“The difference between a successful person is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.”
This post has been forming in my mind for well over a month and I’m finally now getting it down to paper (or typing it). I like to find new ways to challenge my level of fitness, push myself to the brink and just have some plain old fashion fun (fun in the sense that usually only fitness and exercise enthusiasts can really enjoy).
I’ve completed a number of 5K and 10K races over the years from turkey trots to mountain milers, tried my hand in powerlifting and strongman events but haven’t tried anything quite like what I encountered on Sunday, July 15th 2012… a Spartan Race.
The instant I saw the video on the website I was hooked. ”I MUST try one of these races,” I thought to myself. I signed up immediately and began to train. My training had to take a drastic shift from what it was in order to meet the demands of a Spartan Race based upon the videos I was watching from earlier races.
Just a few big things that seemed to be a must have for a training program:
1) Upper body strength. There always seems to be pull ups, monkey bars, etc.
2) Cardiovascular fitness. Not only do you need a strong aerobic/cardio base but the ability to perform repeat high intensity intervals with the multiple climbs, lifts, swims, etc.
3) Mental. Probably one of the most important factors would be having the mental will to finish the race.
I set out to train for the race not realizing that most of it was going to be mental once I began. All of the physical work and training that I put in was VERY important in finishing but I had underestimated the mental component.
From the beginning it was uphill from the bottom of a ski slope at Blue Mountain. My legs quickly began to burn after a few minutes and still going uphill. I remember thinking that the people who come up with theses races must have a screw loose. The eventual plateauing only led to what was a constant criss cross up and down the mountain showcasing what the race creators could only take pride in.
5 miles later at the finish line I knew that this was the hardest overall fitness test that I have encountered to this point. The Spartan Race tagline is “You’ll know at the finish line” which is a very accurate statement. You’ll know at the finish line that a few sets of burpees seem pale in comparison to what your able to accomplish during a Spartan Race.
If you think you’ve pushed yourself hard before in your workout. You haven’t.
If you think you can’t run another step. You can.
If you feel like your not reaching your goals. Try harder.
Reread Vince Lombardi’s quote at the beginning of this post. Is your will to succeed stopping you from being successful?