Chris Davis @ GA Spartan Sprint

My Journey to Sparta – The Chris Davis Project:  Part 1

by Carrie Adams and Chris Davis

Every day Spartan Race HQ gets emails and phone calls with success stories of our athletes getting off their couches and getting healthy preparing for a Spartan Race.  Untold pounds have been lost, new levels of health and well-being found by those who embrace a healthy Spartan lifestyle.  Every so often one of those stories strikes a chord so deep, we are compelled to tell it completely.  One of those stories is in motion now, and we are going to keep sharing updates of a man who has turned to Spartan to change his life forever.

We met Chris Davis in Georgia where he finished the race in 3:04, and at 390 pounds.  Struggling across the finish line and exhausted, Spartan staffers helped him to his car and he headed home.  But that is not where this journey begins and it’s nowhere near over.

Chris started his Journey at 696 pounds. in 2010, he heard of the Spartan Race and started losing weight.   We got in touch with him and moved him to Spartan HQ. He is currently down 300 pounds from his starting weight with the help of the Spartan Race motivation.

Spartan Race staff, including founder Joe Desena are attempting to get him to 180 pounds by September a loss of an additional 200 pounds over the next 5 months.  In his own words, he’ll share his journey on the Spartan blog.  Here is his first entry.

Chris Davis Pre Chris Davis Project

Chris Davis @ 696 lbs.

April 12, 2012

Last night I arrived at Spartan Race Training Camp in Pittsfield, VT. I was so nervous about the flight up here since this was the first time in 12 Years that I have been flying. The reason I was so nervous about flying was that I have heard so many stories about overweight people having issues on airplanes that it was causing me worries about my own travels. I was surprised to find that I fit better than I did the last time, but I still needed a seatbelt extender.

“It funny,” I keep thinking to myself, “this is the last time I am ever going to need one.”

Once I arrived at the Burlington International Airport it took at an hour and a half to reach Pittsfield. During that time I kept asking myself over and over again as I entered the Vermont Mountains: “What have I gotten myself into?”

I realized very quickly how completely out of my element I was. One of the things that caught me off guard was how clear the air is up this far North.  My driver pointed out that Killington Mountain, which I saw on the horizon, was a good landmark to help navigate around the region and then he told me that it was still 40 miles away.

Once I arrived and met everyone, I headed back to the Trailside Lodge to get some sleep because I knew that it was going to be an early morning.  My first training session was to start at 6am Thursday morning. When I woke up I was both excited and nervous.  It finally hit me:  Yes this is real.   Yes my life is about to change…

Six o’clock arrived early and Joe Desena was ready for me with what would become  my new best friend – The Spartan Pancake. The Spartan Pancake is a 20lb sandbag, nothing edible.

Joe and I started out by going on a walk up one of the mountain roads near Spartan HQ carrying the Spartan Pancake. It’s funny how simply adding a 20lb sandbag to your walk affects everything you do. It throws off your balance. I found myself focusing more on ways to manage and carry the weight and less on the walking. We made it about 1/3 of the way up the one mile road when we turned back.

I will be honest, I was surprised at how fast I got tired.  I don’t know if it was the walking uphill or The Pancake, but I was beat.  On the way down Joe carried the Pancake for me and I started to get some of my strength back. When we got back to the Camp, I felt a lot better.

Next we started to toss the Pancake.  I have never tossed a 20lb bag before.  It really forces you to use your arms, chest and back. You feel it when the Pancake comes in a little fast or is a little short, and you have to reach for it. We did that for a few minutes and then we started the last part of my morning exercise. Kung-Fu.

I never thought is a million years I will ever try and learn something like this. I have no rhythm, and I do not have fine control over my movements. So learning something like Kung-Fu is going to be great. I felt so awkward, trying to walk and do straight kicks, I found myself tripping over my own feet, and losing my balance. But we all have to start somewhere and this is where I am.  I have a ways to go, but I’m here and somehow knowing that is enough.  More to come…

[Editor’s Note: Chris Davis’s training updates will be featured regularly on the Spartan Blog and will include pictures and other media of his time in Vermont.  Keep updated with his progress.  If you want to start your own journey to Sparta, get signed up for our WOD’s to get delivered to your inbox.]

…The Chris Davis Project continues with Part 2…


71 Responses

  1. avatar

    Stay Shiny Chris!

  2. avatar

    Chris is one of my employees and a true inspiration to all of the Spartan Nation… I am so pumped to knock out the S Beast with you in September!!!!

    • avatar

      This goes out to Shane, Chris’ boss! You have an extraordinary employee in Chris!! For someone who was at the weight he was be willing to even think about taking on such a challenge is so unheard of!! I am sure you feel privileged not only to have him as an employee but a friend!! Please let him know that so many strangers are praying for him!!
      Greg Schrock

      • avatar

        Thanks Greg! I agree it is really awesome to have Chris so close… I can’t wait to join him to knock out the Ultra Beast in September :) … he is making the rest of my organization so proud! appreciate the kind thoughts and prayers…

  3. avatar

    I have known and worked with Chris for almost 8 years now. His journey is simply amazing! He is a huge inspiration for many people. I am proud of him. Chris, keep on going! I wish you the best of luck!

