Ever have that thought of having to do something? Needing to be somewhere? Well, that was me with the Texas Beast. I don’t know why, but I knew I had to go. I signed up for the race months prior and up until just a few weeks before, I still wasn’t sure if I was actually going. I knew I had to… but how? Suddenly, all of the planets aligned and the universe sent me to Texas. I was excited. Not scared, not nervous. After all, Texas is flat. No biggie. This was a true testament of mind control. Once the plans were set, I just counted the days. I did nothing different. No extra training and no tapering. Texas is flat so easy peasy. I can go through all of the events leading up to Texas, but you don’t to want read about all that. So we start at the start! Here we are, my CornFed Family and I… some at the front, the rest of us at the back, of the first heat of the day. The Elite Heat. Crazy right??? Off we go and very quickly I learned how NOT flat Texas really is. The ground was so uneven, there were berms and cactus, and poop and rocks… nothing like I set my mind up for. We hit a few obstacles, nothing major, but then we came to quite possibly the only hill in Texas and we went up and down it about 50 million times. The kicker? It was all rock! By mile 2 my IT bands were screaming and I could barely breathe, by mile 4 my hip flexors were on fire. I really did not think I would be able to finish. As the race went on, we hit other obstacles… walls, rope climbs, carry heavy shit, burpees, monkey bars which equalled more burpees, etc etc. Someone thought it would be awesome to carry the men’s sandbag on the sandbag carry… up and down that hill. Then a different someone filled her bucket higher than half way with rocks, so I had to follow her lead. And again, we were up and down the hill. At this point, my shoulder was ready to fall off and I couldn’t feel anything but burning in my hip flexors and rust bolts in my knees. All I could do was smile… I knew what was coming up. First we hit a 100+ yard swim, and yes the water was freezing. Just keep your mouth shut, because 300 Spartans before you have probably peed in the water! Then the Herculean Hoist! I got the female rock to the top in no time and then went to try the men’s. I did get it higher than the one at Fenway, but still couldn’t get it all the way. I tried and tried and just couldn’t get it! Helped a teammate get his to the top and then we were off again. The Tyrolean Traverse! Yes!!! Got on, got across, rang the bell and dropped. Awesome! Thank goodness most of the hard stuff was over. I had Popeye arms and no grip left! Thank goodness it was mostly running from that point on. Wait… did I just say that? Ran across a few people that were quite obviously hurting… cramping seem to be an epidemic. I was at the ready passing out salt pills and sharing whatever else I had. The weather was perfect, the sun was apparent, yet not demanding. I somehow managed to make it through and we knew the finish was right around the corner! Help on the traverse wall, more mud, slippery wall, fire and Gladiator pit! When they say, “You’ll know at the finish” this race truly proved that for me. I got more beat up and hurt more in Texas than anything else I have done to date. However, I also took so much more back with me. My friends, more like family, would not leave me even though I know they could have smoked that course. Along the route people yelled, “CornFed!” and “Hey CornFed!! I love you guys!” We were stopped a few times and were asked questions… even gear and training questions. Are you for real??? We’re just like you, but hey… do you need some energy or a salt tab? Oh, and like us on Facebook!
Every Spartan Race I do challenges me somehow… this one was purely mental. I know I can run, I know I can climb. However, when you psych yourself up for one thing, your body reacts to that. If you can’t get out of your own mind, you will cause distress to your body. I was cocky going into this race and that Beast sure tamed this Beast. Confidence is one thing, but cockiness is another. The reason why I had to go?? It was to ground me again. To remind myself who I am and why I’m out there. I am not out there for me, I’m out there for everyone else. To pass along a kind word, a helping hand, a smile… and to offer encouragement. I have experienced more this past year than I have quite possibly in my whole adult life. I just hope to continue to motivate and lead.
Every time I think back to Texas I smile. I smile at the joy I felt being with my teammates, I smile at the memory of all of those I helped along the way, I smile knowing I conquered another course. Mostly, I smile because I continue to Live Each Day and I understand what it means to Know at the Finish.