"Spartan Super in NJ" (Blog #74)
Spartan races have become very popular over the past few years. They introduced competition and movement back into the lives of people. These races go from "pretty easy" to "Are you Insane". The Spartan Super that we did yesterday was the middle of the road race, it was 8 and a 1/2 miles long up a ski lift in New Jersey. The terrain was steep, rugged and tough. We started off with a climb that was dam near vertical for almost a mile. Then the real fun began, we got to climb walls, crawl under barbed wire, lift 100 pound atlas stones, climb vertical cargo nets, drag heavy weighted sleds, throw spears and much more.
The great thing about races like these are that you get to push as hard or as easy as you want. The competition is with yourself. There are points in the race that you mentally want to quit and you just have to figure out how to put one foot in front of the other. Everyone handles the pressure differently, some make jokes and kid around while in the middle of the race, others just don't talk and put their heads down and grind. The mountain races will quickly humble you and let you know where you are mentally and physically.
The team camaraderie is just amazing here, we watched a group of 10+ people help racers in wheelchairs over every obstacle. Every wall you meet and help dozens of racers over the walls. You throw them (or they throw you) over the wall, you high five and get going again. Yesterdays race had thousands of people of all shapes, sizes and ages; we met people from all over the country who came out because they love the freedom and the challenge that these races provide.
The reason I love these races is because they give me another reason to train hard, eat right and live a healthy lifestyle other than "wanting to be in shape". You can't fake your way through these races, you have to train properly and be tough mentally to complete them. If your training, sleep and nutrition is half ass, the mountains will expose that. The mountains are the great equalizer. Plus, you get to hangout with some cool ass humans....
We all need a reason to move everyday, it doesn't necessarily have to be a Spartan Race, but there has to be something. People tell me on a daily basis that they're afraid to get hurt and they think it's too risky to do these types of races. My reply to them is simple: It's MORE risky to sit around and live a sedentary lifestyle that will undoubtably lead to weight gain, muscle and bone loss, heart disease, diabetes, strokes and many other preventable diseases...Get Moving!!!