Have you ever watched a movie or tv show and found a scene that completely grabbed you? Something that took you to a place of desire, admiration, or ambition? The singer’s voice. The dancer’s grace. The nice home. The strength in the stunts or obstacles. The corporate position. The happy marriage. The faith-filled mother. The present father. I’ve seen and felt it all. One day, I got tired of imagining. I wanted to do. I wanted to feel. I wanted to experience.
At least two times during the race, I heard people say “ …and, to think, we paid for this?” Yep! Sure did! Whether a Spartan spent eight hours volunteering or the minimum $149 to touch the course, we paid a price. We also agreed to pay the insurance, and transportation, and parking, and maybe even other travel expenses. But what do we get for it?
A medal. A t-shirt. A free beer.
We also got muscle cramps. Lots of bruises. Body aches for days.
The ultimate question: IS IT WORTH IT?
YES, and here’s why:
Spartans overcome the battlefield of the mind. We spent over four hours on the most recent course. That’s a long time to push your body to run, walk, climb, carry, pull, flip, slide, etc. In some cases, your body reaches its limits and wants to shut down but when your goal is completion, you have to buckle down and find ways to continue on. I believe the will to continue starts in the mind. Limits are not finite and are often arbitrarily self-imposed. When we are willing to break beyond barriers and push past pain, we are able to grow into the fullness of our creation. It doesn’t matter what haters say. It doesn’t matter what other people are too coward to do. It doesn’t matter how long it takes to reach your goal. All that matters is that you believe you can do and that you put yourself out there to get it done. The Spartan course builds that confidence within you. When you win on the course, you know you can win in life.
|Confidence Gained From Getting to the Finish|
Spartans support other Spartans. There is nothing like being less than five feet tall and approaching an eight foot wall with the expectation to get over it. No tilt. No grips. No steps. You get the option of trying to beat the obstacle alone. At the same time, you get the option to have support from a fellow Spartan. Get this…you don’t even have to ask. Can you imagine a life where you get to go through its ups and downs with unwavering support? You don’t have to face you divorce alone. You don’t have to face death alone. You don’t have to face terminal illness alone. You don’t have to face bankruptcy alone. A life where unsolicited support is readily available at all times, no matter what you are facing. That is what you get on a Spartan course. A sense of unity and belonging.
|Crossing the Waters with Support|
Spartans identify silent suffering. Much of the Spartan race is done in the woods. The running paths and majority of the obstacles are out of plain sight. In my experiences, the toughest obstacles are hidden from those who are not also enduring the pain. The speculator (the family or friend waiting on the sidelines) does not see everything a Spartan must go through before he gets to the fire pit. The spectator get glimpses from time to time but they don’t get the full view. Sometimes in life, we are surrounded by a circle of people who don’t truly understand our struggle. But when we know better, we do better. When we understand that people around us are dealing with much more than we can see on the surface, we can be better friends, family members, and support systems. The Spartan course reminds us that there is more than meets the eye. Look beyond the surface.
|Smiles Don't Always Indicate Joy|
Spartans get refined in mind, body, and spirit. The bruise on my arm. The scratches on his hands. The lump on my shin. The sore muscles. Legs. Hips. Butt. Back. Arms. Shoulders. Everything hurts. Some of this was unnoticeable during the race and immediately following. However, on the day after the race, there was definitely residual effects. Sometimes, it takes time for the adrenaline to wear off and for reality to set in. The pain that you endure days after the ‘race’ is a necessary part of the process. It’s a reminder of the past. It’s a reminder of what you’ve overcome. You see, your refinement comes when you go through something (a storm, some pressure, some sifting) and come out on the other side (taller, brighter, stronger) than you were before. The Spartan course puts your mind and body through a true test and causes after effects. A great reminder of your strength, ability, and endurance.
Find your inner Spartan! It’s worth it!