|Saturday morning on Killington Mtn. Photo courtesy of Spartan Race.|
|Third barbed wire crawl at about mile 17 (lap 2). Rolling over the camelback = a little awkward.|
This past weekend offered me some unique insight. At Killington Mtn. I competed in the Spartan Ultra Beast. The Ultra has been heavily hyped as it was to be the inaugural marathon-distance (actually 28 miles) military-style obstacle course competition covering 70+ legit obstacles and 12,000 feet in elevation gain over the course of one day. The best of the endurance obstacle racers from all over the country applied months ago to be selected to face off against each other and see where everyone stacked up. As I normally do, I signed up without thinking twice about it. I mean, what could be more fun?
|Maybe I am simply enticed by all the mud? Photo courtesy of Spartan Race|
It would be easy to say that I seek to find my own limits; however, I am still not entirely sure that I want to define them. Limits are, well, limits. Who wants those?
|Still smiling and chatting at mile 9 at the first sandbag carry.|
What I seek is something far more personal: something far more powerful than the celebration of a win or the devastation of a loss. As the hours wear on and my body enters the red zone I begin to find these answers. In these moments, all of the clutter disappears forcing me to focus on the moment. Not the next moment, not the moment before. There is no energy for that. Every twig snapping underneath my feet is there for a reason- to remind me that I am alive and that every moment is here for the taking. I just need to take it.
As the mountain takes my strength, it empowers me to find strength in new places. Places I normally don’t need to tap into that force me to dig deep into myself. It is then that I realize that the human body is stronger than I have imagined. Physical strength eventually fades to emotional strength forcing me to focus in a way that is so difficult to seize on a daily basis. One step at a time. One moment at a time. Limits are only self-imposed.
|Mile 23 with my Spartan sandbag friend. We hugged a lot.|
This is what I seek. To those of you who shared this one with me, thank you. Finisher or not, we all came to learn a little something to take with us into the next one. There is no finish line.
|Happily representing Simple Brandz and coaching my CVA athletes at the Teen Challenge on Sunday. Photo courtesy of CVA.|