“I spent 18 years as an emergency medical technician (EMT) and Paramedic and not once did I think “that could be me lying there”. See, after a while when you think you have seen it all and then you see something even more amazing, be it good or bad, you begin to get the “that’s my job” mentality. I don’t want medals, I don’t want recognition, I just want to help rescue the family dog from the house fire, take the bad guy off the street, and give that family another chance to make the most out of the time they have together. That’s why we do what we do.”

Christopher Edgar reflects on almost two decades of a job he loved to do. Something that he did, not just for the paycheck, but because it was a part of him. Something inside that drove him to be there. A calling, as it were.

“All my life I was one that loved to help people. Most of us in the public safety fields will tell you that is why we do it. Okay, okay some of us are just adrenaline junkies. In fact most of are that as well. We spend years training and perfecting our craft so that we may save the lives of others and so that at the end of the shift we go home to our families.”

On July 3rd, 2010, Christopher was going about his duties – a day like any other – when he was called to respond to one of two accidents that were very close to each other. One was a road traffic collision, the other one of a child drowning. He responded to the latter and when arriving on scene, was greeted by the predictable, but unwelcome sight of bumper-to-bumper traffic around 2 miles long and two cars wide. In order to get to the scene, he took the median and with the ambulance in his rear view mirror, he was on his way to the scene. At that point, everything went black. 

“I woke up in the ICU of the Trauma Center two weeks later, casts on both arms, IV in the side of my neck, Foley Catheter in place – the tube that goes into your bladder to release your urine – and unable to move my legs. I thought to myself, ‘this can’t be good’. My wife told me that I had been in a motorcycle crash that a truck had pulled out in front of me. I asked, ‘who won, me or the truck?’ She chuckled and started crying.”

“I asked what was wrong with me and that began a long conversation. I had fractured both my femurs, fractured my pelvis, fractured both forearms and 3 ribs, fractured and dislocated both wrists and the right elbow, had concussion and had been in a coma for 2 weeks. During which time I had a pulmonary embolism (a blood in the lungs) and pneumonia 3 times. It was a grim outcome for a while. I had undergone a 13 hour surgery to repair all my injuries, titanium rods in both my femurs, bracket and screws in my pelvis, plates and screws in my arms. I still think that Dr. Lee Leddy is the greatest ortho ever. He was the poor unfortunate surgeon on call that weekend.”

A driver in a pick-up truck had seen the ambulance responding and had tried to beat it across an intersection that came before the scene Christopher was responding to. Sadly, he did not see Christopher on his motorcycle and the rest, they say, is history.

Another 4 days was spent in a “step down” unit at the trauma center and eventually he was transferred to a rehabilitation hospital. A private room was set up and the hospital even arranged another bed for his wife so that she could stay every night. Trying to make light of his situation, Christopher resorted to doing sit ups in his bed and he wasn’t allowed to work any injured parts of his body. “Finally the six pack that all the women love! Never quite made it.”, he quips.

“Once I was strong enough to sit up on my own and hold myself up with just my abs we started working on the important stuff, sliding over to the bedside commode, which isn’t easy when you can’t use your arms and your legs are useless. The muscle loss that was experienced while comatose for 2 weeks was unbelievable. I was unable to support my own weight at all and needed assistance. Once I was able to move to the commode with the assistance of my wife they let me go home. I was still confined to a hospital bed that was set up in the family room and she slept on the couch next to me.”

Water therapy began immediately, albeit “without the addition of a Tiki Bar – that would have made it better”, that would target leg and head movements. Pool squats, bicycles and shuffling from side to side worked the legs. Once that was completed, he was moved to a recumbent bike and going right back to square one of learning to stand up using a walker and doing chair squats, walking with the walker, stairs and also wall slides. With time, Christopher moved on to improving his gait, balance and stamina. This ordeal took around an entire year, but this was just the beginning.

“There was also the issue of my arms which spent 8 weeks in casts – Washington Redskins red I might add – and the pins that were holding my wrists together. At least with my legs they were not in casts and we were working the range of motion to prevent loss of the range of motion. The arms however were a different story. When everything was removed there was a time that all we could do was work the joints back and forth to loosen them to begin strength training. This was a slow tedious painful process. Then the task of improving coordination began, jig saw puzzles, playing with putty, screw drivers, rubber bands, holding a pen. All used as therapy for my arms. After about 10 months of therapy I returned to work in EMS part-time light duty in the training office. It had become obvious that there was no intention to get me back to work the streets.”

