Why train more than your brain?
By Monica Rolinski, Contributor
I scraped the caked Cheese Pleesers’ flavour off my fingers with my teeth and looked down at my white sweater covered with orange crumbs. Somewhere in the back of my mind I knew I would be in trouble if I kept this up. I had gotten in the habit of grabbing quick, easy-to-make food and just ripping the bag open. It was a fun way to eat, but the Spartan Race was coming up in about three months and it seemed like my goal was to get as out-of-shape as possible—or rather, that was the opposite of my original goal: to get physically prepared for the Spartan Race, a gruelling obstacle course which, according to their website, could contain “fire, mud, water, barbed wire, and occasionally Hell on Earth.”
But tell that to the snack companies and the producers and writers of all those great shows and movies! Once the remote’s in my hand, I’m history. I had to find a way back to my original goal. I needed help. So I started talking to people on campus. I met some truly inspiring fellow students, asked what folks were up to, and ended up joining the Douglas College Outdoors Club. The Spartan enthusiasts within the club are a small group, but we’re growing. Now it’s not just about me, which can be very motivating. What’s worse than letting yourself down? Letting someone else down!
I quit smoking eight months ago. The Spartan Race was my incentive. The race is the kind of reward you have to do some serious training for; where you have to sign a waiver before you can even start, and you need to be in the best health possible. I may be strange, but I’m not alone: the first Spartan Race event was in 2010 where 500 people participated. In 2012 the number of people grew to 250,000 in 34 race events. This year the expected participation is 500,000 with 60 events. Don’t you want to be part of that? I do! Aroo!
The races are held in the US, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Think about it: every day, someone in one of these countries is doing burpees in their living room or carrying a big rock up a hill behind their house. One of the most popular aspects of a Spartan Race is that groups train together and race together. Camaraderie is the new cool. And with 2.5 million Facebook likes, being cool is easy.
Signing up for an obstacle race is motivating. If it were up to me, I’d never get off the couch again. Well, maybe I’d make it to school but I’d be stumbling down the hall in a sugar-induced stupor with food stuck to my sweater and candy bar wrappers falling out of my pockets—which isn’t the worst thing in the world, unless you’re like me and you want to run, jump, climb, and train. And if that’s what you love, there’s still time to get ready for the race! There’s one in North Vancouver on June 1. Check it out online at http://www.spartanrace.com/and get inspired. You can check out the Douglas Outdoors Club if you want to train and race as part of a group or you can sign up as a single. Either way, we hope to see you there.