On My Path to a Spartan Race
Why do you do it? They ask.
Because I can. I say.
After months of research, looking for the perfect training routine and two years of on/off power yoga practice, I decided to look for something way beyond my comfort zone. Or anyone elses.
I used to have an active life back in my pre-college years. But once I left the comfy sorroundings of highschool, along came the long hours of study, those sleepless nights, and some partying here and there. My training motivation went from low to none in a couple of months.
It has rained, a lot, since I graduated from college and after many years of a rather passive lifestyle, exercise-wise, my body finally started sending me the inevitable signals and alerts that I needed to get off the couch and start sprinting.
Since running has never been an option for me - I simply don't like it - I kept looking. Kickboxing? No. Fitboxing? No. Cross training? No. MMA? Um, nope. Crossfit? Wait, what?
And so the Crossfit story began.
April 13, 2016 @ 9.10 am.
I went to a Crossfit box in my neighborhood just to check it out. Since the first day was on the house, I decided to give it a try.
The scenery: a raw, square space, black floor, plain walls, bars and jumping ropes hanging around, kettlebells, medicine balls in one corner (I didn't know all those names then), row machines, two coaches and four sweaty, shirtless guys.
Yeah! Why not?
I went back the next day for my first crossfit experience. It was tough. I pushed myself to my 100%, or at least my 87%, and I enrolled right after my first WOD was over. I did it! And it felt awesome!
Sweaty, shaky hands and all, I made it through the credit card payment. No turning back.
I don't believe in motivation. The lack of it has always been my first excuse to not do something, so over the last few years I have learned to rely only on my willpower to get things done. This, and a newly developed sort of addiction (more of this in the following paragraph), is what has kept me going back for more, week after week, to that Crossfit box.
The addiction kicked in by the end of the second month.
The first month was the challenge phase, and I had paid for the whole month so it simply made sense to go. By the end of the month, I was already enjoying being part of the vibe and hanging around the box twice a week, so I decided to keep going.
All through the second month, I started to actually see changes in my body. I read a lot about muscle building, and health tracking and got myself a smart scale. I also added a couple more days of training to my week, starting with quick 20-30 minutes of high intensity body weight sessions at home with the help of a few training apps.
A few months later, my sister challenged me to sign up for the upcoming Spartan Race Sprint in Madrid, in April.
Almost one year, and an in-progress crossfit addiction later, I'm on my way to my first Spartan Race.
Crossfit is not all about the body. Actually, it's all about the mind. The insanely tough workouts, the way you push yourself into completing the repetitions, the rounds, putting on more weight each time, the take-no-prisoners attitude, improving your endurance WOD after WOD. It's all in the mind. When the body fails it's the mind what keeps you going. Convincing yourself that you can do one more rep and you're almost there. Whatever it takes, usually all of you, you HAVE TO finish.
High intensity training becomes your lifestyle, and your work style. Believing in yourself and knowing for a fact that you can do it. Period. No excuses.
Productivity, healthy habits, patience, daring, stress management, initiative, focus, come with the package. Exercise definitely improves your overall health and mind, but intensive interval trainings lift you up to higher levels of improvement. It puts you to the test. And when you succeed you always come back for more.
The Spartan Race Sprint is merely a few weeks away. My goal is not to compete, but to complete the race, and just in case, I keep working on my 30-burpees-a-day. If anything, I'll be ready to overcome the obstacles or succeed the punishments. Sounds harsh, but it's actually fun.
You just need to give it a try. Before I knew it, I was ready to #JoinTheRevolution.