Lisa Greenbauer, of San Antonio Texas recalls the moment she finished her first Spartan Race. She smiles, “It was the proudest moment in my life! I use to be the girl who could not fit a seat belt around her in the plane!”

Her long journey saw her lose 110lbs to get to that point. Being somewhat larger her whole life made it a little more challenging than usual, but she was determined to change that.

“I struggled with my weight my entire life. I was the chubby kid who just couldn’t lose the weight… Throughout my life it defined me! After college I decided it was time to make a change! I decided to get gastric sleeve surgery. Many people think it’s an easy way. Little do they know! After the surgery I worked my ass off in the gym. I actually got into plus size modeling and got on the cover of a bridal mag at one point!” she happily explains. 

After two and half years of keeping it off my husband who is in the United States Navy asked if I would like to join their team. I watch the video on what a Spartan race was because I didn’t know about it. After seeing the video I was like, “hell no! Then I thought to myself what in the world was I thinking? I was allowing my old self to take over. I decided to do the race in Mississippi.”

Taking the bull by the horns Lisa attacked the race in her own inimitable style and despite a minor setback involving her shoes, as she explains, it wasn’t going to stop her.

“It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life! I had to do half of it barefooted because my shoes would not stay on, but I wasn’t going to allow it to stop me from finishing it. I reached the last obstacle, which was the slippery wall. When I got to the top I could not swing my dang hip over. But one of my husband’s fellow sailors said ‘you can do this’. As I dug deep within me, I got it over! As I climbed down, all I could do was cry. I was the girl who would be scared to do something!”

“Many people think that weight loss surgery is easy. It’s not. It’s still a battle. But moments like this show and prove how hard I have worked. These moments, well, no one can take them away.  It showed me anything was possible if you believe in yourself. Thank you for having races like this they help define and shape us into believers.” 

When asked about whether her experience in Mississippi made her catch the Spartan Race bug, she nods as though her life depends on it. “Heck yes! I would do it in a heartbeat!  It is something I am very proud of.  I love when I wear my shirt out and people say you did that race.  I answer ‘heck yes, I can and so can you’.”

Lisa’s unbridled sincerity and infectious enthusiasm continues to pour before she closes her tale of conquering her first race. When asked if she has any advice to anyone that is intimidated by what they see in the videos and pictures, she smiles a broad smile and is quick to encourage others.

“Yes, it’s hard! Yes, it’s scary. But put your big girl panties on and give it a try!  Moments like these create who you are and your strength!  When you’re standing in line next to a soldier who is doing the race with no leg or no arm, well, seriously, what’s your excuse?  If they could put all their heart and soul into it, then you can too!” 

See you at the finish line…

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