This entry is part 26 of 30 in the series Faces at the Races

amanda-lopez-5Name
Amanda Lopez

Age
31

Lives
Colton, CA

Occupation
Stay-at-home mom who’s never home and always on the trails

Favorite OCR Series
Spartan Race

Favorite Obstacle
Rope Climb

Least Favorite Obstacle
Anything with heights but I’ll still do it

Ideal Race Distance
I love any distance as long as there’s an amazing view

amanda-lopez-4Favorite Previous Race Venue
I love Temecula because that’s where I did my first Spartan Race (the “Beast from Hell” in September 2014)

2016 OCR Goals
Ultra Beast in Tahoe

Social Media
Instagram: @Journey2FitMommy

Why do you compete in obstacle course racing?
I love challenging myself. A few years ago, I couldn’t even run down the block without huffing and puffing.

Have you overcome any significant setbacks, such as injury, personal trauma, etc.?
I started my fitness journey after having my fourth child and suffering an injury during childbirth. I was overweight and unhappy, so I made the lifestyle changes to better myself and to be a role model for my children.

What caused you to gain so much weight in the first place?
I was seven months pregnant and had some complications. Being on bed rest and eating unhealthily just added weight on top of that.

Was there a turning point when you finally realized you needed to make a change?
I was getting ready and kept changing over and over because nothing fit or I felt horrible wearing it. I sat on the edge of the bed in tears and looked in the mirror and realized that feeling would never go away unless I did something about it.

Things got even more challenging when you found out you have benign breast tumors. How are you able to stay mentally focused despite knowing the diagnosis?
I thank God every day that it’s not cancer and that this can be removed. The word ‘tumor’ still scares me and I have my down days, but that’s what I love about following so many amazing athletes on Instagram. I’ll look at my newsfeed and tell myself to get up and be great like all these people.

amanda-lopez-8How do you try to inspire others with your online presence?
Even though I’m still embarrassed of my old pictures, I still post them to show people how far I’ve come. If I can do it, they most certainly can. I try to post inspirational quotes ane even invite my followers to join me.

Was there ever a time during your first race that you thought you couldn’t finish? Once you did finally cross that finish line, what thoughts were going on in your head?
Heck yes I doubted myself. I was exhausted, it was 104 degrees, I was only at mile 9, and I saw an extremely fit woman just give up. This is why I say surround yourself with people who inspire you, who strive to be like you, or push you. Her negativity had me asking myself if I could finish. I drank some water and told myself to “Spartan up” and kept going. When I crossed the finish line, I cried with pride. It’s so true when they say, “You’ll know at the finish line.”

Do you struggle with self-image issues despite your weight loss success story? If not, how were you able to overcome that mindset and stay positive?
Absolutely, but I’m getting better at loving my body just the way it is. This body made four amazing human beings, is strong, and can do way more than when I was in high school. I try to stay positive about my body because I can’t promote self-love and fitness yet hate my body.

amanda-lopez-1How do you train for obstacle course races? Do you have a coach, training group, online workout plan, etc.?
My favorite way to train is going on trail runs while I push the baby in the stroller. I take yoga, strength train, and take jiu jitsu classes. I believe that trying new things pushes your training to the next level. I also host free hikes and workouts a couple times a month. Everyone’s favorite event is my moonlight hike that I host every full moon.

What advice do you give to other parents who might think there isn’t enough time to exercise and compete in races?
All I can say is that if it’s important to you, you’ll make the time. When I first started working out, I had to wake up at 5:00am so I could do some yoga before getting my kids up and ready for school. It was so hard, but once I saw the results, I became a morning person.

Have your kids signed up for the kid’s course at any OCR event yet?
My oldest did the Spartan Kid’s race and he convinced me to a Sprint. Now he has a collection started.

How has your family’s view on fitness changed ever since you decided to pursue a healthy lifestyle?
All we used to do was eat fast food, watch movies, and lay in bed, not doing much. Now my kids get sick when they eat fast food. They’re always asking to run with me or hit the gym.

amanda-lopez-7Do you have a favorite race memory?
One of my favorite moments was during a Hurricane Heat in Temecula. We had to crawl under barbed wire holding a bell and we couldn’t let it ring. I was literally two feet away from the finish when my bell rang. Cookie looked at me with the biggest smile and yelled, “Get in that lake and give me some burpees!” I was just drying off and had to get wet again, but I couldn’t be made because the huge evil smile was hilarious.

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
I would love to own an OCR training camp and be an elite racer doing what I love, traveling all around the world and getting paid for it.

Give me a fact about yourself that would impress most people?
I practice hapkido and other mixed martial arts.

What is your opinion of OCR TV coverage?
I love it because it promotes and gets more people involved in the community.

Do you follow any of the top elite racers? If so, who are your favorite OCR athletes?
Yes, my favorites are Chikorita, Robert Killian, KK Stewart-Paul, and Stephen Sinek (The Painted Warrior).

Are you pursuing any achievement this year, like a Spartan Trifecta or running one race from each of the major series?
I will be competing in my first elite heat this year. I’m nervous but love that feeling.

amanda-lopez-6How many medals do you own and what do you do with them after the race?
I believe I have over 40. I am part of the “I Run 4” program and send the medals, patches, and shirts to four kids in the program.
http://www.whoirun4.com/

What’s the furthest you’ve traveled to attend a race (or are planning to travel this year)?
Texas and California

Outside of OCR, what is your biggest passion?
I also participate in triathlons and have been training for an open water event.

Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
I love seeing everyone help each other on the course. It’s was beautiful to see people not giving up and being encouraged.[/fusion_text]

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