Next week is the week. It’s hard to believe that I will be headed out to Squaw Valley, CA to compete in the Spartan World Championship Coin Holder heat. Top 20 male and female finishers will receive prize money totaling over $75,000. Upon finding out that I had earned a coin to compete in the coveted race, I was hesitant in ultimately deciding if I would make the long trek out to compete in the most difficult race of the year. I’m just like everyone else. In fact, it’s about time I listed all of the things that have been running through my mind as my last competitive race of the season approaches.
You are never too old to set a new goal/dream. This applies to everyone. I used to work 50-60 hour weeks in accounting. I always knew that I wanted to do something else. I just couldn’t figure out what. It was through teaching at Flywheel that I gained the confidence to lead a group, reach out to people I didn’t know, and build relationships with an incredibly wide variety of people. After having my second child, I was left with the decision to give that up and continue to sit at a desk full time OR stay at Flywheel and be home with my kids more. I cried. A lot. I made the best decision of my life. If you would have asked me 10 years ago if I would be staying at home with my kids and working in the fitness industry I would have laughed. Truly. I was the woman that was going to have a stay at home husband as I climbed up the corporate ladder.
I’m still not sure I can really call myself a competitive obstacle racer. I went to school for accounting (hell, I got my masters and earned my CPA in the state of NC). I am a mom. I am a wife. I teach at Flywheel. I train obstacle racing. I am a personal trainer. I BLOG! For the past three years, I have struggled with how to balance all of these roles. I am a perfectionist. I want to be good at the things I put my heart into. I guess one of my biggest struggles and maybe admiral qualities is that I don’t have the desire to take time away from watching my kids grow up to train professionally. If that means I sacrifice taking my training to the next level to be a better mom, I guess that’s what that means. You only get one chance to be there for your kids.
I am really good at suffering. I think Amelia Boone once said this. While I may not train as long or as hard as some of my other competitors – I am really good at suffering. That’s the mental aspect of obstacle racing (and being a mom). The glass is always half full. Can’t stop, won’t stop. It is incredible what the human body is capable of.
I’m scared of the unexpected (yet excited at the same time – see point above). The longest race I have ever done in my life was a marathon. It took me 3 hours and 56 minutes. It was 60 degree weather in San Deigo. I am about to embark on a race that has the potential to take over 5 hours, with temperatures ranging from the low thirties to high seventies. Did I mention there was a swim? Yes. For those triathletes reading this, there is no “transition zone”. We swim with our clothes, shoes, and hydration packs on. There was talk of hypothermia last year. Serious cramping. Things I haven’t experienced in a race ever.
I want to do this for my team. Gosh, I love training people. I love the relationships I have built through OCR and Cross Conditioning OCR. I am so grateful for the people I train with on a weekly basis – Shane, Sarah, Katie, Cara, Katherine (Thursday AM crew). Each of you motivate me (whether you know it or not) while I am racing.
I want to inspire others. At this point I have competed against most of the best obstacle course racers in the world. The likelihood that I will win money is small. The goal is to finish. Follow through with the goals I set and hopefully inspire someone who is afraid to do something outside of their comfort zone. I hear a lot of people say they don’t think they can do things (specifically applying to things I may post on social media). That’s not the point. Each thing I do started from ground zero. Two years ago, I was 40 pounds heavier than I am right now. Having two kids back to back left my body feeling torn up. Patience and persistence have gotten me where I am (they can do the same for you).
I’m thankful. I look forward to getting back to finish out the season with my team. This unexpected year has been a roller coaster but so worth the ride for the experiences and individuals that have come into my life. I will forever be grateful for that. I loved having people approach me at the start line to say hello. They have followed along in the journey. To my fellow racers, good luck. To those who are still trying to decide what the next step is, there is a light at the end of the tunnel (and everything you do today makes for a better tomorrow).