It’s one of the best pieces of advice I’ve heard in a long time. This past weekend I just completed another Spartan Race. I feel silly for how much I enjoy these races. And it is like a giant playground for adults. A place where you get to climb tall things, carry heavy objects, crawl through the mud, and jump in giant pools of water. But these races in particular are different for me. I can do those types of races from a competitor of Spartan and get the “playground” experience, but it’s something different that has turned Spartan racing and obstacle course racing in general into the 2nd fastest growing sport in the US, outside of MMA. As grueling as these races are, it’s the mental shift you make during the race that becomes a game changer. During this past race, there were giant, awful hills to climb that were almost straight up and down. Your quads are on aching and your lungs are on fire as you attempt to scale this monster. You have no choice but to dig your hands into gross mud, hang on to a slippery, slick rope to attempt to help you gain a foothold as the landscape slips under your shoes, grasping for anything to ensure you keep moving forward. I think in every race I have done there is a point when I think, “what am I doing? I don’t know if this race will ever end, or if I have the willpower to make it to the end.”
Luckily you’ve trained for these moments. In your training for these races, aside from the standard lifting and running workouts you do you must focus on getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. That means taking cold showers in the mornings and forgoing the hot shower. It means still going outside in the rain and getting that run in, getting those burpees done. It means wearing minimal gear and training while thirsty or hungry. It means getting off the couch and doing that task that you could put off until tomorrow. Not only do these things get you through those moments in the race when you wonder if you can do it, or if you even want to finish and keep pushing. It helps you in those moments throughout the day when the day gets tough. I’m telling you, if you’ve been up since 4:30 and you’ve already done 300 burpees in the cold, wet grass and you’ve taken that cold shower, all of the sudden difficulties get put into perspective real quick and you know that you can deal with those uncomfortable moments, because you’ve trained for them.