Towards the end of his physical therapy, Christopher made the decision to change careers and moved to the emergency management department. One of the reasons behind this was that if he hadn’t, he would have been put on disability and had not only a limited income, but also that of a quality of life. This was not an option for Christopher who had already fought through so much. With 18 years behind him in the field, sitting behind a desk made him feel like “a caged tiger”, but he simply refused to live a limited life. Sadly, his story didn’t end there.

“My wife and I had been having problems before the crash and were very close to filing for divorce. The accident however seemed to bring us closer together and make us stronger, I thought. Turns out for the first 48 hours after the crash she was trying to decide if she was going to stay with me or leave. Turns out after talking to an injury attorney she decided to stay. The power of the almighty dollar. Things were actually good for a while but soon reverted to the way things were before and soon we separated and filed for divorce.

While waiting for the settlement from the accident we fell behind on bills and in order to protect the settlement I had to file bankruptcy. The settlement money was not going to be nearly what we thought and having taken a 1/3 cut in pay for the desk job there was no way I was ever going to be able to save the house. This was the absolute rock bottom of my life. I had lost almost everything I had. The only thing I had left was my son and that was going to change soon also. But before that I would have a medical set back that had me contemplating life.”

His cholesterol had unfortunately risen to a level considered dangerous and his physician had him put on a medication that would bring it down. Sadly, the medication brought upon rabdomyolosis, which is a condition that sees deterioration of muscle tissue including that of the heart. In the following months it came to a point where even walking the stairs in his house became an ordeal that would warrant taking a rest halfway through.

“I thought this was all related to the accident and was not sure I wanted to continue life like this. I was sleeping 14 hours a day, late for work most of the time and had no energy when I got home. Then someone at work pointed out that it was probably due to the cholesterol medication. I went and saw my doctor and yes it was due to my medication. I stopped taking the medication but the damage was done. I was almost as weak as I was when I first got out of the hospital. Physical therapy was about to start all over again, but know it had a cardiac component and I did not have any help. I started walking, a half mile a day at first and slowly worked my up to 2 miles over the next few months. I was not going to let this get the better of me and with support from family and friends I started a long trip back from total weakness.”

“My son had been my rock through this whole thing. Everything I did was ultimately for him. So we could still have fun together and live a good life. When it came close to graduating high school in May 2013 he made the decision to move to VA to live with his mother for a while. I knew this day was coming and it was a bitter sweet moment. My baby boy had grown up and I got to watch him grow into a wonderful young man. But now it was time to let him go. I had all kinds of time on my hands now.”

Christopher started reaching out to old friends, acquaintances and co-workers that he had lost contact with throughout the ordeal he’d been going through. One of these co-workers had been training for a Spartan Beast. Intrigued, he looked online to see what the furor was about. A mix of excitement and horror washed over him. The nervous excitement that one feels when danger beckons you to try.

“The more I thought about it the more I thought “well I have nothing better to do why not start exercising. In July 2013 I joined a boot camp with another friend, oh my god, what have I gotten myself into? At the same time while starting the boot camp I was stopping the narcotic pain meds from the crash. Bad idea. I found muscles I had not used since high school football. And what the hell is this burpee thing? Oh my god, it is from football. The next 2 days I was in agony. I hurt all over. I thought to myself “I am too old for this”, but I went back again and again. Yes, it hurt but it was a good kind of hurt. I started to feel better, had more energy, I was getting stronger. This picked up where the PT left off. I was telling my friend Cheryl – the one doing the Beast – about this and she said that kind of training is what they do for the races. I looked at the web site again and signed up for the workout of the day (WOD) many of the exercises I could not do at all. Unfortunately I stopped the boot camp after a couple of months. Another life altering event had occurred.”

Christopher’s father had unfortunately suffered a volley of strokes over the previous months and as such was unable to maintain his home on his own. He didn’t need – or want – to go into a nursing home, so Christopher decided that after his son moved to Florida, he would take care of his now 80 year old father. He quit his job, gave his house to the bank and moved to St Petersburg. By now it was November of 2013 and the Carolina Beast had loomed into view.

