Seven years ago, on the heels of finishing my first Ironman, an interesting event showed up in my back yard. The inaugural Misssissippi Gulf Coast Spartan Obstacle Course Race!
I had no idea what kind of obstacles were involved. I had never done a burpee in my life. And definitely had never thrown a spear or jumped burning bails. But, HEY! I’m an Ironman! If I can do some swim / bike / run action, how difficult can it be to rock the monkey bars???
So I put put on my running shoes, headed to some farmer’s muddy fields, and signed up to crush my first OCR. Little did I realize I had: no grip strength, no core strength, no dynamic motor coordination, and no carrying capacity. Which means it was not destined to be a scene from Ironman Meets 300.
Instead, it left me squeeling like a blind, nerdy, Southern-fried yard bird. It was one hudred and eighty burpees worth of beatdown. It was over-two-hours-to-go-three-miles worth of butt stomping. And in the end, not only did that first Spartan leave my endurance ego in tatters, but it literally left my shoes in tatters!
It has been a while since I did burpees. And I actually wear proper shoes these days. But I still remember that First Spartan and the lessons I learned (the hard way!)