We All Begin Somewhere…
I think it was about four years ago, where I was incredibly intimidated about even considering to do a Spartan Race. You hear all of these stories from really muscular-looking people, and how it was the most challenging thing they had ever done. At the time, I only considered myself a runner. I couldn’t even do a pull-up (Still can’t do a pull-up), but it was something that I thought MAYBE I would be crazy enough to sign up for one day in the far-off future.
Fast-forward to two years ago, one of my good friends asked me to run a Spartan Sprint with her. (Which is the shorter race option of about 3-5 miles). My immediate thought was, “ME? Why me? Do you actually think I could keep up?” As funny as this sounds, I knew it was “finally-time” for me to try it out. I trained for the race for 8 weeks by doing HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) workouts, and up to 10k (6 miles) training runs.
Long story short, I was still so intimidated when I arrived at the event. Everyone around me looked so ready to win first place. I remember telling myself to just focus on finishing the race. The crazy thing is that I almost fainted at mile 4 from doing burpees and getting up too quickly (but that’s another story), and I couldn’t do ⅓ of the obstacles. Still, I was so proud of myself for getting it done.
Looking back, I can see how that encouragement from a friend and the consistency and perseverance in training all led to me finally getting a Spartan Trifecta!
I honestly wrote this short blog to encourage anyone out there who is interested in participating in a Spartan (or something similar) but are hesitating to try it out. There are probably things on your own mind that you’ve been thinking about doing in regards to fitness and your health. They might even be on your 2020 goal’s list or vision board. I know it may seem terrifying, but as cliche as this is…you literally just have to do it. Just take that first step, and keep yourself accountable by writing out your goals and plans!
Something that works for me is writing out my lifting and cardio workouts all out by hand in a planner, and giving myself incentives once I reach my goals. It also helps to sign up for a race (months in advance) to stay motivated and know that “it’s coming” and there is no time for slacking off.
Another suggestion is to log all of your progress! Whether that be transformation photos, a journal, or even videos! It’s crazy to see how much progress I’ve made from my first Spartan race in 2018, till my last one in November. I couldn’t even lift myself over the “inclined wall obstacle” during my first race. All of these people had to help me over, which was totally fine, but I knew that I wanted to improve on that. At my last race, I was FINALLY able to do it! It took me a couple of years to train specific muscles, but logging my progress through videos and photos gave me the motivation I needed to keep improving.
Spartan Goals for 2020?
I wrote this blog a couple of months ago, but I just never got around to posting it. Originally I had written something different for this section. I had written about the upcoming races I had and how I was training for them. But honestly, social distancing has allowed me to re-think and re-prioritize a lot of this year’s plans and goals.
Obviously, we are ALL in this unforeseen situation of having to stay indoors. If you’re like me, there are some days I find it challenging to stay motivated when it comes to fitness. Everyone deals with life’s unexpected circumstances differently. And that’s okay! But if you are one who is interested in taking those first steps towards your fitness goals, don’t let this temporary season stop you. Yes, gyms are closed, races have been canceled, even parks aren’t allowing people in…but there are many ways to stay motivated. There are so many FREE workouts and affordable online programs that are making it even easier to work out in the comfort of your home. If you can pay, there are so many online coaches and trainers who need the support right now. I know I had one this past year who was SO amazing and ultimately helped me change my body composition. Also, my Crossfit gym is currently posting workouts on their page which has been SO helpful.
So basically, we just have to allow this season to still prepare us for whatever goals we made at the beginning of this year. We don’t have to put them on pause. But if you do have to modify or change some goals, that’s okay. I think having goals that you can stick to is better than forgetting your original ones altogether.