“I drove up to Winnsboro to watch Cheryl and 5000 other nuts run a 12-mile obstacle course. I could not believe this many people were doing this. As I stood at the start line (next to it not at it or behind it), I could feel the adrenaline in the air. After Cheryl went on her way I walked around and got a sense of what these people do and why they do it. It became obvious quite quickly. The sense of accomplishment, the competition and the brotherhood. The satisfaction and elation of having completed a physically and mentally demanding challenge that most people would not even consider doing and as I watched and waited, I saw him.

“Leading a unit of BDUs with gas masks and packs an amputee veteran came up the hill crossed the water and mud and headed for the 8 foot wall. With the help of his unit he was up and over and headed for the mud hill. And that’s when it hit me.  If this guy can do this so can I. That night I started asking Cheryl about the race and what she did to prepare for it. She encouraged me to do the workout or the day and lots of cardio exercise. And after talking some more she had me signing up for the Tampa Spartan Special Ops Sprint. Again ‘what was I doing?’ Still weakened from the rabdomyolosis I found that doing any of the WOD was near impossible. So I started with simple cardio.”
Christopher’s epiphany at Carolina saw a new surge of energy wash over him. Beginning with walks of around a mile, he began picking up distance and pace. Another step forward was his joining a gym and seeing a personal trainer twice a week. It was this trainer that started his road to strengthening and consolidating what he already had. The walks of a mile progressed to three miles with some light jogging mixed in. More strength training and flexibility exercises followed and before long, he found himself at the start line at the Tampa Special Ops Race.

“Well I did it. It wasn’t pretty by any means, 2 hours 34 minutes. And it wasn’t just my teammates that pushed me to the finish, other racers stopped and helped drag my ass over obstacles, encouraged me as I was dragging on the stairs (those damn stadium stairs) and doing the burpees. It was the most challenging, exhausting and rewarding thing I have ever done. A special thanks to Cheryl Dunlop who always encouraged me and had faith in me even when I did not and to Wes Henley for being a true Spartan and not leaving a brother behind.”

“I encourage everyone to sign up for and complete a Spartan Race and see what this is all about. Nothing about this race is impossible when you set your mind to it. Everyone has 30-60 minutes a day to prepare for one of these races. Its not hard but it does take commitment. Put the soda and bag of chips down and get off the couch and do something. I can say that, because not long ago, that was me. Don’t let your life go to waste because of something that you can or even can’t control. Take the challenge head on and overcome.”

“There are no excuses. If wounded veterans can do this and if I can do this, if Chris Davis can do this, anyone can do this. Don’t be scared the only reason you don’t make it to the finish line is because you did not want to. Don’t ever give up. There are enough true Spartans out there that will get you through this if you want to.”

See you at the finish line…

 

THE FITTEST CEO® AT SPARTAN RACE INVITES EXECUTIVES TO COMPETE

 

Event to be hosted at Spartan Race HQ in Vermont, September 18-21, 2014

CHANHASSEN, Minn. (March 18, 2014) CEO Challenges, produced and presented by Life Time – The Healthy Way of Life Company and the world leader in sport competitions for C-level executives, announced today that in 2014, CEO Challenges and Spartan Race will work together for the first time to host The Fittest CEO® competition and TV show taking place Sept. 18-21, 2014. The annual championship identifies the fittest CEOs and this year the event will take place on the property of Spartan founder and CEO Joe De Sena in Pittsfield and Killington, Vermont. Spartan Race has redefined the obstacle / mud run category of events with multiple distance timed competitions around the world.

“For the past two years we have hosted our Fittest CEO® event at Blackberry Farm in Tennessee,” stated Ted Kennedy, President of CEO Challenges. “This year we decided to try something different and utilize the incredible endurance playground that Joe De Sena has built in and around Pittsfield. Joe is an expert in testing the endurance and fitness of individuals, and together we came up with an amazing list of events for the CEOs to choose from to see how they stack up. The challenge will culminate in an epic Spartan Sprint race at Killington.”

