I have fallen in love, not with a human, but with myself. With my potential. With my future. With my strength, my abilities, my failures and triumphs. I have found a meaning in my life that pushes me, challenges me, and allows me to ask myself everyday if I am doing enough. I have found and fallen in love with the Spartan inside of me!
Fear and excitement pumped through my veins as we headed towards the starting line of my first ever Spartan race. I had no idea what was coming up ahead of me. I saw people milling around everywhere, I heard the announcer at the starting line, I felt the paint drying on my face. There were a couple of thoughts fleeting through my mind: I have no idea who the people in my racing group are, other than the fact that they are my brother’s friends. What if I hold them back? Am I ready for this? What if I break my femur again? That lake looks refreshing!
So many things challenge you at Spartan races, but the point of the race is to take you out of your comfort zone and test you. You have no idea what is coming at you. You may see bits and pieces of the course as you walk to the starting line, but there is much more hidden behind the hills, down in the valleys, through the woods. It really is an adrenaline rush not knowing what is ahead. You have to mentally prepare yourself for whatever it is that the course throws at you. I remember at the Spartan Super in Vegas I totally thought I had an advantage because I had volunteered to work the course, so I had seen a map. I memorized the obstacles, the order they came in. What I wasn’t prepared for was the distance between each obstacle. The terrain can throw you off at a moments notice. The weather can change in a split second. One second you are running up a rocky hill and the next second you are hunkered down on the same hill bracing yourself from the gust of wind, dirt, and rain coming at you.
There are obstacles I don’t like because they tend to conquer me, but my all time favorite obstacles are the ones with mud. At my first race my parents saw the barbed wire crawl ahead of me on the course, I had no idea that it involved mud, but my parents did. The looked at each other and said “well this is going to be the point that Jessica falls in love with these races” and boy were they spot on. I get the biggest smile on my face rolling, crawling, sliding, trudging, swimming, and being dunked in mud and muddy water. Take a look for yourself…
If that smile doesn’t say anything, I don’t know what does. This was also right after I had my hair ripped out of my head after getting caught on a barb.
I have done two races so far: Sprint on January 25th, 2014 in Temecula and Super on April 5th, 2014 in Vegas. My next one is the Beast on June 7th, 2014 in Monterey. I will be getting my first Trifecta this year. I am planning three other races to get a second Trifecta this year, but I have my sights set on more. My goal is to one day be an Elite Spartan and be standing on that podium in the first place spot. I am giving myself until the end of 2016 to accomplish this and I know that I will. When you put your mind to something you can succeed and I have set my mind on this great feat! Here is to living the rest of my life as a Spartan! AROOOOO!!!!!!!