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There are two kinds of “I don’t want to get out of bed this morning”. First is the kind where you toss and turn all night, with unsatisfying intermittent sleep. When the alarm goes off you are cursing the sandman for being a no-show to the party, and you just KNOW you are going to be exhausted all day. Someone pass me the caffeine. There’s nothing good about this type, at all. Then there is the kind of “I don’t want to get up” where the alarm goes off and you literally think “woah, what just happened? Didn’t I just lay down in bed?” because you slept SO soundly. Like an 8 hour time warp (who am I kidding, in my world it’s more like 6 hours if I’m lucky).
I’m pretty sure the latter is how sleep is SUPPOSED to go, but as a mom of two, who did ALL of the night time feedings and wakings for the last 5 years (just calling a spade a spade), that deep sound sleep is something that is so incredibly rare in my life, I really can’t remember what it’s like for that to be a frequent occurrence.
This morning, I hit the snooze button 6 times as I tried to pull myself out of that time-warp kind of sleep. SIX times. Each time I thought about how sore I am. How exhausted I feel. How these workouts are kicking my butt. How easy it would be to sleep in just one more hour. And everytime I almost gave into the warm comforter and the “dismiss” instead of “snooze” button, I would think of the email I got yesterday:
…The Ultra Beast will be the ultimate challenge and will require dedicated training, and an understanding of self-support as only ONE water station will be available on course. Finishers will have to be strong, durable, mentally tough, and prepared to take on the challenge of the Vermont Mountains. It will not be easy but this is a Spartan Race, so easy isn’t what you were looking for.
Good luck. Welcome to the Ultra Beast.
And while even though I wanted nothing more than to stay in my DOMS filled coma while convincing myself that “rest is good for me”…I got out of bed and headed into CrossFit.
So yeah, I got into the Spartan Ultra Beast. I can’t tell you how excited I was (am). Actually, my spin class could tell you probably, as I read the email literally 30 seconds before class started and then laid into them with a ton of hills and sprints (isn’t that how everyone celebrates good news?).
But now that the excitement is over, it’s time to get to serious work. 126 days. Could I drop and run a marathon on whim, today? Sure (not that I recommend it) A tough mudder? Super Spartan? Yup, I’m in decent shape. By health standards, I’m a gold star, baby. Heck, I ran my first sub 20 minute 5k yesterday.
But do I have what it takes to survive this, times two, for 26 + miles, unsupported ?
I don’t know if I do right this second, but I damn well will by the time September rolls around, mark my words.
To completely change the topic but I swear it’s all related, I think I may have mentioned that I officially joined CrossFit Keene this week. And thus, this week has been spent learning that I am WEAK. Seriously. I know not everyone starts out of the gate with the exact prescribed WOD’s, but all I can say is thank goodness for modifications and scaling (best part about crossfit), because that’s what I’ve had to do for just about EVERYTHING. My core is weak. My back is weak. My squat form sucks. Pullups suck. Deadlifts suck. I can’t even get into a handstand never mind do handstand pushups. It all sucks so much and I’m so weak in almost every aspect… that I simply can not get enough. I want more, I want to get better, stronger. I’m hooked.
There comes a point in every fitness-enthusiast-turned-athlete’s life where they cross that threshold, from land of “I should workout because it will make me stronger/healthier/skinnier” to “Bring it on. Faster. Better. Stronger. Whatever it takes Screw vanity, I want to be the BEST.”
The last six months have changed me in so many ways. One being exactly what I mentioned above. Believe it or not, there was a time where I only saw fitness as a very dreaded way to fit into my skinny jeans. Then, it evolved into the dreaded long runs, just because I liked to run marathons. But nothing more. I loved the finish line, I loved the atmosphere, I loved the medals. I didn’t love to train. In fact, I almost always used something in my crazy life as an excuse (scroll back a year or two in this very blog, and you’ll see for yourself, or ask anyone in my old running group about how many times I didn’t show up to morning runs). I always enjoyed exercise , I wouldn’t have spent the last 4 years and more money than I care to think about earning a degree in it if I didn’t love it. But it was always from a “health seeker” point of view, and I was far from dedicated.
For me, pushing the limits came as a result of emotional pain. Pushing my body physically was a temporary solution to quelling the heartache and numbing the chaos of what my life had become. Eventually, the heartache quieted down, and I was left physically stronger. I saw results from the hard work. Big ones. I was fitter than I have ever been before. Faster than I have ever been before. And while I slowly no longer needed the mind numbing aspect of the workout, I found myself still looking forward to that feeling of discomfort from things being NOT easy. I don’t want to be told I’m good at something, I want to constantly be told how to be even BETTER. Training for this race will only help me strive to be better.
So now that my blog post about getting into the Spartan Ultra Beast has turned into some sort of a novel, let me bring this full circle. This race means a thousand different things to me, that I’d love to tell you all about but this post has already taken 4 hours to write because my kids have a thousand different things to say today and suddenly I can not form a coherent thought.
So I will just say this: I refuse to fail. The blinders are on. Target locked. Spartan Ultra Beast or bust. Thank you for all of your support in getting me to this point, and I hope you’ll follow my journey to the finish line.
And I’ll finish this (ridiculously long) post with this thought…
In the fitness field, people ask me all the time “how do you find the motivation?” and the truth is, I don’t know how to answer them. I can give them my answer, but I can’t give them theirs. Everyone has to find something deep within themselves. Something they want to beat. Prove. Do. Conquer. You have to want it for you, and for no one or nothing else. It’s one thing to want to be “skinnier”, it’s a complete different one to want to be your BEST. To win, whatever “winning” means to you.
Find your goal, hold on tight, believe in yourself, and don’t ever give up. <3