My husband and I competed in our first Spartan Race . . . a Spartan BEAST. The race consisted of 13 miles of flats, sand, steep terrain uphill/downhill, water and 31 obstacles in between. Not only that, but if obstacles weren't completed, the "reward" (hahaha, reward . . . yeah right) was 30 burpees.
It's been a week now since the race and I've been thinking about the challenges and successes I felt throughout the course and it reminded me a lot about the challenges and successes faced in "real life".
1. Be Open-Minded. Look at life from different perspectives. If you are approaching an obstacle in your life that seems impossible going into it head on, find resources, friends or family to help give you a new outlook and a new approach on how to face it. This obstacle was a barb-wire fence. The fence was too high to go over, obviously impossible to go through so the only way was getting through it underneath.
2. Sometimes when facing a challenge you have to just jump right in, get dirty and get it done. Eating healthy and exercise for example, no one can do the work for you. You have to put in the time, make it a priority and do the actual movement and eating YOURSELF!!!! There is always support along the way, but bottom line: Jump in, do your work and get it done . . . no excuses!
3. Don't overwhelm yourself with "STUFF", whether that be projects, volunteering, work, etc. Remember: You can only be the best YOU, when you are healthy both mentally and physically. Being healthy requires balance and sometimes that means putting yourself FIRST. Too many of us think that "putting yourself first" is selfish . . . TRUST ME . . . it feels like that, but that is farthest from the truth. Putting yourself FIRST makes you the best version of YOU and then makes YOU better for everyone around you. This obstacle was one of the hardest ones for both my husband and I. For the first half of this obstacle, I had the bucket filled with rocks and half-way through found out that I only needed the rocks to fill up to the holes (pictured in the photo above in the bucket). So, instead of taking on too much burden (pretending to be tough and "I can handle carrying more weight") and doing "more than I had too", I dumped some rocks out making it the required weight. Was it still a challenge? Hell yes . . . but much more manageable. Why try to be "the tough gal" all the time . . . I don't have too! And YOU don't have to be the ROCK . . . the "tough person" . . . all the time, either! Carry a "life weight" that challenges you, yet is doable.
4. The journey can be long and treacherous, but when the end is in sight, charge towards it! This is our last few feet before the finish line. After 13 miles and 31 obstacles the end was in sight. Always save something for the end to finish strong. The journey to weight loss can seem like FOREVER. We never gain weight overnight, so we should never expect weight loss overnight. Keep a good pace, be patient and when you see the goal closer, keep charging and put that extra effort in.
5. CELEBRATE!!!!! Celebrate successes . . . Successes aren't scaled. No matter how big or small you think a success is, it should always be celebrated. I encourage rewards and celebrations to be "non-food" rewards, such as a massage, a new workout outfit, a pedicure, etc. We are in a society of using food for celebration and self-medication which adds to the obesity epidemic in our country. So, ALWAYS celebrate, but make your celebration something outside of food or drink!
5. MOST IMPORTANT LIFE LESSON: Find someone to "live and love" life with. Whether it be a group of people or a single person, find those people who love and support you. Find people who believe in you. Find people who bring out the best in you. Find people who prioritize health and fitness on the level you do. Don't do "life" alone . . . don't think you can . . . we all need connection and we all need our TRIBE!
So, there you go . . . Life Lessons from the BEAST. Will we do it again? Well, we weren't too sure right after the race. But, a week later we have decided to do a Spartan Trifecta in 2018. That means we will do 3 races next year . . . and it will be challenging as hell! I can't wait!!!!!