Celebration of Health

I think of powerlifting meets, Spartan races and PRs a lot like birthdays or vacations. They’re a time to enjoy yourself and celebrate; but there’s preparation involved.

Day in and day out, we’re in the gym working on exercises that are not the least bit glamorous. When was the last time someone asked you your farmer’s carry PR? Side plank PR? Single leg deadlift PR? These are exercises that we need to be doing. This is the preparation.

Meets and races can be a celebration when the work has been put in. They are an act of thankfulness for the ability to walk, run, jump, to lift. They are the culmination of hard work and discipline. They are the product of early mornings and late nights in the gym.

My first Spartan race was a nine mile obstacle course with my closest friends. It was in beautiful Asheville, NC on a gorgeous August day and I was completely giddy. We had done many carries, burpees, and sprints in preparation. During the race, I loved crawling under barbed wire, carrying an Atlas stone but I was terrified of the walls. Simply a 6 or 8 foot wall in front of me would stop me physically and mentally in my confident stride. One, because of my ridiculous fear of heights, and two because I was not sure I could pull myself over. I felt limited by my abilities, even on such a happy day. Thanks to my team, I was not required to do any burpees for wall obstacles.

On the way back to Charlotte, still on a post-Spartan exhaustion high, I was asked what I would have done to better prepare myself for the race. I immediately thought of pull-ups. It was the one exercise that, had I trained prior to August, I would have been able to attack the walls with more confidence.

So, back to the gym I went and did assisted pull ups, neutral grip pull ups, hollow body hangs, and as many strict pull ups as I could. The next Spartan race, only three months later, I looked forward to the walls. Obstacles that my team had to give me a leg up for I threw myself over with ease. Conquering the first wall obstacle was a turning point for me; I began to trust my training more than I ever had.

That type of satisfaction cannot be felt through anything other than accomplishment after hard work. That was a true celebration of training.

I encourage you to find a movement that you want to celebrate.

UncategorizedClaire Thomson