by Chase Stewart, Spartan Elite Athlete
In the Beginning
Reebok Spartan Race changed my life. Undeniably. Before Spartan, I was out of shape and I treated my body like crap. Anything negative I could do to my body I did, in excess, daily. I never exercised. Deep down I always knew that this wasn’t me, that I was much more than that. I always wanted to be healthy and fit. One day during the summer of 2011, I decided to stop wishing I was better fit and actually get better fit. The only thing holding me back from being who I wanted to be was me.
Starting a New Life
So I gave up everything that wasn’t good for me and never looked back. I took a last minute trip to Hawaii to visit my grandparents, who were house sitting out there. I needed to get away to get my mind right about what I was trying to do. When I came back, I was a new person. I started running and hiking 4 days a week.
A few months later I heard about Spartan and immediately knew this was what I was looking for. I needed something to train for, something to keep me focused on my goals. I started researching new workouts and signed up for the WOD’s so that I could train specifically for this race. My race was the Arizona Super in 2012, I signed up for the elite heat because for me it was all or nothing. I placed 51st overall, awesome for me. I was hooked.
Going the Distance
I decided to go for the Trifecta, so I signed up for Colorado and Utah. After Colorado I checked out the global point standings and saw that I was ranked a lot higher than I expected, so I decided I had to do a fourth race. When Spartan HQ announced the Ultra Beast, I thought it sounded awesome. I also thought I wasn’t ready, but after the Utah beast I decided it was the next step. I had completed the Trifecta, an accomplishment that seemed so challenging, suddenly realizing I could do anything I put my mind to. So I signed up for the UB and started logging the miles. Every race was an adventure and I knew the UB would be the ultimate adventure.
Completing the UB is one of my proudest accomplishments. Once I got my season pass I started signing up for races left and right. Today, I have completed 13 races with 4 Trifecta medals and a top finish of 6th overall and 1st in my age group. I am far from finished. Spartan gives me the competition I need to push myself to be better every day. The athletes in this sport are unlike those in any other sport. They are constantly pushing themselves past their limits to continually be better. They are also some of the greatest people I know, I have made countless new friendships in this last year. This sport has a camaraderie that I have never seen before. I look forward to watching this sport grow and am proud to be a part of it.