Fittest CEO participants will choose four endurance tests out of a list of eight offered (see below) and receive a score based on how they perform versus elite athletes in each discipline. Scores for the four events are added to their time over the Spartan Sprint course to see who is the fittest CEO and who will donate the winner’s check to the charity of their choice.

“Ted approached us with the idea of co-hosting The Fittest CEO® on our property,” said Joe De Sena. “Everything we stand for at Spartan Race revolves around increasing fitness and nutrition for the masses. I think it will be a great example to the rest of the country to see CEOs testing themselves over three days of endurance competitions.”

De Sena, author of a new book titled Spartan Up! continues, “If CEOs can fit regular training into their crazy work, travel, meeting, family and social schedules, then why can’t everyone?”

C-level executives of companies with at least $10 million in annual revenue are invited to submit an application to compete in the event. The package includes accommodations for three nights and meals (wine with dinner) for two nights, a professionally organized competition including Spartan Sprint Race, racing uniform, potential feature in the nationally broadcast Fittest CEO® TV show, and opportunity to donate from a prize purse estimated at almost $40,000 to the charity of choice of age group champions.

To include your name on the “interest list” for the event, visit CEOChallenges.com, and you will be contacted to find out about your company and athletic background. If accepted you and your company will be featured on the CEO Challenges website, in future press releases, and in a printed program circulated to the media at the event. Register your name today for one of the 15 coveted slots to the race, and for the opportunity to “lead by example” to your employees, your family, and viewers across the USA.

The Fittest CEO Competition Details:

Competitors choose 4 (four) out of the list of 8 (eight) offered endurance tests which will take place in and around Pittsfield, VT on Friday, Sept 19 and Saturday, Sept 20 (i.e. CEOs can choose which events play to their personal strengths. Note, you have the option to do more than four events and take your best 4 scores)

Each of the four elements will account for 15% of the total score awarded – 60% of the total mark after all four are completed

The final event – 3-mile Spartan Sprint on Sunday, Sept 21 – will account for 40% of the total score to name the Fittest CEO®

The 8 fitness tests offered:

1.   Mountain stair run – 1.5 miles, including 1-mile vertical run up a stair ladder

2.    Open water swim – 1-mile lake swim

3.    Mountain Bike – 10-mile single track trail race

4.    Wood chop & drag – Chop wood, load it onto a sled, and drag the sled 100 yards

5.    Kayak – 2-mile lake kayak

6.    Trail run – 5-mile race on mountain trails

7.    PT Test – combination of pull-ups, burpees, crunches, pushups, etc

8.    Road bike – 25-mile road bike race

*subject to minor modifications

Scoring:

Prior to the competition top elite athletes will be timed on each of the 8 fitness tests

The closer you come to the time of the elite athlete the more points you score

The Spartan Sprint race on Sunday morning is worth 40% of the total amount of points, with the winner receiving 100% of eligible points (40) and everyone else receiving less depending on what % they were behind the winner.

The Fittest CEO®:

The Fittest CEO® is the person who accumulates the most points after all events are completed, with the Spartan Sprint being the final event

Each competitor is required to bring a “blank” charity check for $2,000 with the amount split amongst the charity of choice of the winners as follows: 70% to the overall winner, 15% to the over 50 champion, and 15% to the female champion (provided at least 3 competitors in each of the divisions)

Trophies will be awarded to each of the overall, over-50, and female champions

The entire event will be filmed and edited for The Fittest CEO® TV show to air across the USA

About Spartan Race, Inc

Spartan Race, voted Outside Magazine’s Best Obstacle Race, is the world’s leading obstacle racing series and the first of its kind to feature timing and global rankings. In 2013 people participated at 60 events in what for many was a transformational experience. Spartan Race also offers an event for Junior Spartans ages four through thirteen who race on obstacles made just for them.

With over 130 events in 17 countries planned for 2014, Reebok Spartan Race is making obstacle racing one of the fastest growing sports in the world. The global event series features races at three distances, 3+Mile/15+ Obstacle Sprint, 8+ Mile/20+ Obstacle Super and 12+ Mile/ 25+ Obstacle Beast, culminating each year in the Spartan World Championship. With competitive Elite heats and Open heats for all fitness levels, Reebok Spartan Races offer something for everyone. The Spartan lifestyle continues its goal of ripping people off their couches and helping them lead happier, healthier, and more productive lives.

