What a weekend I had in Big Bear for the USNS Spartan Race!
- Finish the 6.5-mile race with 3,000 feet of elevation gain and 27 obstacles.
- Run at a pace that is doable for me, so I don’t burn out on the course.
- Test my hip on the new obstacles I have not yet tried since before my surgery in 2021.
- Give every obstacle my best attempt and finish the penalties as assigned (burpees or penalty loops).
- Expect to be on the course for over 2 hours.
- Enjoy my experience on the mountain.
- Proudly accept my finisher’s medal and race T-shirt.
- Enjoy my post-race beer.
- Continue strengthening my body through running, strength training and healthy lifestyle habits.
What Actually Happened:
- Kept a pace that was right for me and did lots of hiking up the mountain as it was mostly too steep to run.
- Found that my hip did fine on the new obstacles (including Z Wall, where I had to fully open my hips).
- Forgot how treacherous the climbs on this mountain really are.
- Missed some obstacles and had to do 30 penalty burpees and four penalty loops.
- Acknowledged, but ignored, my thoughts on how tough the course was.
- Successfully completed the 3,000 feet of elevation gain and ready for the last handful of obstacles + the finish line.
- After trudging up and down the mountain for 3 hours, I told myself to skip the rope climb as I did not have the energy or grip strength to complete it.
- Reminded myself that I was going to give every obstacle my best attempt, so I went for the rope climb.
- Missed the rope climb, landed wrong, and did not have to do the 30-burpee penalty.
- Got escorted off the course by medics shortly before the finish line.
- Acquired my first DNF (Did Not Finish) race.
- Went home with no finisher’s medal or race T-shirt.
- Enjoyed my post-race beer after going to Urgent Care.
- Came home in a boot and on crutches.
- No running for at least 6-8 weeks and no lower body strength training for who knows how long.
- Continue strengthening my body through running/strength training (when ready) and healthy lifestyle habits.
So, did everything go according to plan? NO.
Am I okay with that? YES.
As with anything in life, we periodically get thrown a curveball.
It’s not the curveball that matters, but how we react to that curveball.
Obviously, my race/day/trip did not go as planned…I sprained my right ankle, and possibly fractured it, when I landed on the outside of my foot/ankle in-between two mats that were not snug together for a proper landing under the rope climb.
But I take this as a sign that I need to slow down, refocus on what’s most important to me right now, and give everything I have towards what’s important in my life.
It pays to be ready for any of life’s challenges by continually taking care of our mind, our soul, and our body.
The stronger we are mentally, emotionally, and physically, the better capable we’ll be to live this beautiful life that God has given us.
Of course, I am bummed out, frustrated, disappointed and mourning the fact that I once again cannot be physically active as I like. I’m hobbling around in a boot and crutches less than a year from my surgery, and only 8 months from when I started to rebuild my strength and endurance back.
It’s okay to have these feelings, to acknowledge them and to endure them, but there’s no benefit to dwelling on it.
This is an opportunity to turn my situation around and put focus where focus is needed, and to learn from life’s lessons.
I know I will recover from this injury, and I plan on recovering well. That’s why I try to take care of myself as often as I can — so I am better capable of recovering when I need to.
I ask you this today:
Think about what is most important to you right now….
….is it your heath, your family, your career, your belongings, your skill/craft, your future…
Whatever it is, act now to build yourself up for who you want to be, and how you want to live.
It doesn’t matter how early or late in life you make this decision, or that the decision changes over time.
What matters is that you make a decision and take one small step towards achieving it!
I’m here to support you in your journey as I continue through mine
Comment below and let’s chat!