“You’re crazy!” I can’t count how many times I’ve heard that lately. It seems every time people find out about what I’m training for next year and do in my spare time, the inevitable conclusion is I must be crazy. I don’t mind though I’m perfectly happy in my insanity. I embrace it and hold it close. Just as often I am asked why I do this. Why punish your body like that and torture yourself? I don’t see it as torture, I see it as living, and this thing I do, is how I live, not a hobby. I do this every day, I wake up thinking about it, plan my meals around it, my weekends, and my wardrobe. Beyond the races is a lifestyle, and were I not competing in the Spartan race series I’d still live this way and train everyday for it.
I have often made the point in my articles that fitness must be a lifestyle, not something you try on. If you’re not ready to dedicate yourself to it and make tangible changes in your habits and routines then you’re setting yourself up for failure before you even begin. I made a promise to myself two months ago to compete in a Spartan Race in 2012. That one race has grown to eight and now instead of simply finishing I want to win. Why not? Why not go all the way? My goals are my own and many people will be competing next year for the fun of it and don’t get me wrong this is fun for me too. I need more though. I am not satisfied with going part of the way and if I don’t push myself in these races and give absolutely everything I have to finish strong I will know it at the finish line and hate myself for it.
Yes I said hate myself. Not long ago I was a United States Marine and that meant something, in the years since though I’ve grown soft, and become a quitter. I launched into things with no goal or direction and the results were typical. Most times I’d lose interest quickly, give up, or set it down never to finish. That had to stop! My girlfriend says I am too hard on myself and I am. It’s because I see what I can be though. I know what I once was and the great things I accomplished and I want to find that man once again and hold him up high. I push myself hard because we our own worst enemies. We are the chinks in our armor and the flaws in our plans and it is we that will ultimately decide if we succeed or fail.
I can tell you from experience that when pushed, the mind will fail long before the body. If I do not train my mind and condition my will to push beyond the threshold and make my body follow suit than I will never achieve my goals. Some will advise that you should take it easy and never push too hard. Some will tell you that you risk injury by doing so. Well to them and their doubting cousins propped on the couch with remote in hand I say that life is a risk. I would rather risk mine in the pursuit of a dream then waste away safe in my living room while time marches on and my dreams turn to dust. To those that push themselves to tears belongs victory. Those who excel and rise to new heights suffered for it and bled to see it done. They’re dream was bought with a price of dedication, application, courage and simple heart. Those with heart win, those with heart keep going after they could have stopped. Those with heart make history and show all the world that the impossible is a lie and the extraordinary is the goal we should all be reaching for.
I may be crazy and they may be right. My crazy though is better than anything sane they can offer. My insanity is my freedom and my power. It is my strength and the light that leads the way to greatness. I hope you will come be crazy with me. AROOOOO Spartans.