3 months ago I made a very scary commitment to join the thousands of obstacle race crazies and run a 24 obstacle 3 mile course through Fenway Park in Boston.
Yes, fun, and this was the biggest lesson of all.
During a boot camp class about a month ago a complete stranger turned to me and said, “Do you know you smiled through this entire class ?”
As it turns out I enjoy pushing myself, working out, and achieving major milestones in my physical journey. In a most unexpected way I found joy while facing my fear.
It's no secret that I am not a super fit, tiny girl. I take great care of myself, but have really struggled through the years to commit to regular exercise. I have been so afraid of injuries that I have told myself that running, and tough physical challenges were not possible for “my body.” This was a story I was telling myself. This was not reality.
I am physically capable of so much more than I could have ever imagined and I know this is just the start. Here is what else I know for sure:
- Music makes everything better. During my tougher workouts my playlist, “Run Bitch Run” got me through. Then a hip friend told me to try “Salt N Pepa” radio on Pandora, ummm, amaze-balls!
- Your mind will tell you to stop way before your body ever needs to. Fact.
- Training does not look pretty. In preparation for my race I started following inspirational fitness folks on Instagram, I found myself getting a bit depressed by the magnitude of half-naked-looking-gorgeous “workout” pictures that were clogging my feed. Is this what training is supposed to look like? For me, training is pretty ugly, so ugly in fact that my BF begged me not to show you all these pictures. I'm showing them anyway, I'm proud of my ugly tired.
- Getting started is the hardest part. When you find a rhythm of working out, stick to it. As soon as a few days pass without a workout it is SOOO hard to get started again. I am still working on this. I am not perfect, far from it. I know I feel better when I am consistent, but I still have tough weeks.
- Having a definitive goal is so helpful. I felt a bit sad when the race was over so I signed up for my first 5K (next weekend!) and once spring is upon us I will have a few other Spartans lined up, who's joining me?
The actual race was amazing. Truly.
An hour and a half (1:32 to be precise) of obstacles and even a bit of silliness. I laughed, and danced, and a few times felt like crying. Obstacles ranged from carrying sand bags through the stands, climbing over 6-8′ walls, bunny hopping up flights of stairs, burpees, lifting boulders, climbing ropes, burpees, box jumps, and did I mention burpees? For any obstacle not completed you did 30 burpees instead. At the end of the day I did a total of 140 burpees. I still don't understand how that happened.
I had a fantastic team joining me, Cynthia, who inspired me beyond belief and had me laughing the whole time, and Doug, my trainer and friend who helped push Cynthia and I to the finish line.
I absolutely understand how you could get hooked on Spartan races. The day after the race Cynthia, Doug, and I scoured the Spartan website to find the location of our next race.
For the first time ever NBC sports is airing the Spartan finals, it's on tomorrow (12/7/13) and I am totally tuning in! You should too! (You have to qualify in 3 races to be a part of the finals… maybe in 2015 for me, eh?)
To support my new found love of obstacle races the awesome people over at Spartan are giving away another free race code to one of my readers. Want in? Just click to tweet:
Even if you don't win you can jump on over here to get 15% off your next race:
Thanks Spartan team for an incredible experience that taught me so much about my strength, power, and joy!
And a HUGE shout out to my girl Cynthia and my man Doug, I truly couldn't have done this without you!
Also love to my little pup that greeted me with this after every run:
Keep fighting warriors!
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