  4. avatar

    I’m so proud of you! But, I haven’t seen you that dirty in a long, long time. Get em’ Tiger.

  5. avatar

    Way to go Chirs, you are such an inspiration. Love that you will be doing these blogs. Can’t wait to see the new version of you and see how you do in the race. This is an amazing journey for you and you will do awesome! There is nothing you can’t do. There are people who are fit and in shape who would not attempt this, so you Rock!!


  6. avatar

    Chris! Your Michigan friends know you can do this. You are awesomely inspiring! I am proud to be your friend!


  7. avatar

    Go Chris!! I’m shooting for a 50 pound loss by September :-}
    I can’t hurl a pancake around, but I can lift the 2-pounder weights.
    Os and I will be partners on the journey.


  8. avatar

    What an inspiration!!!!!! Way to go Chris!!! Keep up the amazing work!

  9. avatar

    You can do it, Chris! I look forward to seeing you pass me on the “BEAST” course this Fall!

  10. avatar

    Chris, you are doing an amazing thing! Not only for yourself, but for others as well. I have no doubt that you will succceed with the help of the Spartan Race staff. You’re in good hands.
    Know that you have the support of all Spartans!

    Hang in there, my brother…Keep us posted.


  11. avatar

    Amazing. Glad you guys are blogging this.

  12. avatar

    Out Standing….Not many are willing to do the work it takes to change their lives…. God Bless and best of luck to ya….

    John Grotts

  13. avatar

    Way to go Chris. Keep up the good work. AROO

  14. avatar

    Great job man! Best of luck.

  15. avatar

    brother, you go for it, for yourself more than anything else. Just starting to do this says more about you than most people in the world. S T F U !!! and you will make it.

    Ruben Torres
    United States Marine Corps
    Spartan race finisher

  16. avatar

    Chris. Remember that in the valley you will be tested. Don’t ever give up. We believe in you. You can go fast by yourself. But we can go further together. Way to be the change. God bless!

  17. avatar

    Stay focused and good luck. Your determination is inspirational! Please keep us updated.

  18. avatar

    This is one of the definitions of AROO! Great job. You motivate us all.

  19. avatar

    Chris – my heart and prayers are with you… the journey is long and sometimes tiring, but the arrival at your goal will be beyond your wildest dreams!

    Spartan girl, from Canada and going to loose 40 pounds – NO MATTER WHAT!

  20. avatar

    This is what it is all about! Chris, your story is AMAZING and not only will you be helping yourself but you will be helping others believe in themselves!! You are awesome! No matter what – stick with it!!!!

  21. avatar

    Awesome! Looking forward to meeting you at the Beast!

  22. avatar

    I agree with those who have said things more eloquently than I.
    I will simply add “AROO!” and wish you well in your training.

  23. avatar

    Chris!!!!!! I am super proud of u buddy! Looking forward to seeing you again and I will make sure you have some good music to work out to! I am super proud of you!!

  24. avatar

    Chris, I wish I was going to be back from Afghanistan in time to finish the Spartan Beast with you. Best of luck on your journey. Keep up with your blog, I look forward to reading it and sharing it with a few who need a little inspiration. No telling how many other future Spartans you may inspire to change their lives.

  25. avatar

    Way to go! Can’t wait to see another front # change! Keep it going!

  26. avatar

    Keep up the hard work chris.

  27. avatar

    Welcome to the rest of your life, keep up the good work.

  28. avatar

    Way to go. i wish you the best!!!!


  29. avatar

    Keep at it Chris, you are an inspiration to many.

  30. avatar

    Great job! Cant wait to read more!

    How can I get a Spartan pancake? Or how do I make one that can handle being thrown around?

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  31. avatar

    Put your Spartan mode on Chris! You are a true inspiration and I can tell from just your first entry that you’re a motivated man! Keep going, don’t let anyone or anything for that matter stop you! I plan on competing in my first Spartan Race by the end of 2013 and I hope to see you there!

  32. avatar

    WOW! WOW! WOW! What a great gift you gave you’re self…..LIFE
    Chris, you are a true inspiration and keep going…. ;)

  33. avatar

    All I can say…. DAMN YOU GET IT CHRIS!!!

    What an insperation too all off us who strive to do better for our selves. You are a man of worth and totally awesome. I cant wait to see you through this journey of yoir life. What a support group you have here. CONGRATS!!!!

  34. avatar

    Good job buddy.

  35. avatar

    Really awesome Chris… Don’t give up!!!

  36. avatar

    Keep on “rangering” Chris, it is 10% physical and 90% mental. Pain is temporary, but failure is forever.

  37. avatar

    AWESOME!!! Is there really anything else to say? Go get em!!!

  38. avatar

    Way to go man! Just showing for something like this takes you-know-whars bigger than a spartan pancake. Stay strong and don’t let that fire go out!

