The Things We Do

I’m finding it hard to pull myself out of bed at five in the morning. Why you ask would a person that works from home need to be up so early? To run that’s why. I have a race to thrash in six months and I need to build up my aerobic endurance. While I’ve been hammering away at the weights for some time now, I have not tried to actively run anywhere for quite a while. In my youth I ran track and cross-country and as a Marine would often undertake ten-mile “motivation” runs. These days though I prefer to stick to interval training and circuits to keep my heart rate up. In theory they’ve worked well but the reality of it is that there’s just no substitute for beating the pavement when you’re preparing for a race.

The Spartan Race is more than simply a marathon; it’s a test. Racers must negotiate a series of obstacles placed throughout the course in order to finish. All are tests of physical and mental strength designed to push the participant’s resolve and willpower. It’s not enough to be a good runner or even a fast one in a Spartan race. Competitors must be the total package. Ironically in a race that calls out for super athletes, most entrants are far from it. Many are average people with no specialized sports training who have simply sought out a challenge to test themselves. The first goal of a Spartan race is to finish. The designers have sought to build an event not just a marathon, a defining moment for racers and competitors. In a nation of obesity and increasing laziness few are those who push themselves to the limit and fewer still those willing to hang it all on the ragged edge for no more reward then a medal and the knowledge you did it.

I’m already working out five days a week, now I need to add running sessions into the mix. Ideally it would be cross-country jaunts through a varied landscape with hills and streams. However with the onset of winter and life in a major metropolitan area I will have to adapt and improvise my courses. Unfortunately this means spending a fair amount of time on a treadmill in a stuffy gym, but sacrifices must be made. So if I have to roll out of a warm bed in the dark winter morning and go flog myself like a hamster on a wheel then so be it.

Now that I’ve painted such a glossy picture of what I’m trying to accomplish I know the masses will flock to sign up themselves. Who wouldn’t want to subject themselves to miles of physical torment and exertion? What sane person would choose to stay home and vegetate in front of the TV when they could be outside with a crowd of fellow lunatics slogging through mud, water, and woods? I say that if you don’t go out right now and sign up for a Spartan race near you that you are in fact crazy and in need of psychological evaluation and treatment. Come join me and thousands of livers of life and test yourself. Find out just what you can do and live a little while, the TV will always be there waiting for you. Life though, life is slipping by moment by moment day by day, are you going to let it pass you by?

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