Awhile back, Carrie Adams posted a Death Race Profile about Katy McCabe, and today I got the chance to interview the other Glamazon of their two-woman dream team: Laura Svette. Going into the interview I knew that I was going to encounter a phenom. She not only pushes herself, but she also embodies the “yes you can” attitude that I have found that Spartan Race inspires. This woman is an incredible athlete, and it is with great pleasure that I introduce this profile to the Death Race Universe.
Laura and Katy have been training partners and co-motivators for awhile now, and all it took to get Katy to convince Laura to do the Death Race was a text message. Laura recounts that McCabe texted “We’re doing this,” and within five seconds she was sold. She went on to explain that from that moment on she started almost throwing up every day as she learned more about what exactly she had signed up for. She checked youtube and facebook, every available resource to learn more, but with the anxiousness can the excitement.
I asked her what she feared would be the biggest challenge, and she spoke honestly. “My concern is injury. I’m strong and stubborn and clutzy. I’m not actually afraid of any of the challenges, but I’m afraid that while I’m going down hills, I may take a tumble.” This is a sentiment that many can relate to. I too am clumsy. Her concern, however, has a bit more meat to it than just the occasional “running into the open dishwasher door.”
Laura shared with me that “[she] was always an athletic tomboy. [She] played Volleyball—went to Junior Olympics and UVA for it.” After graduating, Laura wanted to make the switch to beach volleyball. She moved out to California, trained and played in local tournaments. Ultimately, she wanted to go pro. Three years ago, she suffered a devastating injury that destroyed any hopes of traveling across Europe on a pro volleyball tour: she ruptured her Achilles Tendon. “That kind of injury changes you forever,” she recounts. During and after her recovery process, she began to express interest in CrossFit training. “It made me realize what I’m good at,” she told me; “and now, I live for my workout.”
Her enthusiasm for CrossFit and for the Death Race has inspired her to meet up with other Death Race participants whom she met over Facebook. Two weeks ago she met up with Daren de Heras and Yesel Arvizu to do a practice Death Race, that a friend of the two had conceived. It ended up being a ten-hour workout on a Saturday, and fueled her excited. As a result of this exercise, and confidence in herself and fellow participants, Laura shared with me that she believes that they’re “all going to be ready.” She admitted though that she’s going to have to rethink her food situation. Good luck, Laura! What she looks forward to the most is the “go for it, teamwork” atmosphere that she experienced in the mock-race. Her strategy is to “take one obstacle at a time and think short term.” Good advice, I think!
Every racer has to make his or her own claim to the race. Laura’s is a tiara. I kid you not, Spartans. She and Katy refer to themselves as Glamazons, and honestly, I couldn’t think of a better title. The two are gorgeous, strong, and amazing competitors and athletes. Laura, laughing through her comments, shared with me that she’s “the kind of person who always lives up to a challenge.” But don’t let her toughness deceive you, the girls are equipped with their gear, Team Glamazon t-shirts AND their kick-ass tiaras. I couldn’t be more thrilled that this lip-gloss and tiara wearing lady is also a fierce competitor. She embodies every quality I imagine when I think of our dear Spartan Chicked Campaign.
Laura recalls that she’d nannied for so many years and she’d encountered women who had just given birth who are genuinely unhappy with their state of fitness. She doesn’t want anyone to feel like they can’t. And neither do we. When I asked her what advice she’d have for women struggling with self-image and athleticism, she coolly said, “I encourage women to prove to people that they can be badasses and there’s no reason to be underestimated. Ultimately, twenty minutes at the gym is better than nothing, and once you get to twenty minutes, you’ll probably want to do more. You need the confidence; you deserve it, and it’s time you earn it for yourselves.” Women are amazing. As I basked in the strong nature of her words, it suddenly dawned on me. A woman could beat Hobie Call!
I introduced this notion with a bit of a wink wink nudge nudge, suggesting that it should be she who takes him down and in a tiara no less. As we discussed his impressive athletic feats, and his status as the 100K man, she appreciated his athleticism and grace more than feeling the competitive rivalry. Having said that though, she NEVER steps down from a challenge. “When someone tells me I can’t, I go ahead and do it,” she shares. She’s awesome.
When I asked her what advice she’d have for women and girls considering doing a Spartan Race but may be intimidated by the potential of “failure,” she said “Just do it. Set a goal, reach it and then set another one.” So ladies, what are your goals? We want to help you reach them, and we want to be there for you to set other ones and beat those. We want our amazing women to put on those tiaras and do something they’re unsure about. Follow in Laura’s footsteps and just take the leap. Say yes without consideration. You can be your own phemon. You can run your own Death Race. Just do it, because you can…