This past weekend up in Palmerston, Pennsylvania was the sight of the Spartan Super and the Spartan Sprint that team No Bull Training participated in. Blue Mountain is notorious for its steep hills and unforgiving terrain, but that wasn't going to stop us. We headed up there with approximately fifty No Bullers, half of which were Spartan first timers. This race started off with a nasty two mile climb to the top of the mountain, and progressively got more difficult as it went on. With water obstacles, monkey bars, rope climbs, barbed wire crawls and very big walls to climb, we were all hoping that our training was going to pay off...And indeed it did!
Mountains like this are a different kind of monster, you can't just hop off of your couch and go smoke this kind of race. All the No Bullers have been prepping for this race for months now. We knew what to expect because my trainers and I do this mountain every year, and every year they ramp up the intensity. Between Group Classes, Personal Training sessions that focused on getting the clients strong and their bodies conditioned to take this kind of beating, and Mikes Spartan Classes, our No Bullers were ready. They were ready because they made a conscious choice to put the work in; they all ate better, they all trained harder, they all slept better, and they all were consistent.
During training sessions I am always trying to find ways to challenge my team mentally and physically, what better way to do that than to offer up a Spartan challenge. Initially, most of them look at me like I have three heads, but after I plant that seed and get them stronger, leaner and more confident, things start to change. All of a sudden, they start to see what we (the trainers) see, they start to have a more positive mindset when it comes to themselves. This mindset is what's needed for them to have the courage to do these races and get their training up to where it needs to be. After clients sign up for races like this, a very strange thing happens, they start to come to more classes, they start staying after personal training and asking me if they can practice rope climbs, or if they can do some conditioning work on the Rower. It's an amazing thing to watch when a client finally "gets it"!
"Gets It": Stops making BS excuses / Takes their training seriously / Shows up every week / Starts asking questions on how they can Improve, and actually putting the answers we give them into play / When the client starts to help others around them and realizes that we are a TEAM / When they "get it", they improve immediately, and the Team Improves immediately!
My job as a coach is to make people do things that they never even imagined doing before, like a spartan race. But just throwing an idea at them is only the first step, it takes an unbreakable belief in them and your skills as a coach to get them where you need them to be to ensure that they can safely dominate whatever challenge your present to them. I do these races because I love them and they give me another reason to train my ass off, but I can honestly say that I get much greater satisfaction when I see my team finishing and having fun dong something that they told me they'd never be able to do!
I am beyond proud of every single one of you guys, you all put the work in and did what we set out to do. Now, the only question is...When's the next race?!