I was approached this week by Reebok Spartan Race to help spread the word about their 2014 race series. I must admit, I’ve read about Spartan a little bit in the past, and let me just tell you, the first phrase that initially came to mind was, “I could never do that.” You see, I was never an athlete in high school. I didn’t dribble a ball down the court, I didn’t run track, I didn’t swing a field hockey stick, and I didn’t swim laps. I was the chubby teenager that was stuck in her shell. I would walk the halls of my high school secretly wishing that I could sport a varsity letter jacket and be part of the team. I worked up the courage my junior year to attend an informational meeting for field hockey tryouts, but that’s as far as it went. I chickened out and didn’t even try. Looking back, I know I probably wouldn’t have made the team, which is okay with me. What I regret most of all is that I didn’t even try.
Now I’m a thirty something that is finally working up the courage to try. I’m running my first half marathon in five weeks. Yes, I’m scared. I know it’s a challenge that I’ve never taken on before and it’s going to push me to my limit. It’s going to take strength, determination, and courage. I’m doing it solo, which also scares me, but I know it’s for the best. I need to prove to myself that I can do this. I know that once I have that medal around my neck, my self confidence is going to grow exponentially.
In preparation for this “yes I can” burst, I’ve started a bucket list in my head of things that I want to try. Things that will push my body and mind to a place that I’ve never been before. One of those things is an obstacle race. The thought of dodging barbed wire, jumping over fire, crawling through the mud, and pushing tires is incredibly frightening, but I can also imagine the gleam in my eye and the smile that would form on my face when I say “I did that.” It’s a feeling that is foreign to me, but one that I want to experience in my lifetime.
I started exploring Spartan’s web site and realized that the people who are completing these races aren’t just elite athletes. They are people of all body types and walks of life. Some used to be overweight. Some are fighting illness. One woman was racing while battling brain cancer. It is inspiring to watch.
Then, I found the video from the 2012 Virginia Spartan Race. It features wounded warriors competing in the race. Double and triple amputees climbing ropes, crawling through mud, and completing obstacle after obstacle. Wow. So awe-inspiring. I had to pause for a moment when the father of a triple amputee watched his son complete the race and proudly announce that there is “No quit in him.” That simple phrase really got me thinking about my attitude toward my own struggles. While things have been tough for me personally on a smaller scale, I have to remember that no matter what is thrown my way, there should be no quit in me. I need to keep trekking along and push through it all. I know this is something that I will carry with me when I’m running 13.1 miles on May 4th.
If you’re curious about Spartan, here’s a clever video that explains what it’s all about.
In a nutshell, “Spartan Race is an International obstacle racing series with three different types of courses: the 3 mile Sprint, 8 mile Super (Olympic Distance), and 10 – 12 mile Beast (Ultra Distance). You will run, jump, crawl your way over/through a dozen or more obstacles and mud en route to the finish.” These obstacles are meant to get you out of your comfort zone!
You can find Spartan races around the globe, including many locations in the U.S. Reebok has even created a new shoe called the All Terrain Series that is meant for races like Spartan. Get all the details here.
Update 4-4-14: This giveaway is now closed.
Are you ready to tackle a Spartan race? The generous team at Spartan is giving one reader of The DelightFULL Dash a free one time entry code for any open heat (non-confirmed start time) in any 2014 Spartan Race in the continental U.S.!
All you need to do is leave a comment and tell me:
1. Why do you want to complete a Spartan race?
2. Which Spartan race do you plan on completing in the continental U.S.?
You have until Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 11pm EST to enter. I will select one entry at random and notify the winner by email on Friday, April 4, 2014 with the free entry code. Good luck!
Even if you don’t win the free entry, you can register at a discounted rate (15% off a qualifying race). Send me a tweet at @delightFULLdash and tell me why you want to be a Spartan and I will send you the discount.
Note: I have partnered with Reebok to promote Spartan Race, however, I was not paid for my participation. All opinions are my own. If you choose to participate in a Spartan race, you are doing so at your own risk. It is a physically challenging race. I cannot be held responsible for any outcome resulting from your participation in the race.
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