The ability to keep moving when things get tough isn’t something that you just have. It’s often developed over years of practice and some training from mentors. It’s grit and when you see someone with it… I don’t know about you, but I want more of it!
As many of y’all know I spent my weekend in the Lake Tahoe area competing in and completing the Spartan Race World Championships. No, I wasn’t in the running to win, but by signing up for a Beast at Worlds you are signing up for a tough challenge. Tougher terrain, harder and now obstacles, and the ability for the weather to shut it all down in a moments notice.
I ran this race with 3 other teamRIPPED guys: Bobby Barber, Mike Roberts, and David Jeffries. We had thrown around the idea a while back and committed to the challenge months ago. When this week finally came, I was ready but I know there was a long road ahead.
Fighting Through What You Know
Going in I knew there would be challenges. We had been online following Spartan Race and saw a lot of what was coming. Bobby ran the Tahoe race last year, so relied on his knowledge too. Even with all that good insight, we still have to prepare. It wouldn’t have made any different if we learned all we could about the race but didn’t take any action.
Fight Tip #1: Gather insight and knowledge from people who’ve been there and done it… then actually use that info!
So how’d we do it? We knew there was a COLD swim (we were told it was 43*F). Bobby said it broke people last year. So we all had at least a dry upper shirt to pull on after and a make shift wind breaker to help keep the chill down as we warmed up. We also told each other that everyone just needed to move after the swim, we’d meet up later. Proud to say we all did it and all won that fight!
In fitness, this is a perfect parallel. You can gather so much information about what doing a program like P90X3 or Body Beast is like. You can ask people like me who have been there and done it. But you have to put it into action. You need to hear me say “eating around extended family is tough, they will want you to cave.” Then you need to take action on what I’ve said can help and form your personal plan. “Run through some nice but firm ‘no thank yous’… ‘That’s ok Mom, it just doesn’t fit my meal plan right now. It looks great though!’ or ‘Oh I am stuffed! Maybe next time…’ Be super excited about what you are doing and how you are feeling!
Then, be prepared. Bring your own food, bring a dish like a veggie tray you can do work on and be ok with. But at the end of the day, you have to do it.
Fighting Through What You Don’t Know
No matter how much you plan, there can always be something that can catch you off guard. With working out, maybe it’s getting sick or having a family member die. Maybe you lost a job or got injured. We can’t know these are coming but we can prep and WHO WE ARE is what shines in these moments.
Our Crew had one of these moments on Saturday too (probably more than one… but there was one big one). We were on our final push up to the summit where there was a series of obstacles. We were jogging along and out of the corner of my eye, I see Bobby lunge forward and shoot off the course. He had rolled his ankle on a loose rock and thankfully caught himself before a bad fall. What was his good ankle was now his bad one.
Questions rolled in everyone’s mind. Would he be able to finish? Do we need to split up? Will it just loosen up? I could tell he was feeling it. Honestly, I didn’t know if he would make it the rest of the way.
Bobby is the most seasoned Spartan of our Crew. He put his head down and moved forward. Sure his pace slowed, but he didn’t give up. We had lost him after the swim and our run to get warm again. More doubts surfaced. Then at the horrible bucket carry (longest in Spartan Race history), I see him! He was on his way up when I had taken the turn to come down!
We all got to bottom and thought, well do we wait? It was getting late… and there he was. He knew he needed to catch up. He took the whole downward leg (¼ mile in all) in one pass. No breaks with a 70+ lb bucket. BEAST!
Fight Tip #2: Mindset and Movement matter. When it gets bad, keep moving forward. You can figure things out as you go and the momentum you keep will make it worth the pain.
Maybe it’s an injury working out or being really sore. As you are able, keep moving. Shoulders feel bad? Work legs. Sprain your ankle? Do 30-15 and work chest and back. But keep in the rhythm and keep moving forward.
In the end, we finished slower than maybe we had hoped, but we finished. I only slipped up on one obstacle and only had 30 penalty burpees. Our Crew conquered everything. There wasn’t a single thing as a team we couldn’t do. Most importantly, we all pushed ourselves harder and further than before. We had fight and we won this fight.
So what’s your mindset like when things get tough? Are you a fighter?
Join the fight with me! I’m in your corner.
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