Give ‘em Hell

“When life pushes you over, push back harder”

Since I started training for the Ultra Beast, it’s safe to say there have been a lot of set backs.  First my shoulder, then my sister’s miscarriage, then my dad in the hospital, and now frequent extra hours at work… PLUS to top it off- I think I tweaked my back.   (I’m still keeping my fingers crossed that I can avoid the chiropracter on this one) The way things have been going, I’ve been getting stressed at times that I’m not where I should be or pushing as hard as I could be.

However, it seems like the more I push my body, the more it pushes back!  Maybe I’m not designed to work out at maximum intensity for hours a day after all!  I have been doing P90X and recently started hiking with a daypack filled with sand (probably 40lbs in total… may have overdone it the last time = back pain), but nothing I do ever seems like enough.  I’m so terrified of failing that I’m almost not enjoying the workouts.  Instead I look at what everyone else is doing and think “I should be doing more” or pushing harder.  I feel like I have to make up for only having 4 days a week to train; and I find myself feeling guilty when I take any time out to have “fun” instead of workout.

The truth is, I’m being ridiculous because there’s no reason I can’t prepare even if it is only 4 days of intense training a week.  After all, I worked the same schedule when I trained for the marathon, and I survived that.  Sure, I can’t do a pull up (yet) or climb a rope (yet!), but I do have experience with covering long distances. Not that long along, I walked for hours on end and covered a full marathon at the Relay for Life.   Maybe obstacles aren’t a strength of mine, and maybe there are a number of “elite” athletes competing in this event, but that doesn’t mean I’m not qualified.

A while ago, someone posted in the Ultra Beast group on Facebook that the Spartan HQ was intentionally letting in a bunch of under-qualified racers to increase the dropout rate and make the race look harder.  I found the comment a little offensive as I’m sure I fall into that category in this self proclaimed elite (more like elitist) athlete’s eyes.  However, I would venture to guess that anyone who would feel the need to make a comment like that is grossly underestimating the capabilities of many of the registrants.  Sure, I may not have a big name is the obstacle racing world (or anywhere else in the fitness realm for that matter!) and I may not even have been able to train as much as I have wanted. However, I do have one strength that will work in my favor- I can push though physical pain and exhaustion, and even more importantly: mental pain and exhaustion.

I spent over 5 years in an abusive relationship and have experienced betrayal by people I considered family.  I have lived through pain I thought would kill me and have come out on the other end smarter and stronger.  NO PHYSICAL PAIN COULD EVER COMPARE to the pain I endured then.  Strong people don’t just happen.  Strong people are CONDITIONED.  They live through pain no one should have to suffer, pain you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy.  If I could come out of a situation like that still standing (and running my mouth… haha) then no marathon length obstacle course is going to take me out, even if I have to crawl!

There’s not much I can’t stand more than quitting.  I would rather risk seriously injuring myself than quit.  I would rather suffer and be miserable than quit.  As much as I would like to have done more physical training, at can at least take solace in the fact that I have had top notch mental conditioning.  If spending five days in a hospital with little to no sleep at a time of crisis in my family didn’t break me, and spending five years with a person who constantly tried to beat me down and make me feel like I wasn’t good enough didn’t break me then this race isn’t going to break me (at least not mentally…)

When life knocks me down, I come back stronger.  All these “curveballs”  are just going to have to serve as fuel to keep pushing because ,at this point, I don’t have time to stress about them.  Anyone who thinks I’m under-qualified or just plain crazy (probably the more likely of the two) will just have to eat their words when I work  that much harder and finish.  I WILL NOT BE DISCOURAGED.  I WILL NOT BE DEFEATED.  As long as there is breath in my lungs, I will continue to drive forward from one goal to the next.  I am a fighter.  I don’t stop when I’m tired (or discouraged!).  I stop when I’m done.  

My New Anthem.

20 comments

  1. Hi! I found this because of the link back to my elephant journal post on things you learn from pain & I love your blog!

    As a fellow CT runner, nice to “meet” you & good luck with all of your training & other badassery. If you are ever interested in doing some guest blogging at elephantjournal.com, let me know.

    Kate@elephantjournal.co,

  2. Awesome post… I am hoping to do the Tough Mudder in April which sounds similar to the Ultra Beast. I have my first half scheduled for November and have been doing the shorter (i.e. easier) obstacle course races…You can make it… you are a fighter!! (Love that song)

  3. You are right – you cannot and should not compare yourself to others. You do not know where they came from, what they have done or what they will do. You only know about yourself. You are a fighter and give your all to everything. Surely that is enough?

  4. Jenny, you are a fighter and I love your determination. Stay well. You deserve to stay on course without physical pain and have been through enough emotional pain. The tone of this post, all your posts inspire me! xxo

  5. Workouts should be tough but you’ve got to still enjoy them. Get back to that and you will be unbeatable. You’re a tough girl, go proove it to the haters. :)

  6. Take a step back and re-evaluate where you are and where you want to go, then plunge back in and ENJOY it. There’s no point to doing this if it’s not something you are madly passionate about, and if the passion is dampening you need to find out why and handle that so you can continue to be AWESOME. Don’t compete with everyone else, especially not the nitwits who say crap like “oh, they let a bunch of under-achievers in this year” – WHATever, that’s that person’s insecurities, not a testament to your abilities. You are a fighter and you are strong and you have plenty of ability and courage to see you through any challenge – you have already proved that. So just HAVE FUN. :o)

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