Log onto http://www.spartan.com for more information, a schedule of events, and to register for a race.

About Life Time Fitness, Inc.

As The Healthy Way of Life Company, Life Time Fitness (NYSE:LTM) helps organizations, communities and individuals achieve their total health objectives, athletic aspirations and fitness goals by engaging in their areas of interest — or discovering new passions — both inside and outside of Life Time’s distinctive and large sports, professional fitness, family recreation and spa destinations, most of which operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Company’s Healthy Way of Life approach enables members to achieve this by providing the best programs, people and places of uncompromising quality and value. As of March 5, 2014, the Company operated 109 centers under the LIFE TIME FITNESS® and LIFE TIME ATHLETIC® brands in the United States and Canada. Additional information about Life Time centers, programs and services is available at lifetimefitness.com.

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Live the action. Find your race and sign up today. 


 

Spartan Race is an obstacle course racing series built for people who want to push themselves, conquer a challenge and have fun! With three lengths – Spartan Sprint (3+ miles, 15+ obstacles), Super Spartan (8+ miles, 18+ obstacles) and the Spartan Beast (13+ miles, 25+ obstacles), racers of all levels of fitness can participate. With workout and food programs to prepare you, Spartan Race isn’t so much about race day as it is about everyday. Come find out why hundreds of thousands of people proudly call themselves Spartans!

Richard Lee, one of the “Founding Few” of Spartan Race and race operator in the UK, was accepted into training to become a Royal Marine in a 2007 Young Officers batch.  Due to injuries sustained during training, Richard was unable to complete his training, and thus was not eligible to join the ranks of the elite servicemen who wear the Green Beret and are known as Royal Marine Commandoes.  Richard is often referred to as a Royal Marine or Royal Marine Commando in written works surrounding Spartan Race, and Spartan Race acknowledges having designed some of the obstacles used in our obstacle course race series based on input from Richard’s training to become a Royal Marine.

 

Joe De Sena, founder and CEO of Spartan Race, wishes to apologize for the misconception regarding Richard’s credentials.  Spartan Race holds the highest regard for the men and women proudly serving their countries around the world.  Many of them frequent our races, and they have been instrumental in shaping what Spartan Race aspires to be both on and off our race courses.  Spartan Race regrets any implication that it would ever attempt to misappropriate what those in the military have worked so hard to earn, and is fully cooperating with the UK’s Ministry of Defense.

 

Further, Richard Lee apologizes for inaccuracies in the media regarding his British military service and for not more actively managing such references made to him as a Royal Marine or Royal Marine Commando.  ”The truth is I entered into training to become a Royal Marine in a 2007 Young Officers batch, but due to injuries sustained during my training, I was unable to earn the proud distinction of Royal Marine.  Those who serve in the military are truly our nation’s heroes, and it is certainly not my desire to dishonor them by claiming an unearned accomplishment.”

by Anthony Adragna

image via http://bit.ly/fuduxD

If you’re looking for even more reasons to do exercise regularly, check out the following list from US News & World Report that stresses some benefits of working out that you might not have thought about. Via their list:

1. Exercise Reduces the Harmful Effects of Stress: Studies prove that 30 minutes of exercise on a cross treadmill brings beneficial chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine into the brain. Additionally, a study by the University of California at San Francisco suggests that exercise could actually counteract the parts of aging process caused by stress.
2. It Could Help Prevent Depression: Doing exercise three times a week and burning 350 calories each time relieves depression about as effectively as anti-depressants.
3. It Helps With Learning: When you exercise, levels of brain chemicals called growth factors increase. A recent study shows that students performed better at cognitive tests after 10 minutes of exercise.
4. Exercise Increases Your Self-Esteem and Body Image: Even if you don’t radically change how you look, merely completing an exercise goal can lead to a more positive body image.
5. High Intensity Exercise Leads to Feelings of Euphoria: That urban legend of a “runner’s high” actually exists. If you run intensely for 30 minutes, then decrease your pace for five minutes before sprinting again, you will feel great for the rest of the day.

