I have had a few clients recently ask me what got me motivated in the very beginning… What was the catalyst that made me stop everything and start running headlong for fire and mud? I thought it would make a good “resolution recovery” topic for the first post of the year. 😉
I would love to tell you guys that it was my kids, or my husband or some profound spiritual moment that shook me to my core… and that from that moment on- I was a changed person… and decided to take better care of my body and health. But alas… I was forever changed by excellent marketing- a promotional video from Spartan Race… I know, I know… *hangs head in shame*.
In this video they were highlighting “Team X.T.R.E.M.E” racing the 2012 Virginia Super Spartan… particularly highlighting Cpl. Todd Love (Triple Amputee Marine) and Sgt. Todd Galloway (Double Amputee- Army). The imagery and interview of Todd’s dad are particularly moving, and the clips of these guys just kicking ass on the course- after a little morning tandem jump out of a plane- will get your pulse going and maybe even get you to sign up for an OCR. But the profound moment(s) for me are at the 8:00 minute mark (click here for the jump to the clip) where Noah says: “You know a lot of people tell me ‘I wanna do this, I wanna do that’. Well you know what? You gotta do it. There is no *want*, either you do it- or you don’t. You just… There are no excuses.” And then, immediate clip to Gary Love “That’s why he does what he does. There is no stop to my son. You know, he has no quit in him”.
It was a kick in the chest. This dude standing there with half an arm clearly visible in the frame- saying “either you do or you don’t. NO EXCUSES”. I remember just sitting there– (mouth breathing, I am sure)– staring at the screen… and the thought that flashed through my mind was: “What the fuck am I doing?! I have two very capable arms and legs… and this guy is getting up and down a rope with one arm and an ARMPIT”. From that moment in September 2012, it has been a steady drumbeat of realizing what I am truly capable of. I ran a Warrior Dash right away- just to try out this mud-running thing. I loved it. I went on to run my first Spartan Race (Atlanta Sprint), in March of 2013- 6 months after watching that video:
I was completely hooked and immediately signed up for the Super in Wintergreen, and the Beast in South Carolina to complete my Spartan Trifecta. The Trifecta consists of completing a Sprint (3-5 miles), a Super (6-8 miles), and a Beast (10-13 miles) in one calendar year… Here I am with my Trifecta Medal almost exactly a year after I watched that video:
And in 2014… I added in multiple Battlefrogs, Rugged Maniacs, Savage Races, and a few non-muddy street races like the Peachtree. I really feel like I embraced my inner athlete in 2014, and while I am not up to snuff to run with the elites, YET… I do finally consider myself a runner, and obstacle course racer:
(I do tend to enjoy the races that have a military beneficiary- Like BattleFrog and their support of Trident House… they even dedicate each obstacle to a fallen Navy SEAL… but its mostly because of how motivated I was by Team XTREME)
2014 was full of hard and scary moves, choices, and decisions- and some amazing opportunities and experiences. I decided to change careers from homeschooling mom, to full-time personal trainer (which was HUGE for me). I earned a bunch of medals, my RKC Certification, and learned so much about myself- what I am really about, and what I really want out of my life… which if I had to boil it down to one word- it would be “experiences”. I want to experience so much with my kids, my family, my friends, and on my OWN. That *on my own* part is a real game changer for me… 100% of my life up till late 2013 revolved what I thought I was “supposed” to be doing and what others thought of me… I finally stopped people-pleasing that year. I think I have fully recovered from that shit 😉
I am not about to go all “New Year, New Me” on you. Actually the opposite. I really like who I am becoming. I am not leaving anything behind in 2014… I am carrying it all forward into 2015. I have an amazing Client Roster at MBT, a race schedule that I simply CANNOT WAIT to accomplish, and a few non-fitness items on my bucket list that have me just… giddy. I have no clue where I am going or what everything will look like when I get there… but I am enjoying the wind in my hair and the beauty in the messy parts along the way. As a matter of fact, I hope that I never “arrive”… I am enjoying the ride that damn much.
And all of this because of a piece of marketing material. I am not saying everyone has to sign up for an OCR… by no means. But when something grabs your your attention, listen to it… get motivated… get passionate… and get after it. There is no want… ladies and gentlemen… either you do it or you don’t.
January Shiflett, RKC is a personal trainer, kettlebell instructor, obstacle course racing coach, and resident potty-mouth at Maximum Body Training in Cartersville Georgia. You can contact her for classes and training opportunities at January.Shiflett@me.com