    Remember “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure”

  39. avatar

    Chris, Im sitting here icing my knees right now doubting if I will be ready…after reading about you and your journey, there is nothing that can stop me. Im sending you positive thoughts and will be thinking of you when I run my race in June in New york. Keep going Brother you can do it!….

  40. avatar

    We’re all proud of you, Chris. Work hard, and know that we ALL have work to do! I’m proud of you, and you will serve as motivation for me from this point forward. FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT!!

  41. avatar

    I have lost 40 lbs in the past 6 months. Worth every drop of sweat and ounce of pain. Keep it up Chris. Envy no one!!! be your best you and be happy!!

  42. avatar

    Wow, this is awsome. At the same time it made me feel guilty because I was to tired to workout. Not anymore if Chris can man up so can the rest of us. You are a true inspiration to us all. If everyone had as much heart and determination we would have a Spartan nation. Thank you Chris.

  43. avatar

    You Sir, are an inspiration!

  44. avatar

    Chris you are truly an inspiration. There is a whole world out there of people that choose to live their life instead of watching their life pass them by. You are now part of an elite group. Stay Strong mentally and there is nothing that your body can’t do.

  45. avatar

    Chris, you are a MAN! Keep at it dude, show everyone that there is no excuse! God Bless you man!

    Semper Fi!!!!!!!!


  46. avatar

    Chris, my good friend, Thursday Nights aren’t going to be the same without you. The first round is on me when you come home!

  47. avatar

    As a fellow Spartan in good condition, knowing how hard it was to finish the race…I cannot imagine what must and is going through Chris’ mind. His dedication and resilience is truly inspiring.

    We’re behind you Chris..keep it up..

  48. avatar

    After reading his story, there’s no excuses for the rest of us! Way to overcome like a true Spartan! ARRROOO!!!!

  49. avatar

    Congrats and keep up the good work! I understand a bit about what challenges you have overcome. I have lost 220 pounds myself in just under two years. I have worked hard, sweat even harder! I hope to join the Spartans some day too. You really inspire me to keep my eye on the prize. Thank you for sharing your story!

  50. avatar

    I first came across the Spartan Race about 2 mos ago, I’ve been toying with the idea of participating in the New England Race 8/11 & 8/12/12, after reading Chris’ story and reading all of the positive support everyone has for each other, how could I not want to go for it!! Go get’em Chris, hope to see you there….
    I’m a 45yr old mom trying to get her body & health back, 45 lbs to go…..look out here I come!!!!

  51. avatar

    Chris, I’m coming to workout with you. My first BEAST was in 2011 and I’ve been enlightened to say the least. You’ll know who I am.

  52. avatar

    I work with Chris also at Comcast and all my love and prayers are with you. You have inspired me so much and always been there encouraging me as well on my journey. Best friend ever. I beleive in you Chris and you are called for this purpose – to change not only yourself but to impact the lives of everyone you have yet to meet – don’t forget about me!!!! Baby steps……find your happy place! Now do the doggone thing!!!!

  53. avatar

    Way to go Chris. You can do it.

    I have lost 60 pounds in my journey to Spartan with 20 more to go. I hope to meet you and shake your hand at the Beast.

    Remember these wise words: I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy. I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.

    Chris Detar

  54. avatar

    Rock on Chris!

  55. avatar

    I hope you’re doing well buddy. Hang in there, your making a habit out of proving all of the negative people wrong, one after another. Grab life by the short hairs and make it what you want it to be, not what other want for you. Call me anytime if you want or need to talk.

    Things are good at work, we are holding down the fort. You designed a rock solid system, it will be here waiting, when you return.

    Yes, I’m keeping an eye on replication…

    - Wayne P.

  56. avatar

    YOU GO BOYO! You truely, have the heart and soul of a Spartan

  57. avatar

    I am overwhelmed by your inner strength and determination to meet this challenge! I ran the Spartan Race in Atlanta,Georgia and will run again in 2013 with my Son! You are truly a great inspiration to all of us. Drive on!

  58. avatar

    Chris, I hope you are reading all of these wonderful comments that everyone is posting and that you realize you are inspiring people from all over the place, those that know and love you already and those that you have never met but just your perserverance is impacting them and encouraging them along the way. You were called for this purpose right now – so proud of you!!!!!!

  59. avatar

    Thanks for the inspiration, Chris! One more step every day and you’ll be climbing mountains before you know it!! Keep it up!!

  60. avatar

    Great work sir! Keep it you are a motivation to many!

  61. avatar


    Thank you for sharing your journey. I am doing my first Spartan Race this weekend, and you are quite the inspiration.

    Keep up the hard work. Please know that everyone is pulling for you.

    By the way, I am planning on doing the Spartan Beast in December in Texas. I still need a teammate if you are interested.

  62. avatar

    Chris, you truly embody the warrior spirit! Your hard work and dedication is inspirational and I’m looking forward to reading all of your journal entries!

  63. avatar

    Keep it up sir! You rock and there is nothing stopping you. You truly inspire.

  64. avatar

    I had to click twice to get to this page (where’s the top 10!?!). I’m not clicking anymore to read the rest of this goddam story.

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