I have won every Spartan Race I’ve ever done
And so have you. Have I always been on the podium? No. But I have still won. Whether you are out there to win, to prove something to yourself, or just finish, there is always a victory. Let me tell you about a few of my victories:
Fenway Stadium Sprint 2013: My first race. My friend Jess had talked me into it, but I don’t think either of us knew what we were really getting into. Sound familiar? This is the story of most Spartans, especially those that raced before it became more popular. Back then, people were talking about it, it wasn’t on TV as a series, and it really didn’t seem to have made its way to Maine. But we did it. And in the end we were hooked. We are now stronger in every way. Sounds like a win to me!
Killington Beast 2014: My first Beast, and only my 2nd Spartan Race. 7 ½ hours later, with tears in my eyes from shear exhaustion, I crossed the finish line. I had been in the Open heat and had no clue (nor care) about the Elite division purpose, level of competition, or prizes. What I did know was that I had NEVER been through something like that before. I came out knowing that I WAS able to push myself beyond my perceived limits. How did I know? Because I thought I met said limit numerous times on that course. But somehow I went on. I was alone the entire race, but yet I was surrounded by people. I had yet to realize the community that I was in. So alone I went. With nothing but time on the course to discover myself. Then I met a new person on the other end. I met a new me. A stronger person than ever, with a newfound desire to get faster and more resilient. Sounds like another win.
Rutland, MA Saturday Sprint 2017: I went into that day with a strong desire to win. About a mile in I was in third place. Then something happened. The pressure of the race got to me. The desire to win became overwhelming. So much that I didn’t want to deal with the thought of losing. For some reason, on that day, I let me worry get to me. But instead of putting mind over matter, I let myself be overcome. After falling off the Olympus, I pulled myself out of the race. It was terrible. I cried, I beat myself up inside. Then, I found a friend and person I had been coaching and I ran his race with him. I did every burpee with him, even though I had completed the obstacles. 210 burpees. It was a great race. By the end of it I had realized that I had stood in my own way of success. I had let what I loved take me down. I let that feeling sit with me, I accepted it, I learned from it, and I let it go. In the end I found a new strength and a new obstacle that I had to work to overcome. In my mind, that’s a win.
Rutland MA Sunday Sprint 2017: Same race as the day before, except this time my mind was ready. I had used the events from the day before to tell myself “never again”. Never again would I let pressure ruin what I love. I wouldn’t let the competition get to me. I would only run my own race the best I could. If I win, great. I I don’t, then I learn what I need to work on. So what happened that day? I won. Truly won. Took 1st place with a 3 minute lead over 2nd place. Knowing the course from the day before didn’t help me any more than doing 210 burpess hurt me. It was knowing myself that got me across first.
I’ve had more podiums since then, and I hope to have more. But I take great pride and comfort in knowing that every Finisher medal hanging in my home gym is a win. So I ask you, how many races have you won?