Last weekend I competed in my first Spartan Competition – probably the most challenging physical experience that I have done thus far in adulthood. Going into the race, I started having doubts, one being the fact that I had not lifted in the prior month and a half. The second reason was related to self-doubt – I’ve always felt like these sorts of competitions are for meat heads or just generally bigger guys. Those who know me can guess that I’m about 150 pounds soaking wet. But something happened when I got to Citi Field the morning of the event (well really when I arrived at my homie Sam’s place). I started to get pretty pumped up because it was such perfect weather and I was also feeling pretty energetic.
As the race started, I looked around at my friends and other competitors to quickly gauge how well I think I might fare. As soon as the trigger to start went off, I shot down to the first obstacle of the day – rope climbing. As soon as I grabbed the rope, I had a feeling that I would do well. I was able to not only climb up the rope and ring the bell faster than others in my heat but also be one of the few people to actually complete it. As I moved through the obstacles, I noticed that brute strength was not the name of the game – it was endurance and mobility.
As soon as I realized that I was superior in both of those areas, my mindset went from feeling doubtful because of my size to being grateful that for it. I’m so serious! I started chanting to myself that God made me the way I am for a reason and in that moment I accepted it. Whatever you think makes you weak can actually become your biggest asset. When you practice acceptance of who you are, I truly believe that you can do great things that ONLY you were created to do well with the gifts that God has provided ONLY you.
So just to highlight my accomplishments at the race:
- I finished 11/937 in my division (20 -29 male) for the Sandbag carry throughout Citi Field stairs
- I finished Top 25 in my division overall
- I finished 237 / 7,425 for the entire day across all division