Spartan Training

My client Shelyna talked me into my first Spartan race last October.  “Sure, sounds fun!”  I didn’t bother to research what it was.  The term “Beast” sounded a little intimidating, but it was only 13 miles, and I had already completed about 15 half marathons.  (By completed, I mean barely outside of an ambulance).  Throw in a few pull-ups and tire-flips…how hard can it be?  As we crossed the finish line after 7 hours and 14 minutes, I swore I would never do that to myself again.  I acquired a nagging shoulder injury that lasted for a couple of months, and I was walking funny for at least a week.

In the way that women must forget what it is like to go through childbirth (lest we become extinct), I am doing the race again this Saturday.  I’m down a few pounds, and spent a little extra time working on my cardio, but I know it’s gonna be just as miserable.  I’m a little addicted to these things though.  I tend to get addicted to anything that is addictive, but I guess I’ve been hooked on worse.  I’m not the best runner, nor the strongest lifter, but I can reasonably handle myself with both skills.

Yesterday I thought I would do a little dry run at the Obstacle Warrior Gym in Dallas.  I could practice hanging and swinging, maybe get some tips from other people training there.  It is a legitimate American Ninja Warrior Gym.  A two time show contestant named Mark was working out.  I recognized many of the obstacles from the show, and tried out most of them.  Couldn’t get up the wall.  It’s a lot higher than it seems on TV.  I think it was fear that kept me from getting to the top.  I’m clumsy, and it would have been an ugly fall.  My brain just wouldn’t allow it.

They have a “salmon ladder.”  That’s the one I really wanted to try, but I mostly stared at it, uncertain.  Finally I decided to hop on.  It’s a soft fall into foam blocks, so what’s the risk?  Surprisingly, I made it from the bottom to the top on my first try.  I just knew I had found my calling as a Ninja Warrior.  I then proceeded to fail on every other obstacle in the gym.  No matter.  I was running out of time anyway.  Why not just nail the salmon ladder again?  Now that other people are here, they will be very impressed. (*Note — all of the people there are competitive obstacle course athletes and will not be impressed).  I hopped on the first rung, and prepared to climb once again to victory.  On the first leap I missed the second rung completely, but forgot to let go of the bar.  After dropping about 3 feet, the bar tore two of the calluses off of my right hand.

So…two days to go for the Spartan race, and I can’t use my right hand very well.  Plus it may freeze overnight, and a lot of the water on the course is neck deep.  Should be a ton of fun.




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