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Spartan Race Fenway Park – Follow Your Own Path, Others May Join You

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I use to wait around on other people so that I could do things that I wanted to do.  If I still did that instead of running in 8 obstacle races/mud runs, I probably would have run in NONE.  Are people really herd animals or pack animals?  It is nice to have other people around, but I realized that I was much happier just doing the things that I wanted to do whether or not I had other people with me.  If you can’t break off on your own it can be difficult to do some of the things that you may really want to do.  Besides I usually end up meeting other people at these races, that also have the same type of motivation and challenge in themselves that I have found in me.  These races are addictive for people who are looking for a challenge.

On November 17th, I ran in the Fenway Spartan Race.  I entered the race a few months earlier and told some friends that I was running in it and asked if any of them wanted to run.  3 of them took me up on it and 2 others came out to support us.  None of them really knew what to expect until after they signed up, so it got kind of funny when they started asking me about some of the obstacles.  Sue was already very active but hadn’t run in this type of race yet.  Chris and Sheila decided to start working out so that they could get ready for the race.  Sheila even started to make changes to her diet.

The Spartan was challenging just like the last one that I did, but it was only 2.5 miles.  They did cram a lot of obstacles into those 2.5 miles and we ran all over the stadium steps.  On top of that we had to do burpees a number of times.  If you screwed up certain obstacles you rewarded with 30 more burpees.  Those things suck.  The only one that I screwed up on was the spear throw.  It kind of feels like throwing the piece of paper that a straw comes in.  Hard to balance and not real heavy.  The race was a blast.  At the end you get the opportunity to run over 3 or 4 Gladiators or get the opportunity to have them slam you into the wall.

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Sheila fell about half way through the race and banged up her elbow pretty bad.  She had been telling me how much she was looking forward to this race ever since she signed up.  I could tell that it was something that motivated her and helped her set a goal that put her on the right track of training and nutrition.  So falling down and jacking up your elbow really stinks when you are that close.  The first thing that probably went through her mind was this hurts like hell.  I think its broken.  Kind of funny how you focus on completing something and now your mindset becomes fight through the pain and finish.  That is exactly what she did.  She came that far and knew that she couldn’t walk away from it without crossing the finish line.  She worked to hard to get there.

All three of them have told me that not only did they love running in the Spartan but that they wanted to do more of them.  These are not just races they build character and can help you find what you are made of.  I am glad that I had the three of them run with me and the other two hang out with us.  They can all be proud of their accomplishments.  I know that I am.
You might have to Learn to S.W.I.M.™ on your own but there are always people who can support you and help you on your way.  

Midwest Super Spartan 2012

In about 5 hours I’ll be running in my first Spartan Race.  Even cooler, I’m running on the Dial For Men Team.  About 6 months ago I ran in my first obstacle race.  It’s amazing what a life changing transformation can do you for you.  It’s not just about changing your body.  My biggest change has been psychological.  I’m not crazy anymore.  Well maybe I am, but my perspectives have changed.  Like I say in other parts of my blog, I can now  S.W.I.M.  I have Self Control, Will Power, Inspiration and Motivation.  If I see something that I want to do because I think it’s fun or because it’s a challenge, I will now go out and do it.  I don’t like being a spectator, I want to participate.  I’ve missed out on to much of life waiting on others to join me or waiting on me to get prepared for something or making an excuse not to do it.


While surfing the internet about a year ago I came across Tough Mudder.  I thought that this looked like a great event.  The first problem with it was that it was 12 miles and I had no intention of running 12 miles.  I started to notice other shorter races that were similar types of races (obstacle races, mud runs, zombie runs).  Many of these were only 5k.  That I could handle.  The most I had ever run before was 8 miles and I did that twice (with no obstacles).  Funny thing is I noticed that 30 plus Facebook friends like Tough Mudder and even some of these other races.  Even funnier, like me, most of them haven’t done the Tough Mudder or even the shorter ones.  But a lot of them have told me that they want to do them. Why like something if you aren’t going to do it?  Naturally, I liked it too.   Maybe some day I would even see what one of these races were like.  If nothing else “LIKE” as many as possible on Facebook.

My first race was early in my transformation and it wasn’t easy.  I tried to find other people who would race with me, but either they had plans or hadn’t trained for it.   I’m not going to say that today’s race will be easy either but these are challenges that are continuing to help form my new life.  For those of you who think they would like to do one of these but are using the “I’m not in shape or I’m not ready” excuse to not do it.  Think again.  Do it at your own pace.  I see a lot of people who do these things for the fun of it and they are not always the fittest people, but they have fun.  If you pick one out several weeks away and start working out now, you can make dramatic changes in 3 to 6 weeks.  If you decide that you like it, the next one can be more of a challenge for you if that is what you want.

Don’t just “Like it” on Facebook, go out and do it.  Don’t wait for someone else to join you.  If they do, great.  Get out and S.W.I.M.

 

Cristian Mihai

writes a short story every week

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