“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.
- Eight Things I Learned from Pain. (elephantjournal.com)
- Fairfield Half Recap- Or How the Heat Made My Nail Polish Melt (runningthriver.wordpress.com)
- Purpose Driven Workouts (noquitdriveon.wordpress.com)
- Inspiration Abounds (lvrunsnyc.wordpress.com)
- What It Takes to Run a Marathon (fitnesstipsforlife.com)