On July 10, 2022 (yesterday as I’m writing this article), I ran my first race in which I had to pay to participate in. It wasn’t actually my idea. I have two older brothers who wanted to do it and they asked if I wanted in. Now, there was now way I was going to let those two run that race and then hold it over me for the rest of my life (because that’s what older brothers do), so I said I’d do it. They were a little surprised when I said, “Yes” because, growing up, I was never as physical as them (in their opinion). At that point, I knew I had to not only participate in this race, but I had to finish in a respectable position. “What’s the race?” you ask. Well, let me tell you about it.
The race was the Spartan 5k. It had 20 obstacles and, because it was being held at Snow Basin Ski Resort in Huntsville, Utah, it gained a little over 1,000 feet in elevation. The obstacles included things such as a rope climb, several different wall climbs, a spear throw, and carrying heavy objects such as a sandbag, a bucket full of rocks, and a 100lb stone various distances. Sounds like fun, right? There are people who live for these kinds of events and do very well at them. That’s why the Spartan race can also be done in distances of 10k and up to 30k and feature up to 30+ obstacles on some of these races. Some people just can’t be physically challenged enough.
I am not one of those people.
I am a 6ft tall, 190lbs, 42 year old male who works a desk job, is married, and has five kids. My days are generally filled up before they start. I don’t have time to “push myself to my physical limits” nor do I really have the desire. While I admire people who can accomplish great physical feats, I’ve never had the drive to do it myself. I’m more of an indoor guy. But, life likes to think it’s funny and enjoys throwing opportunities our way to see if we’ll step up or step out. In this case, I sighed and slowly stepped up.
I had about a month to prepare and, to be short, I pretty much squandered the entire time. I did manage to fit in some workouts and I started to walk/jog about 3–4 nights a week, so I was a little prepared, but I didn’t look anything like the ripped, yelling, in-your-face athletes that were featured in the race videos I watched. Needless to say, I had some serious self-doubts going into the race.
The main positive thing that I had going is that my brothers are a few years older, a few inches shorter, and a few pounds heavier than me. Besides them, I…