See all the action of the Fenway Spartan Sprint! Share and Subscribe!

One competitor laughs of the cold and takes time to tell the photographers that it really isn’t that bad under the water.

You’d have been forgiven for thinking you were not actually in sunny California, but perhaps Chicago, Detroit or somewhere not altogether unfamiliar with ice and below freezing temperatures.
With the typical Spartan Race rain on the Saturday and the malevolent grin of glinting frost and ice beckoning the competitors to the start line on Sunday, the elements had already conspired to make the competitors suffer.

Spartan Race elite male and female podium finishers

With many regular faces descending on Malibu from all corners of the country, the all-too familiar feeling of a reunion in was in full force. However, once stepping over that start line, all friendships were put temporarily on hold. Tellingly, a water obstacle again proved to be the undoing of Hobie Call as he only briefly misjudged a plan of attack. This merest hint of a chance was something Hunter McIntyre exploited and punished by pushing past and snatching first place by only 33 seconds. Brakken Krakker took third place by crossing the line only just over a minute after Hobie, proving just how tight the men’s elite class is now. It seems as though every race is now a guarantee for a nervous and exciting fight for 1st place.

The female elites didn’t fail to add to the tension, either. Rose Wetzel (1st), Lauren Ho (2nd) and Tiffanie Novakovich were separated by only just over 3 minutes. The female elites are crashing through into 2014 with higher rates of training and motivation than ever before, so it was unsurprising that numbers into double figures were finishing faster than some male elite runners. Competition has never been fiercer!

Despite having no legs, Mathew Webb failed only one obstacle – the spear throw.

Away from the professionals the Spartan Race inspiration machine was in full force. Travelling over 7 hours to make the event to represent the ever-present and all-conquering Weeple Army (taking their 8th biggest team win), Mathew Webb crushed the course despite having the “minor inconvenience” of having had no legs since being only 18 months old. Making jokes that the water in the lake was so cold that he couldn’t feel anything below the knee, he powered through failing only the spear throw.“Overcoming Obstacles” was led by Slosh Pipe champion Kevin Kierce. Containing competitors  Michael Aygin, Brian Tom, Michael Yu, Durrell Johnson, James Mogana, Joel Senteno, (who are all hard of hearing or blind) and previous Spartan Race blog subject Misty Diaz who battles Spina Bifida, they all went through the course in a flurry of high-fives from well-wishers and a  volley of “AROO!” chants. Accompanying Kevin was his 74 year old mother, Linda Barber. Together, this one group alone pushing the fact that there are simply no valid excuses.

Linda Barber, 74, has completed every Malibu Spartan Race to date.

Team SISU,led by Daren De Heras made multiple loops of the course over the weekend, choosing to continue their Death Race ethic by carrying logs, tires and wearing elevation masks in order to make “things more interesting”.

From Hollywood, actors Tony Besson – making his third Spartan Race appearance – and Josh Peck ran in a wave shortly before Eric Colley fromTMZ made his debut at the start line.

As 2014 winds down to a close, Texas will see thousands of Spartan descend on Glen Rose where host the last race of year. Spartan Race will see out 2013 with a Beast and the last chance to qualify for a Trifecta before the new season starts in January. Will you be one of them?

 

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Written by guest blogger Ang Reynolds

This Saturday and Sunday Spartan Race returns to Malibu California.  Calamigos Ranch has hosted each year Spartan has come and never  disappoints. The hills and water at the ranch lend for a muddy course  year after year. To honor a three-year tradition, Mother Nature has  promised cool temps and rain again this weekend, so don’t expect to  bask in the Southern California sun.

Hobie Call will be in Malibu this weekend hoping to claim yet another  Spartan victory. His son Hawk will also be racing this weekend,  following in his father’s footsteps. Don’t expect Hobie to walk away  too easily though. Several Spartan men are ready to challenge him.   Spartan elites Matt Novakovich, Hunter McIntyre, Brakken Kraker,  Elliot Megquier, and Miguel Medina are ready for the kill.

Miguel Medina is living in the mountains of Vermont, building his own cabin.

