by Charity Fick
ORT-coverAs I stood in the crowd waiting to start my first Spartan Sprint last June, my heart started pumping, and I felt a sense of fear, excitement, and panic all at the same time. Many thoughts crept into my head but the main one that felt like it was screaming was: “What the hell am I doing here?” I wondered how I, a 5’7” amateur runner ended up in the starting pit with many others waiting to take a risk and go for it. My head cleared and I remembered that this whole adventure started with winning a book. A few months earlier I had won a book called Ultimate Obstacle Course Racing. After bugging the author, Brett Stewart, about not getting an autographed copy I started to read it and could not put it down.
1331579626-race_-_0018The thought of racing in mud, through barbed wire, flipping tires and even dealing with fire intrigued me. Is this something I really wanted to try? Is this something that I could do? Did I want to? I threw caution to the wind and a few weeks later I was registered. Not really knowing how to train properly for a Spartan Sprint, I read through my book, continued running, and even attended a couple of boot camp cardio-type classes to prepare myself. Before I knew it, it was race day. That day, the race MC pumped up the crowd with an awe-inspiring speech. He let us know it was our responsibility to ensure that no Spartan got left behind. This was it; there was no turning back now. I blinked and we were off. I am not going to sugarcoat this next part: the race was hard. In fact, it was one of the hardest things that I have ever done. We ran up and down a mountain in the snow in June. There were several obstacles to climb up, down, around, and through. I hit the ground a few times to pound out a set of burpees after not being able to complete a few of the obstacles; but at least I was giving it my all.

 If a 5’7”, 136-pound average runner can take on a race such as this and succeed, anyone can.

spartan2012Each obstacle I walked up to, I watched others then tried it. Crawling under the barbed wire and jumping over the fire were the two most heart-pumping aspects of this race for me. I was mentally and physically exhausted but I made it to the finish line, dripping in mud and covered in freshly-forming bruises. After getting my medal, I realized that I had just conquered this race, and I did it for me. Being a Spartan isn’t limited to age, gender, race, height, athletic ability or marital status. Being a Spartan means finding your spark and running with it. I am not suggesting that you don’t need to work hard or train hard for a Spartan Sprint or any other obstacle course race, but you just need to get over the biggest obstacle which is the fear inside of you of trying something new. If a 5’7”, 136-pound average runner can take on a race such as this and succeed, anyone can. This year will be my second Spartan Sprint and I am doing it alongside the love of my life, my husband, Ryan.

tag  by Charity Fick

Race photos from Pete Williams, John Ramspott

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