I woke up yesterday with the first thought being “Holy crap, my first Spartan race is in 3 weeks”. My heart raced in my chest and I had to take a few deep breaths.
I have to admit as each day passes and the weekend comes closer, I find moments of my heart racing. Am I ready? Will I like it? Will I get hurt? How many flipping burpees will I have to do? As well, I keep thinking of little things I never thought of until now like “Where the heck should I put my inhaler?” and “What clothing should I wear?” I find myself googling tips but there are so many different preferences and opinions.
I begin to think about how I can’t do a pull up yet, or haven’t climbed a rope ever, or that I am 4 foot 11 and the walls are terrifying me (even in some nightmares). I don’t even know the obstacles well enough like many of my teammates I train with do. They can name them and describe them but without experiencing them, I forget many of them as they share their wealth of Spartan knowledge.
However, fortunately, I train with Conviction Fitness in Regina and our team is like a family. One of my best and closest friends (I will call her A) has been helping me through some of my panic. Reminding me to just take it slow and not worry about finishing fast. To enjoy the moments. She has given me tips about visualizing the obstacles as I am out running or doing a workout. A tells me to make sure to attempt all the obstacles, no matter what my mind tells me. Another friend I have made recently on the team, who is an amazing Spartan athlete, reminds me that I will fail some, but it is about overcoming next time. He reminds me that being out there is amazing enough. Just like A, he tells me to try every obstacle even if I don’t think I can.
I am not where many of the athletes I train with are, and that is okay. I am competing for me. But I am so thankful that I am going to this first Spartan Sprint and Super weekend with pretty much my whole team there. My successes in overcoming my new challenges (that are easy to most in the workouts) are equally recognized as huge accomplishments. I am often hearing “You got this” and “Keep going” and “You are amazing” from my team when I am struggling. And though I can’t always respond back – I hear them. Loud and clear.
So what am I going to do?
I will continue to persevere. I am going to go to the event, fears and all, and do my best. I am going to take the advice of visualizing the obstacles in the next 3 weeks of my workouts. My challenge is I am not sure I know all of them so I have this new idea of watching some videos of some Sprints and Supers runs and visualizing me doing the obstacles as I watch it.
I am going to go to my first Spartan events in Red Deer and attempt it all. What I fail, I will one day overcome. I will go to another Spartan race and try it again and again. I will do my burpees without complaint, as I could not even do 5 burpees before I began this journey. I will remember what my trainer and teammates see in me and not give up. I will push forward, never quitting. I have only reasons to move ahead, and excuses to hold be back. I will not let those excuses return to hold me back as it was those excuses that led to me becoming extremely overweight, depressed, and pre-diabetic.
I am going to be proud of myself when I cross that finish line no matter the time I ran or how many obstacles I may have failed because as the Spartan saying goes:
However – please feel free to leave me some tips as well! Especially about where the heck to keep an asthma inhaler. Right now, I am thinking ziploc bag in a zippered back pocket of my running shorts.