by Alexander Nicholas, Spartan Elite Athlete
The programs we do at EPIC are ideal for Spartan Race training, and I only found that out after I participated in my first Spartan! We jump, we crawl, we swing, we sweat, we suffer! As soon as I became hooked on the races (It only took one) I knew I had to bring my new found obsession to EPIC. It was not an easy feat convincing our members, ranging from investment bankers to biochemical engineers, to sign up for a race that is run by the same people over at “Youmaydie.com.”
One of the best aspects of the Spartan Race is that anyone with enough heart can complete a Spartan Race. Physical limitations are NOT an excuse for quitting a Spartan Race. You create your own challenges and your own goals. One person aspires to finish on the podium while another is simply aiming to cross the finish line, but both those people are on the same course and both people are in the SAME class at EPIC. That’s why I knew we needed to create a team for our gym. Once everyone was on board, we didn’t need to change our training regiment at all! But slowly the mentality in the training center changed, and that’s what made the difference.
The week before the race, I took a chance and emailed a list of members to run the Elite Heat with me at CitiField. The responses were amazing, “F%#K YES!” and “If you can catch up to me!” were among them. These were people who were nervous to jump into their first class only months ago. I think the real difference is that we always have fun in what we do. I had a real “Mr. Miyagi” moment days before the race. All the exercises and all the hell I put my members through was finally going to be justified at Citifield. No more “please stop the burpees!”, “anything but the bear crawl!” or “This giant jump rope is just unnecessary.” I was building them into Spartan assassins and they didn’t have a clue! After the race, the members realized that every extra burpee, Sandbell smash, and inverted plank mattered, and was worth it!
I was overly impressed and humbled by everyone’s dedication and performance at Citi Field. We ran at 11am with a 60 person strong team. If someone couldn’t get over the higher walls, everyone stopped and helped them over, it was an amazing experience to take part in and the energy in our gym has definitely changed for the better since. A greater sense of camaraderie is in the atmosphere here and new and old members alike are benefiting! Placing 1st out of 800 teams was no small feat and you can bet we are planning on defending that title in Tuexedo, NY on June 2nd!