Miguel is  traveling cross-country from his new home in Killington, Vermont where  he spends his days training, hiking up and down Killington Mountain  and trudging through freezing water. (He hopes to build himself a  cabin for the winter before it’s too late to stay warm.) Other notable  men include Spartan Pro Team Elites Chris Rutz, Tony Matesi,Chris Obertlik and Michael Tobin.  Tobin will be making his Spartan debut.

Our Spartan elite woman will be ready to go this weekend. Ty Clark and  Jenny Tobin will go head to head. While Alaska native Tiffanie  Novakovich won’t be slightly bothered by the temperatures this  weekend. Atlas Pro Team member Rose Wetzel Sinnett will make her  second appearance at a Spartan Race. Don’t count out Irene Call. She  just set the world record for lunging a mile, something that will
definitely give her an advantage on the steep hills. Andi  Hardy will be there in all of her green glory ready to rock the barbed  wire. Other notable athletes include Laura Messner and Danielle Ross.

Regular Slosh Pipe event champion Kevin Kierce will lead a team of competitors who are more physically challenged than most.

Ross is ready to rock the slosh pipe and will be joining Weeple Army member Kevin Kierce to lead a heat for Weeples overcoming obstacles. That heat will  consist of blind athletes, several deaf athletes, and Misty Diaz, a woman with Spina Bifida. Weeple Army and biggest team leader Dave  Huckle will race both days after traveling around the world this year courtesy of Spartan Race  and recently completing the Australia Ultra Beast. Dave will finish  his season next weekend in Glen Rose Texas, rounding out  9 Trifectas!

Team SISU leader and Death Race veteran Daren De Heras is looking to break his own record of most laps by attempting 8 loops of the course weighted down with various logs, sledgehammers and other various weights. We wish him the best of luck!

Keep an eye out for the man in blue this weekend, Stephen Sinek and  his talented wife Aeni will be there to debut their oceanic design from  The Painted Warrior’s recent design contest. Whether you are looking  to P.R., have a good time with your team, or run with a friend, you  won’t want to miss the race this weekend.

See you in Malibu!

Are you ready for a Spartan Race? Look through our future events and sign up here.

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Meet Keala Boncie Machin of Glenville, NY. She’s 6 years old, the only girl of 4 children, and in school, she’s quiet, not a fan of noise and commotion and is prone to bouts of shyness. Teachers will tell her parents that often she will sit in the corner of the class, coloring in books and keeping herself to herself. It could be argued she is your typical all-American little girl.

One day, she came home with a permission slip for a school talent show, expressing an interest in taking part. Surprised, her parents asked her what she wanted to perform, knowing that singing or dancing wouldn’t be something she would be at all interested in. She wanted to show her school what Spartan Race was all about. Her mother pointed out that dumping a truckload of mud in the school would not please the principal, so she decided that her act would be that of a Spartan Race workout she would design herself. Keala is a Spartan Racer.

The back story of this started when she witnessed her folks take part in an OCR that didn’t have a race for children. Her eyes widened and she knew that’s what she wanted to do. Her mother Rayn explains, “The first time she ran, it was as though she was born. Though she enjoys dressing up and wearing glitter, Keala does not fit into any sort of typology, but instead, finds comfort in areas which allow her to be herself. Though it would be easier for her to fit into a mold, Spartan Race is who she is, and who she is is beautiful.”

And so Keala embraced the lifestyle and threw herself into what the Spartan Race ideology is, she found a new kind of happiness. Not only does she do burpees alongside her mother, but helps out with her non-profit as Rayn explains, “I run a non-profit for children that have experienced extensive abuse and/or neglect, and those in at-risk situations. Spartan Race donates their entry fee so that we may teach these children that what they have endured, does not define who we are. It had not occurred to me that the same run may work with non-abused children, who may not fit into stereotypical demands, but may instead, flourish in situations not typical of their classmates”.

And Keala is a part of that. Rayn continues, “due to the economic downturn, Keala has, per her own desire, spent her out of school hours, helping children in emergency situations. She has given up her racing “career” (for a month or two), until we can raise money to get them to a Spartan Race.”

Keala explains how she sees it, “Bad people can’t hurt them at Spartan Race.”

