In an effort to embrace progress trumps comfort I decided to try my hand at a Spartan Race. Ok, so the decsion wasn’t made quite that lightly. I had seen what lots of folks look like post Spartan and I honestly wasn’t sure I’d have the strength to finish. That said, it didn’t matter how I finished just as long as I finished.
Saturday morning came and I was super nervous as I am for every race. Doesn’t matter what kind of race I always pull into the parking lot wanting to throw up. It was a 1.5 mile walk to the start area through the Cornell Ag campus. It was enough to get me to relax.
I was incredibly lucky that I was traveling with someone who had done several of these before which helped ease me into the registration process. As we picked up our chips I felt completely overwhelmed. Good grief what did I get myself into??
The course was laid out in such a way that I could see a majority of the obstacles. That helped a bit. I was still scared but I knew I would be ok. I knew I was going to be running it on my own as I wasn’t going to force my companion to run slow (or have to wait for me to do burpees) so I put on my big girl pants and dug deep. I knew I was going to have to dig extra deep because the whole race was being run in/on/around fields filled with some of my worse asthmatic triggers.
Once I started I fell into a rhythm running. The first couple of obstacles were things I was comfortable with; hay bales and mud pits. That’s when things started to get interesting and I started to get pushed; walls, barbed wire crawl, pulling cement blocks, and the inverted wall. Every obstacle I completed I knew I was getting one step closer to the finish. I struggled. I will completely admit that I was getting pushed hard.
When I came to the inverted wall (think of a wall on an angle like this \. You climb up the back side before you go over the top. Now I’m 5’3″. However, I also used to climb. Used to. I haven’t been on a rock wall in probably 15 years or so. Conquering that wall was a huge boost to my ego. Even if it meant that I got a wicked black and blue mark on my arm where I came down with my full weight onto the soft squishy part of my arm as I pushed/leapt/swung myself over the top of the wall. I gave myself the biggest noogie ever.
As I came to my last quarter mile my companion was there cheering me on from the side lines. I was positively thrilled. That was exactly what I needed to finish the race. It gave me such a boost. It was new, different, and awesome to have someone cheering like that.
As I crossed the finish line I was incredibly proud of myself. I know that I had to dig deep to finish. I also know that here is no way in hell that I could have done that even 6 months ago. I’m not 100% certain if I am going to do another. I might, especially if I have the right company and if I can spend some time in the climbing gym this winter and work on my upper body because at the end of the day progress, indeed, trumps comfort.