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.
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. www.spartanrace.com/wod.]
Tags: Chris Davis Project