How to Take on a Challenge
October 4th, 2015. Lake Tahoe, CA. Elevation 6200-9000 feet. Spartan Ultra Beast. 26+ miles. 50+ obstacles.
I haven’t REALLY challenged myself for over 4 years. I was a slacker in high school, even though I was involved in a lot. I did it all, going through the motions, but rarely applied myself. I never studied, rarely practiced outside of class or practice, and as a result, I prevented myself from moving to the next level. College was a little different since I took on so much that it was mathematically improbable for me to be able to complete everything without trying. Still, I lost valedictorian because I didn’t care. I missed Olympic trials because I wanted to be big.
Well, ever since a SLAP tear in my left shoulder labrum, I’ve told myself that I can’t do this or get back to that since I still haven’t had it surgically repaired. I don’t plan on getting it repaired but I can’t keep telling myself that. After 49 months of saying no, I’m saying yes and I’m doing so by signing up for this ultra beast…literally. I hate distance running with a passion. The fact that this marathon is on a mountain is a deal maker since I’m not concerned with the obstacles. For this, I NEED to train.
Now, I don’t need to train because I won’t finish if I don’t. The whole point is that I WILL finish even if I don’t train. You have 36 minutes to complete each mile. I could walk two and a half in the same time. I NEED to train for this because my future depends on it. I’ve relied on talent my whole life, and never worked hard. That’s why I’ve never been the best. The person who has less talent and works harder can beat the person with a lot of talent that doesn’t work. When the talented person works hard enough, they’re unbeatable.
I’m not competing to win this Ultra Beast. That’s unreasonable at this point in time. I’ve done Spartans, Warrior Dashes, and other obstacle races and I know that the distance runners perform the best since the obstacles aren’t challenging enough to slow down an 150 lb man. I’m competing to show myself that I care. I’m competing with myself… my evil, lazy, talented self. I want the ambitious, hard-working, loser in me to show the evil half that he can be outperformed through hard work. I want that to carry into other parts of life… so success and feeling positive can follow.
So here’s how to take on a challenge. Don’t just do it to say you did it. Do it to the best of your ability. Compete against yourself and beat yourself. I’m not telling you to try to climb Everest on your hands while holding flaming torches in between your toes… but don’t let the possibility of a trip to the emergency room prevent you from breaking a personal record or proving to yourself that you have it in you. You only live once, so make it the best damn life you could, not should or would. And as always, stay hungry and fit.
BONUS PUPPY PIC