Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spartan Race Wrap Up- Obstacle Course As A Metaphor For Life

The descent to Hades is the same from every place.

The greater the difficulty the more glory in surmounting it. Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests.

You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.

In many ways, an obstacle course is a metaphor for life. As we go through this one life we have, there are ups and downs, windy roads, easy spots, tough spots, tougher spots, impossible spots, things to go over, things to go under, sometimes you'll have a heavier load, sometimes a lighter load. Along the way you'll notice people traveling faster than you, and some going slower. 

What an obstacle course of this magnitude will teach you, is that you have to run your own race at your own pace. Sometimes you'll get hurt and will have to carry wounds... but you'll be surprised how they pale in comparison to the next task. And in time, they all heal. You will discover when you can push it and when you have to walk a spell. You will figure out when to ask for help and when to offer help.

Most importantly, though, it all boils down to this. Whatever obstacles you face...

"The best way out is always through." -Robert Frost

Yes, I overcame nervousness and trepidation to run my first Spartan Race. They distribute no maps before the race so no one had any idea where they were running except to follow the ribbons and path provided, thereby testing not only your physical prowess but mental toughness as well. Just like in life... there are no road maps, right?

I ran up and down steep inclines, darted along winding forest paths, crossed a rope bridge that spanned raging rapids, climbed a rope out of waist high mud, climbed another rope up a sheer incline, hauled a sandbag, dragged a rock by a chain, trudged/ swam through shallow river water littered with fallen tree limbs, crawled on my belly under barbed wire, hurled a javelin, scaled high walls, and hurdled fire. And now... I am Spartan!

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” ― Neale Donald Walsch

It took me 2 hours and 7 minutes to complete the 4.5 mile course. And at that time, I beat roughly 40% of the field. It was one of the most challenging events I've ever experienced. And I would absolutely do it again now that I halfway know what to expect. What I WILL NOT be doing is going after the Spartan Super Race (8+ miles) or the Spartan Beast (10+ miles). The Spartan Sprint is quite enough for me. Though, I might do a Super with a team. Maybe.

At it's core, the Spartan Race is about overcoming, physical and mental... and in some cases emotional. I discovered new aspects about myself in the process. I shattered limits that I'd previously had in terms of activities performed and general endurance. Three days after the race, my legs are still sore in areas that had not yet known anguish. In the end, I am soooo glad I did it. And even more than that, I'm proud of myself for finishing.

Below are a few pics of me and a video.

Before the race

In action...

After the race.

Battle scars, right leg

Battle scars, left leg

I EARNED that medal!!

Here are some videos and news coverage of the event, which was held in Charlotte, NC.

Here's a link to some still shots from the event

Here's a video