by Edward A. Puente

On July 15 around 5:20 a.m. I was stabbed twice. Once to my left abdomen and once to my left chest in Austin, Tx while intervening on an attack on a friend. We were ending the night after celebrating a friend’s birthday. I was in my second week of Nursing School then. I went through surgery and a blood transfusion, stitches and staples. Due to my injuries and lack of mobility I was forced to drop the nursing program and I was unable to work as well. I lay in bed many days unable to move and depressed for sometime. Losing weight and muscle.

One of those days I was surfing the web trying to find a race that would motivate me to get back into running and shape overall. I stumbled across Spartan Race. Just seeing the obstacles and how many different people, some with limitations were pushing themselves beyond what one could not imagine. It seemed like fun.

Ever since I came across Spartan Race not one day went by when I didn’t check out the WOD or any new uploaded videos or Facebook status. I was constantly thinking about the Texas Sprint this May 2013. My first Spartan Race!

I attended a workout with Spartan Race founder Joe De Sena in Austin after seeing a FB post about him being in Austin with his crew to workout anyone willing to show up. It was a last minute trip so there wasn’t a lot of advanced notice. When I showed up there was only one other guy. The other guy Todd Kemper had driven 50 miles for the chance to meet Joe as well.

We experienced a dose of the Hurricane Heat, which I had no idea what that was, and it was intense and amazing. I found something inside myself I didn’t know was there. We worked out with sandbags, a bucket full of sand, the slosh pipe and not to mention countless burpees! Some with the sandbags plus the running. When I thought it was over, it wasn’t…Never before had I done more than 20 burpees in a row and here Joe D was making us do 100 burpees straight in what I later found was only the MIDDLE of by far the toughest workout of my life to date!
I laughed when he said 100 burpees. That laugh didn’t last long. He was for real!

I really believed he was going to stop us and say something like, “Ok guys bring it in and let’s cool down.” I was absolutely sure of it, but he didn’t! Now, I’m so glad he didn’t. This guy knows that there’s a part in every one of us that does not know defeat just waiting to be found out. These people are amazing and fun. They get it. Now fully recovered and training since January, I’m ready to devour 2013! No doubt I’m completing the trifecta and aiming on a chance for the Ultra Beast this year. Will probably never stop saying, “AROO” for as long as I live.

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CJ Wilson wasn’t happy about his health. He was unimpressed with the way his body had been mistreated by way of his lifestyle and intake and one day, at 264lbs, he decided that he had enough.

He explains, “Everything I had was bad. I hit a major breaking point when I began to see serious stretch marks on my stomach. I couldn’t even walk around at work without getting short of breath or the worst “chub rub”. I knew I had to try something.”

That something was to embark on a journey of a new “him”. Together with a another “big guy” at his place of work, they began a competition to see who would lose the most weight in three months. In those three months, after cutting out beers, sodas and increasing his walking as a way of exercise, he found 34lb disappeared.

After three months of diet changes and then later, cardio work and light weights, CJ found himself getting leaner and fitter. An obstacle of a broken engagement to his fiancé presented itself in 2012, but he channeled this into striving to go for another 25lbs. Now, well below 180lbs, CJ will be attacking the Georgia Sprint as a new man.

“As far as more exercise… I’m planning on continuing to challenge myself in every way possible. I’m not sure what that will entail but I’m so excited every day to see what my new body can do.”

Samuel Stark has a similar tale. Despite already having achieved a place on the Trifecta Tribe list, he remains very humble about it.
“”I was on your web site today, and I saw my name on the Trifecta Tribe list. I earned my Trifecta in August, but it still feels good to see my name on the list.”

Sam’s journey began at age 3, when he was diagnosed with Asthma. By the time he was 13, he was over 260lbs. At age 14, he began exercising and struggling through but reached a plateau at 200lbs and found it hard to move further.
“Then Spartan Race came into my life, it gives me something to train for on a daily biases, I am currently 178 pounds have finished multiple 5k’s two half marathons, multiple other OCR’s.”

This fight, this epic struggle against the nagging, negative voice in his head became a victory. Not quitting, not ever allowing failure to be an option became the realization of that coveted Trifecta membership.

“For some people earning a Trifecta is something that represents how hard they worked for a few months or a season, maybe even a year. But for me someone that did not finish his first Beast, it’s a journey that I have been traveling for the last 20 years. Though I know my journey is far from over I want to say thank you.”

More fuel to the fire of “if you try, you will do it”. Just never stop believing.

See you at the finish line.

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by Carrie Adams

Our Top Ten Blog Posts of 2012 span a variety of topics.  Yesterday, we introduced you to #10, a blog by our own Chris Davis who left Atlanta and came to Spartan HQ in Pittsfield, VT to live, work, and train with our staff and founder Joe Desena.  He lost over 400 pounds and completed the Spartan Beast, and earned his Trifecta Tribe status.  No small feat!  In today’s recap of post #9 we revisit something that has made Spartan obstacles famous (errr, maybe infamous is a better word.)

In a word: Burpee.

Missing a Spartan Obstacle doesn’t mean that you just mosey on your merry way, it means that you owe 30 burpees before you are to continue.  Here, our very own Dr. Jeff goes over the Muscular Analysis of the burpee.   If you don’t know Dr. Jeff, you should.  He’s greatly responsible for the success of the Chris Davis Project and is also leading the charge on the Spartan Coaching program.  He also routinely participates in the Spartan Death Race, because, well, that’s what happens when you work for Spartan Race.

From the drop to the ground through each phase of the movement, the body positions are described in detail to ensure that from the elite athlete to the newcomer, everyone can see the proper form associated with the burpee.

Read more HERE.

Interested in coaching the Spartan Way?  Click HERE to learn more.  Finally ready to get signed up?  Click HERE. 

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by Carrie Adams

With an epic year of racing in the books, we are recounting some of the biggest stories of the year.  Let’s start with post #10!  How about a story about a guy who lost over 400 pounds and reclaimed his life, conquered a beast, and earned his membership into the Trifecta Tribe?   We are talking about the one and only Chris Davis.  His story inspired thousands.  To see his journey, watch this video. 

From the original post:

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.

To read the blog in it’s entirety, click HERE.  And stay tuned for another top blog post from 2012!

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