’ve walked a little taller knowing that I put my mind to something and accomplished it. I exerted my body in activity once reserved for my time in the military (and in some ways beyond since I was in the Air Force!).
But I’ve also failed miserably. After telling myself I needed a few days to recover (which I did), I stopped running and didn’t bike much. I traveled the country from coast to coast and then ate my way through the holidays. Two months after the event, I’m in no shape for another one.
Yet come November 2013, I’ll be out there. Getting muddy. Getting bloody. And loving it!
Go do something you’re not supposed to do this year. Something even you don’t think you can do.
I bet you can.
What’s on your list?