Oh boy – what a weekend. I just ran my first Spartan Race, a Super 8+ mi obstacle course race for those of you who don’t know. Our organizations President emailed our leadership team about six months ago about signing-up for this race. A few people replied including myself. I invited my girlfriend along. Neither of us had over done an obstacle course race (i.e. OCR race) before, but it sounded interesting. I knew I needed to either start running or lifting to get myself prepared, but the last few months at work had been busy and I was burning the candle at both ends to build three separate divisions from the ground up and create organization-wide strategies. So I decided to leave that for a bit, and I headed into this past weekend feeling very intimidated about everything I had heard about Spartan and obstacle races. And as it would turn out, not very many people made the race for a variety of reasons. In fact, it was just me and my girlfriendI.
Even though I hadn’t been working out regularly, 8+ mi would not have been a big deal to me since I regularly walk just about everywhere I go. However, it had been raining for nearly a week straight before we took the course, and there was mud thicker than glue and 10inches deep. Trudging through that for 8+ mi is a totally different animal however than walking. I’ll spare the drawn out details but needless to say, it took us 5 hours to complete, and took just about everything we had to get through the 30+ obstacles and 10 inches of never ending mud and freezing streams. Eventually we came to the finish, thoroughly exhausted, and a funny thing happened – even after a grueling 5 hours, we both had ear-to-ear grins on our faces. The moment we leaped over the burning fire pit and across the finish line where they placed heavy medals around our necks, a real sense of accomplishment washed over us.
As we hobbled back to the car and started the hour drive back home, I started thinking more about why I felt such an incredible sense of accomplishment. I had friends and co-workers taunting me the weeks leading up to it that gave me fuel to prove them wrong, but it was the fact that it was legitimately difficult and that real suffering and struggle was involved that made the experience.
Game Over. I am hooked. And for whatever reason, I feel like going to the gym tomorrow, for the first time in a long time, to get ready for the next one.