Do you ever find yourself caught up doing something that takes you out of this world?! You’re in a place where there is no time. The world around you is virtually nonexistent. Maybe this takes you back to a fond childhood memory or activity.
I agree with my ‘brother’ David Jack when he describes the word PLAY as “Whatever action you’re doing that separates you from the constraints of time and space. The world, the stresses the things at hand melt away.”
This can look different for a lot of people but the concept is the same. For me this happened at my first Spartan Race down in Ft. Carson.
I’ve done several OCR’s in the past, but for some reason this race resonated with me. The course, obstacles, and environment took me back to summer vacations as a child. (Can’t we lobby for these as adults?)
My summer days would melt away as my friends, brothers, neighborhood kids, and me would take off and head to Gleason Pond and rope swing for hours. We would get lost in the woods playing with sticks, getting dirty in the mud, and building forts. The tree in our front yard saw daily climbs and we would literally ‘hang out’.
There were countless times I would go to my best friend’s lake house and we would swim, tube, or beat each other up in a game of water basketball. We would wakeboard, flip off the dock, and ride our bikes to the camp store to get some not so healthy candy and mustard for the dogs cooking on the grill. I would ask my mom if I could go for a night, and then next thing I knew she was calling their house at the end of the week asking if I was going to come home someday.
Where did the time go?
This is exactly what happened at my first Spartan Race in Ft. Carson, CO. Time disappeared.
I entered the Sprint Elite wave to challenge myself. I mean I’ve always been a pretty strong runner, and maintained a decent strength to body weight ratio (probably from all my play time as a kid). This is how the next hour unfolded.
7:30 AM I was lined up with some fit, cut, broad shouldered men that were not new to the Spartan scene. In fact, as I nervously raised my hand when the Emcee asked, ‘who’s running their first Spartan?’ I didn’t see more than a few others. I was the closest first timer to the front of the line. I imagine several people were wondering what I was doing there with my shirt on and noodle arms.
But like I tell people, looks can be deceiving, and wearing a shirt helps less mud and dirt get into my ‘sweater’ underneath.
The Ft. Carson Calvary led the charge with guns blazing and set us loose. From my running experience I know better than to sprint out full force, especially uphill and at altitude, so I held back and paced myself. As the obstacles came and tested my strength (my weak point) I took them on one at a time with my main goal being no burpees.
One by one, I was passing people on the run. As each obstacle came I would grind it out and skip by some others paying their burpee dues. I hoisted the 140lbs (my bw that morning) and pulled it to the top. I kept my balance on the stumps. I tried my luck on the spear throw and it worked! I was charging forward through the Military Sprint. The Bucket Brigade nearly got the best of me, and my legs barely got me up the last hill climb.
By the time I was plunging into the water, under the wall and over the fire, I was surprised and a little sad that it was over.
An hour of run, crawl, throw, climb, carry, and zero burpees went by in the blink of an eye. A whole lot of heavy breathing, muscle burn, and grit got me there.
To my amazement I ended up the 9th Male, 10th overall. As I was recounting the whole experience to my wife she just watched and listened with a little grin. She told me that I was like a little kid telling her about what had just happened.
As D. Jack describes, “Play is contextual. It’s what works for you, and can be whatever you want it to be.”
So what is your PLAY? What is it that allows you to set down your work, your stresses, the day, and separates you from those constraints? What takes you to another world where time flies, fun is your goal and fitness is your byproduct?
Find that, and you’ll have fitness for life that never feels like work.
Next up we have our Fit Soldiers team set up for the Breckenridge Sprint (11:15am or later start). Some of our FS Family will be tackling the Beast. As for me, I will be running the Beast elite, and then joining my wife and our team in the Sprint later that day.
If this sounds like fun or you’re just looking for a challenge then join us, or find a race near you!
I know I have a lot of work to do in order to get better and climb the ranks. That said, we will be starting some Obstacle Course training programs to prepare you and myself for Spartan domination!
“When you play, everything changes…your brain, your hormones, and the rest of your fitness.” –David Jack
Are you ready to Spartan Up!
Committed to Your Results,
and your Fit Soldiers Family!
Fit Soldiers Fitness Revolution
2100 East 112th Avenue #2
Northglenn, CO 80233