Oh The Lessons Of Spartan

Spartan Race Medal

Spartan, oh you’re a beast of a thing! There is a big difference between 5 kilometers and 5 miles.  Not only in distance but in my mindset as well. So, there we were at the starting line of the Spartan Sprint at Fort Carson when I was corrected…the course isn’t an easy 5k, but a 5 miler chalk full steep inclines. Well now, there’s a mind f**k for ya seconds before starting.  Ha ha. Good thing I have a sense of humour, and humility. Aroo!

I didn’t train for the race. In fact, I haven’t trained at all. I’m also a full 50lbs overweight. Oh, and did I mention I was running this race with a bunch of badass crossfitters and Spartan racers?! Eeek!

There were a whole lot of nerves going on at that start line.

That said, this is the best I’ve felt in years. Honestly, I do. I have been dealing with stress related physiological and psychological issues. Some say ‘adrenal fatigue’, others say ‘burn out’.  No matter the language it’s depleted cortisol levels with a side of hypoglycemia as the result of chronic stress.

All I wanted was to prove to myself that I could still simply complete something as badass as Spartan.  As usual, I didn’t realize what a big lesson it would turn out to be!

Thankfully, I got to run the race with two of my best friends.  Both in the medical profession, these incredible American guys were with me on my last military deployment to Afghanistan.  Sharing times like those tends to bond us in a brotherhood of sorts, the kind that are there for you through thick and thin.  They are my people and I’m a pretty fortunate girl to have them in my life.  Running the race with them brought waves of nostalgia…of course that could have also been the intense 30’C sun beating down on us as well.  At least if I passed out I knew I’d be in good hands, ha ha.

The other two in our team are friends of friends, seriously fit with kind and genuine hearts.  They didn’t know me but they waited for me, held my hand, and cheered me on.  Hell, they even shared my penalty burpees.  Now that’s friendship – no one likes burpees! These are the kind of people you want to surround yourself with in life, real gems.  They didn’t mind once about being significantly slowed down in a race they could have blown through.  It was a team thing and it was heartwarming as all get out.

Emotionally, the race was a rollercoaster.  On one side, I was embarrassed about my size and inability to do some obstacles. Alright, alright, it was flat out humiliating.  My clothing showed my rolls. I felt exposed, fell off every monkey ring type obstacle, and nearly fainted twice.  My burpees were in slow motion and painful. I struggled with being such a lover of fitness and nutrition, yet so obviously out of shape.

Spartan Course

Part of the course was all in my head, something my running buddies helped me through.  The other part was that I actually had no gas in the gas tank.  Having such low cortisol levels feels like trying to run after completing a marathon. There is nothing left.  Nada.  It’s taken me a year of significant changes to turn around my symptoms, but there is still barely any cortisol production.

On the flip side, holy sweet mother above I physically got through a full Spartan Sprint! S-P-A-R-T-A-N. That needs to be celebrated.  Last year I needed a nap after cleaning the kitchen, this year…Spartan. Hells yes. It’s funny how a few little negative thoughts can make you forget about all the sunshine in life if you let them.  Ugh, sometimes I need out of my own head ya know?

Spartan Finishers

We had a delicious home cooked team supper that night. Looking around the table were the best of people. I honestly couldn’t stop smiling.  Everyone was enjoying their meals, talking, and laughing. Sharing stories of the day and shaking our heads at how bruised/sore our bodies were.  In that moment, we were family.  The best of kinds, and it felt great.

 

Victoria xo

 

 

 

 

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