Thoughts on Life, Art, Photography, Technology, Teaching and Travel…..
This past weekend I participated in my first Spartan Sprint Race in Charlotte, NC with a team of dedicated athletes from Crossfit Morehead City. I must admit at 62 years old this was one of the most difficult physical and mental challenges I’ve ever faced, including military training many years ago. There is absolutely no way I could have finished this race without the training I’ve been getting at my Crossfit box these past 18 months.
When I showed up at Crossfit Morehead City 18 months ago I was 30 pounds heavier and not in the best of shape. Sure I could jog a few miles and play some competitive racquetball, but I was just maintaining the status quo with my health and fitness level. I was not being challenged nor was I seriously challenging myself. I was 60 years old, recently retired and just not happy with where I was physically. There is no way I could have competed let alone come close to completing a Spartan Race in the condition I was in.
I’ve always been an active person, however being active and getting seriously fit are two very different things. This is one of the big lessons I’ve learned doing Crossfit over the past year and a half. I’ve also realized I can push my body way beyond its “comfort zone” and am learning to embrace the short term pain and discomfort for the long term benefits of health and fitness. The Spartan Sprint proved this to me this past weekend, although it also showed me I have a long way to go.
The Spartan Race forced me to push myself way beyond my comfort zone and showed me I can do anything I put my mind to. It taught me that consistent training and proper nutrition (and hydration) is crucial if you want to succeed and excel at Crossfit and Spartan Races. I am very pleased that I completed the race, but not happy with my overall performance and that’s why I plan on training even harder in preparation for the next Spartan Race in the fall.
Over the past year Crossfit and now training for Spartan Races has enhanced my confidence, stamina, strength and discipline, in addition to teaching me that I can overcome just about any physical challenge if I don’t give up and just stick with the fitness program. Sure it can be grueling and sometimes even painful, but the end result is so worth it.
Age is just a number. Sure that’s an old cliche, but a true one. I’m doing things at our Crossfit box now that I could have not even imagined doing 15 months ago. Pull-ups, Hand Stand Pushups, dead lifts, truck tire flips, double-under jump rope, rope climbs and all kinds of extreme conditioning exercises. It’s just a matter of “showing up” day in and day out and putting in the time and effort with all aspects of the daily workout regimen.
I’m proud of myself and all my fellow teammates from Crossfit Morehead City for signing up and actually doing a Spartan Race. Crossing the finish line was such an amazing feeling of accomplishment. There were a few moments during the race when I wanted to quit and walk away, but those moments passed and I just kept putting one foot in front of the other until I got to the finish line. It was also amazing how everyone helped one another through the obstacles. There was an incredible sense of community at the race – very similar to what I have experienced at Crossfit Boxes around the country.
For me the most challenging and intimidating obstacle was low crawling under barbed wire through thick wet mud and water. That was pretty darn crazy and a bit scary, yet I somehow got through it and survived and so did all my teammates.
My advice for what its worth is YOU CAN DO IT! You just have to train for it and not quit your consistent training and conditioning in preparation for a Spartan Race.
From Wikipedia….”Spartan Race is a series of obstacle races of varying distance and difficulty ranging from 3 miles to marathon distances. They are held in USA and franchised to 14 countries including Canada, many European countries, South Korea, and Australia. The series include the Spartan Sprint (3+ miles of obstacle racing), the Super Spartan (8+ miles), the Spartan Beast (12+ miles), and the Ultra Beast (26+ miles – one of two marathon obstacle courses along with Mudderthon).”
One final note….one of our teammates Gary Mann took 1st Place in our heat and his age bracket and 8th place overall. This by the way was his first Spartan Race.
All Photographs on this Post by Noelle Smith