After three incredible days of Spartan Racing in Tuxedo, NY earlier this month and a week of hosting amazing friends and athletes in my home, I’ve had some time to reflect on how my athletic career has come full circle.
As a child I grew up without the privilege to play on many sports teams so the outdoors became my playground. Running through the woods, climbing trees, building forts, and catching animals with my bare hands is how I began to build my self-esteem and confidence. Unfortunately this wasn’t very popular with my classmates. I ended up taking a lot of grief for it, but I would not let constant ridicule change or deter me. I knew deep down who I was and didn’t want to give up the great feelings my outdoorsy life gave me.
Entering HS, fueled by frustration and anger, I thirsted for contact and to further distinguish myself athletically. I began playing football and I discovered the brotherhood I had always desired. Not only was I able to channel the frustration and pain that had built up from being bullied, but I found true friendships that I still cherish to this day. For the first time in my life I felt truly happy and accepted.
However when HS, College, and Semi-Pro Football came to an end I was left with a void that was difficult to fill. Running and training for Ultra-marathons turned out to be to isolating. Jumping from planes is a quick adrenaline rush but way to expensive and skiing with my pals only lasts a few short months.
Luckily for me I discovered Spartan Race due to a chance in meeting with a local Tuxedo, NY Policeman. Ironically enough, I knew him from the private school where I was bullied.
Now, because of that first Spartan Race I ran in 2011, I have filled a huge part of that void. I was able to rediscover the joy in running, climbing, and chasing things throughout the woods again. I have finally found a sport that gives me the adrenaline rush I was seeking while building friendships with fantastic athletes from all different walks of life.
I’m so grateful to Spartan Race for creating an environment where the athletes have been able to breed a culture of intense competition, built on a platform of respect and camaraderie. It is a culture that has blended the passions of my past into the passion of my present and future.