“Who are you?”
The announcer’s voice echoed through the holding pen as the clock counted down to the 10:00am heat.
“I am a Spartan!” The reply boomed from hundreds of ordinary people about to test their limits. We answered with our hearts and voices. The air horn signified the beginning of our journey and like the crack of a whip we dashed into the unknown, out onto the dusty path determined to make ourselves proud.
This journey started long ago. I had always wanted to run a “Spartan Race,” but the timing was never right. But here’s the thing…if you wait for the timing to be right it never will be. With my marathon only about two months out, I was slightly worried about getting injured and falling behind in training. Luckily, my friend was able to convince me sign up with her.
Both of us have a passion for fitness, and therefore were excited to train. We learned how to properly climb a rope and spent a decent amount of time at the gym, you know…packing mass or whatever.
Nothing can really prepare you for this kind of race though. The first mile and a half were steep hills covered in soft dirt. As we slowly climbed, breathing in copious amounts of dirt, our ears were filled with the multitude of “What the f*** man? I thought they said it was relatively flat…” coming from almost every competitor. I confess that those first few hills almost did me in, but after my body warmed up (around 1.5 miles) the race became fun and challenging as opposed to challenging and 7th circle of hell.
I tried to keep repeating to myself, “I am a Spartan, failure is not an option.” If you tell yourself something enough you start to believe it. Physical challenges are really all about the mind. Your body is almost always capable. We pushed ourselves and wound up finishing with a decent time despite our declaration that we were simply “running it for fun.”
Crossing the finish line after the final obstacle of being hit in the stomach with a “Spartan club” (people pummel you with plush clubs at the end) was such a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. Nothing beats the feeling of finishing a race! Great memories with great friends! I would highly recommend the race to anyone interested in feeling AND being awesome.
So, who am I?
I am a Spartan, I am powerful beyond measure, and you can be too. “Aroo, aroo!”