Vernon, Nj was the spot of our first Spartan Beast race this year, and it was a good one. The Beast is a twelve to sixteen mile mud run up and down a mountain that people ski down in the winter. Hiking up the mountains face turns into a slow, leg melting experience quickly, but you just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Yesterdays race happen to be a tough thirteen miles with about thirty obstacles to conquer.
Team No Bull showed up well prepared and ready to rock. At the starting line I always like to look into the eyes of my teammates to see where their heads are. I usually see a lot of nerves, fear, anxiety and some regret for signing up for such a brutal run, but yesterday was different. As I stared at my team, I saw a lot of really focused humans, they had a perfect mixture of aggression and fear for what was coming up. And that's a good combo considering you need both to safely get off of this mountain.
About twelve weeks ago we all started training a little harder knowing that the Beast was coming. We hit trails a few times a week, we crushed boot camp classes, we made our bodies harder to break at personal training sessions, and we locked up our nutrition. We rowed longer distances on the rower, we did hill sprint intervals, we lifted heavier weights and we ran longer trails. These kinds of racers are tough even when you're in tip top shape, so for someone to go into it not in great shape, better be ready for a long day of misery.
At about mile three we all felt like we had done six miles, and at mile eight we felt like we had to be on mile eleven. A mountain mile is much different from the mile we usually know; a mountain mile is a different world. Keeping your head down and just waiting to see the next obstacle is the name of the game. Believe it or not, when you see a rope climb or a wall jump, you know it's a break from the climbing and it feels good.
I think most of us get so comfortable in our bubbles that we hesitate to leave them because we fear failure or we fear the unknown. I remember my first mud run, I dam near died because I was so unprepared. After that humbling start, I know now what it takes to not only finish the race, but to finish the race without getting injured. Lifting weights makes you "bullet proof", yes you can roll an ankle (which I did at mile 4), but resistance training strengthens your muscles, bones and joints so that you can stay healthy through the bombardment of torture that you're facing.
Doing that type of training and these types of races are not only a great way to become a scary machine physically, but they're huge confidence builders. They immediately show you who and what type of person you are, the good and the ugly. They expose your weaknesses and can highlight your strengths. After a spartan race you know exactly what you need to work on, and this is a great opportunity to attack your weaknesses and turn them into strengths.
Your bed feels softer when you train and run Spartan races - Your food literally tastes better - Your showers feel warmer - Your hugs from your kids feel tighter - You become a better Daddy/Mommy - Your confidence skyrockets - You take more pride in your health - You cut down on your drinking - You start treating food like fuel - You make your sleep a higher priority - You become more consistent with your Training - Sex feels better - Your increased health and confidence makes you more fun to be around - You take more responsibility for your life decisions - You become a more positive person, and that rubs off on those around you...My list could go on!
The humans at No Bull Training are top notch, I am their "fearless leader" (as they call me) but I receive just as much motivation from you guys as you do from me. We all need a push, including coaches! Watching the progression of a client go from a scared, timid, out of shape human, to a full blown machine in a few months is simply epic. If you hang around me, I'll make you do things that will bring you out of your comfort zone. I'll make you do things that scare you. I'll make you lean, strong and give you the confidence to do whatever you want to do.
I tell all of my "rooks" when I first meet them that they have to open up and trust me. Once the trust is there, the progress really speeds up and their goals start getting crushed. I treat every one of my clients like a family member of mine, I can be tough sometimes, but it's always to ensure their safety and well being. A good coach must be 100% honest with his clients at all times, even if the truth hurts. The clients best interest is always at the top of the priority list.
If you're looking to get out of your comfort zone, come join the team. Besides our training seven days a week, we have monthly 5ks, 10k's, charity hikes, spartan races and more. I try and keep your schedules full to always give you all something to shoot for. Training is fun, but training just to "get into shape" is almost never enough for most people. There must be another reason or goal. Figure out what you want and go get it....