I have a bucket list. Right underneath skydiving was finishing a Spartan race so when the I saw the event planned for Fenway Park, I forced my best friend to sign up with me. There’s no better bonding experience than running through Satan’s obstacle course in America’s favorite ballpark, am I right? Having run my fair share of marathons, I consider myself a pretty in-shape girl but we were not prepared for what these monsters had in store for us. Somewhere between running through the grandstand, doing pushups in the locker room, and throwing your body weight over impossibly high walls, you start to realize a few things about life.
1. Teamwork is critical to success.
There is no way in hell I would have ever seen the finish line without the help of my best friend as well as many random (and very kind) strangers. Not only did I need multiple people to push my butt over the 8-foot wall, I also used a man as a step stool. Without my best friend coaching me through burpees I would have given up before the first one, and had we not helped a woman climb the vertical rope, she would have been stuck forever. Humans know how to work together, and when they see someone struggling no one thinks twice before lending a hand. When you see what can be accomplished through teamwork you start to wonder why we have so much conflict in the world today. If everyone just helped everyone through the obstacles, we’d all be better off.
2. Battlescars are necessary.
Somewhere along the course you’re guaranteed to get beat up. It’s inevitable when you consider the amount of stress you’re putting on your body. Remember this the next time you wish life was easy. Life is the ultimate obstacle course. So whether a break up has bruised your heart, or a few burpees have bruised your biceps, remember it’s all necessary. If it was easy it wouldn’t be worth it, and when you look back you’ll realize those obstacles were only put there to make you stronger.
3. It’s impossible to work out too much.
It doesn’t matter how much you run, how many hours you spend in the gym, or the number of pounds you can lift. When you’re surrounded by incredibly fit people all facing the same obstacles you see that everyone has their own weaknesses. My biceps could use life support, but if you ask my legs to run up and down the steps of Fenway, they’ll gladly show you what they’re made of. It’s impossible to be too in shape because there’s always something you could improve. Maybe it’s your physical strength, your endurance, or time management. Working out your mind is just as important as working out your body, so next time you think you’re the poster child for physical health, ask yourself if you’ve spent enough time on your mental health.
4. Your best friend will never leave you.
My best friend and I are bonded for life and while I’ve vocalized my love for her many times already, it starts getting serious when you both realize you’re vital to the other’s success. The Spartan race is indeed a race and it’s easy to leave your partner in the dust when you’re greedy for a faster time. Whether it’s your best friend or your significant other, I urge you all to complete a Spartan together. Every aspect of your relationship will be tested. Is he by your side encouraging you through those burpees? Is she leaving you in the dust to tackle the next obstacle? When you simply aren’t strong enough to carry 100 lbs, is he coming back to help take the load off your shoulders, or is he taking pictures while watching you struggle? Your best friend, your future spouse, and all of the people worthy of your attention are the ones who will never leave you behind. Their personal gain is never more important than the success of you two as a team.
5. You’re capable of more than you know.
It’s one thing to test your individual endurance and run until your legs give out. It’s another thing to spend two hours facing your fears, pushing the limits of your strength, and testing your relationship in ways you’ve never imagined. I thought this race would the definition of an epic fail, and while I was excited to check off an item on my college bucket list, I definitely didn’t have high expectations for myself. People talk about runner’s high all the time, but there’s also a Spartan high and it’s something to be experienced.