The Spartan. Nothing in life can truly prepare you for a Spartan. Whether it’s the Sprint, Super, Beast or Ultra. And all of the other ones that they have. The only way to prepare is really to do them. The physical part, the mental part. It is seriously the hardest race I’ve ever done in my entire life. Even my first 5k was a cake walk compared to this race. This race. It was just a Sprint. Not even the longer races. But of course as I was leaving I had quite a few people, who were either volunteers or worked for Spartan, tell me it was one of the hardest Sprints.
If you don’t know what a Spartan race is. I will tell you. It’s an obstacle course race. Also known as an OCR. Ranging from 3+ miles to 26+ miles. And they have other races that are way longer than that. I remember watching videos of it back in 2013 thinking, um no. That will never be me. Well, as of this weekend. I’m a Spartan. I finished my very first Spartan race. And let me tell you. IT WAS AWFUL!!!! But it was also amazing.
Awful because we climbed the same freaking mountain…. Ok, it was a technically a “hill” because it was in Indiana. But it was a ridiculous hill. Up and down, up and down, up and down, up and down. I slipped on mud, landed hard on my knee at one point, got my pants caught at the top of the A frame, climbed over wall after wall, walked through water, it never ended. It was seriously the race that never ended.
But among all of the hell that was going on. I met an amazing group of people And I discovered more about myself than I realized.
Here’s what the Spartan taught me:
1 – Always research a race before agreeing with one of your closest friends from Texas that you’ll do the race with her.
2 – Get a bigger water pack for your hydration pack.
3 – Eat. I made the mistake of not eating breakfast. I was so nervous that I completely forgot to eat. And I didn’t even pack food on the course.
4 – Wear good shoes. I saw so many people slip and fall.
5 – Go with a team. Trust me! Go with a team!
6 – In the last five years I ran/walked over thirty 5k’s.
7 – I hiked part of the Appalachian trail. Even if I really didn’t want to. I wanted to sit pool side and read.
8 – I got brave and signed up for a half marathon. Actually, two of them.
9 – I discovered my passion for powerlifting and boxing.
10 – I figured out what I wanted to do with my life.
11 – So in the past five years. I’ve actually accomplished a lot.
12 - I actually don't mind rolling around in the mud.
I can't even describe how absolutely amazing the group of people, that stuck by me the ENTIRE TIME, was. No amount of thank you's will ever be good enough. This team, Corn Fed, was incredible. Motivating. Hilarious. And inspiring. I hope that one day, if I ever do another race or in life in general, I can be just as amazing as them.
Kristy Kronas is a Certified Personal Trainer in the burbs of Chicago. She is a single parent and author with a children's book being published this fall! She has a passion for lifting, boxing, kayaking, and a hatred of running. Watch out for her new venture this September when she launches a daily podcast called the 'Daily Donut.' If you have any questions, comments, or just want to say hi, shoot her an email!