And it’s all too evident when you see Keala when she is at her happiest – working out – that Spartan Race is a very important part of her life. When asked what Spartan Race has done for her, she points out, “They helped me….like cheering…they gave us a medal….Momma cheered, Dada took pictures…the other people say yay…they are nice…they are kind. I was happy in school and it was a great time, but everyone is loud. Everybody is really noisy they are just all loud. They always be like that, there is a lot of talking. I am the only one who is quiet. I am not shy at Spartan Race”.
And why is this? “Because the people are nice…they smile….they like me for me, and I like them.”
What do you worry about in school? “Sometimes I am kind of like bad at coloring and my class is a loud class….at Spartan Race, they have nice people….they like me even if I can’t color good….”

Why do you do this? “Cause it’s fun…they keep cheering at all the people…they give people high fives”

Is there any one person you remember from a Spartan Race? “Kim (McDonald; she was a volunteer at Tuxedo). She is kind. She gave us medals. They are cool. She likes kids. I like her.”

And so on the day of the talent show, Keala did exactly what she wanted to do. Something she would be comfortable with. Rayn smiles, “She performed without pretending she isn’t comfortable. She did exactly what she wanted to and knew that no matter what her classmates said, Spartan Race and its athletes would be behind her”.

Since they had been learning about the environment in school, she decided to do a Spartan Green Workout, using only items that were already around the house. A school bus tire that was used as a swing was recycled , a length of 2×4 from a building project was utilised and a piece of wood that had been cut from a stump would be used for flipping.

Letting her younger brother introduce what she was about to do, she prepared, came out and being careful not to scratch the auditorium stage, Keala went through her workout to a stunned audience of open-mouthed teachers and students.

Pausing only to take a bow, Keala bounced off the stage to cheers and applause.
When asked how Spartan Races and training makes her feel, see briefly ponders, “Well…it was fun to go in the mud”, then smiling cheekily, “and I do burpees better than Mom”.
Want to see how your kids will do at a Spartan Race? Sign them up now.

See you at the finish line…

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Morning Jog in London, image credit andyandmillay.blogspot.com

by Beth Connolly

In my last post, I said that you should get up early regardless of whether you work out or use the extra morning time to do other things.  In this post, I’m going to give you ten reasons why you should use this time to work out. If any Spartans out there want to add on to this list, please leave a comment below!

You guarantee yourself that you work out.  If you wake up at 5:30 every morning, you could be at the gym or outside on a run by 5:45.  By 6:45, you’re done with the day’s workout.  By making physical exercise the first task of your day, you give it your number one priority slot.  If you plan to work out at lunchtime, or after work, you are taking a huge risk that any number of a things will happen:

You’ll be asked to do another task that seems more important because it is important to your boss or your client or your family, and you have to put it as a higher priority than your workout.
You’ll get tired and won’t have the energy to work out.
You’ll be in a bad mood because so much BS has happened during the day that you won’t want to work out.  Negative energy is contagious–once you build resentment at things that happen to you during the day, the last thing the negativity wants is for you to dispel it with a satisfying workout.
You will experience increased focus and general clarity during the rest of the day.
You will be less likely to rely on external stimulants like coffee and sweets to get things done.
Your physical immune system will be strengthened, and you will be more likely to overcome any external toxins you are exposed to during the day.
Your emotional immune system will be strengthened, and you’ll be more likely to process and release stressful experiences during the day rather than store them in your body as muscle tension and stiffness.
Since you’re more in tune with your body, you will be more likely to eat healthfully and in accordance with your natural appetite during the day.
You actually enjoy your workout more in the morning because your head is clear.  You might feel foggy when you first wake up, but as soon as the fog lifts, you are in workout mode, not distracted by things that have happened during the day.
Increased focus during the workout leads naturally to increased intensity.
You will sleep better.  Because you’re waking up earlier, you will fall asleep much easier than you did before.  Your body will be exhausted from the workout, so you’ll know when it’s time to go to bed.  By contrast, exercise in the afternoon or early evening energizes you and keeps you awake later at night.

And the number one reason you should work out during the morning?

Actions speak louder than words, especially for Spartans.  This means that working out every morning, before you do anything else, gives your body a very specific message:

I am strong, I am alive, I am a fighter.

By making physical fitness your first priority each day, it becomes your first priority during the rest of the day as well.