by Jeffrey Bent

Life Changes
Sometimes our lives take abrupt turns. In 2011 I was living in Orlando Florida, a husband of 15 years and a father to two wonderful children. I owned a broadband engineering company and traveled the United States extensively for work. Life was good. The tides can change all too quickly. By the end of that year, I found myself separated from my wife and lacking a purpose in my life.

I began 2012 with a life-changing seminar that motivated me to begin a physical transformation. I set some lofty goals to make 2012 a year not to be forgotten. I had thought about maybe my first marathon or two, maybe even a triathlon? After a June 2nd Warrior Dash in Oklahoma City was cancelled, I knew this was my opportunity to try a Spartan Race. I had heard about Spartan but the opportunity to race had never presented itself. So after a Friday with friends in Charlotte North Carolina, I decided to take the ten plus hour drive to Tuxedo, NY for my first one.

A New Beginning
I arrived late Saturday evening at a college friend’s home. On just a few hours of rest, I headed over to the venue to register for the “elite heat”. I remember before I had even attached my bib a stranger was offering me a pre-race fuel mix; that stranger is now Spartan friend Walter Lyon. I remember wandering to the front of the starting line & hearing the MC talk about the previous day’s women’s winner. That woman, Andi Hardy, is now one of my best friends. She was at the starting line as well and I remember looking over at her and her battered and bruised legs. Thinking, “What have I gotten myself into?”

The adrenaline was unlike any I had ever experienced before; the mountain and obstacles were unlike any challenge I had previously undertaken. An hour into the race I was tangled up in the barbed wire and several racers immediately came to my aide. 1:02 was my official time. I was the 7th man to cross the finish, 8th overall, and 2nd in my age group. The sense of accomplishment from this race was amazing. I knew this was the race that had changed my life forever. An epic achievement!

Keeping the Peace
As fun as this race was, I knew that at 40 years old it would be a challenge for me to remain healthy and also injury free. I decided my best chance to remain in good health would be to take up Yoga. When I first began my Yoga practice, I had no idea of the benefits that it would have, both mentally and physically. After almost a year of yoga, I am in the best physical condition of my life. The calm and peace that I have in my everyday life is beyond comparison. As an elite racer, I have many opportunities to share my yoga with the world. Many people have started a Yoga regiment because I passionately share it everywhere I go. The sense I get from sharing has given me a purpose. I found this purpose because of Spartan Race.

I have always been an adrenaline junkie but the competition and camaraderie that exists within Spartan is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. I have completed 5 Sprints, 3 Supers, and 2 Beasts. The friends I’ve meet though Spartan share a passion for wellness and a desire to improve, just as I do. These people have become my Spartan family. I look forward to each race weekend as much as anything I have ever anticipated. Each race brings a new challenge, but the only one that I have to compete with is myself.

Namaste.

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by Carrie Adams

PB090327 (2)All kinds of women are taking on the Spartan challenge for the first time in 2012.  Moms, daughters, grandmothers, sisters, friends, wives, and girlfriends are heading out to have some fun in the mud and take on something new.  Renee Diaz is joining the movement.  Diaz is a full-time model and actress living in New York City.  The stunning brunette also teaches yoga, loves fashion and art, and at age 30 decided she take on a new challenge in the form of a Spartan Race!   She will be participating in the Tri-State New York Sprint June 2nd.   Says Diaz, “I try to live a healthy and happy life and never take things for granted.  I like to keep things easy-breezy.”

Diaz saw Spartan Race coverage and mentioned it to her husband who jumped at the idea and they signed up together with two of their friends.  She loves taking on new challenges and racing a Spartan certainly fits the bill.   PB060329 (2)

The athletic Diaz is running three times a week and practicing hot yoga three times a week to prepare.  Living and working in NYC has her on her feet walking and on the go so she feels like she will be as prepared as possible on race day.  When asked what she’s most looking forward to she laughed, “Beating my husband!  Just kidding!” 

Though quick to laugh she says, she has a few small fears.  “I guess failure scares me, but I am a true believer that our mind prevents us from accomplishing our goals.”  With her friends and family by her side, she’s positive and excited about the experience. 

PB060323 copy (2) “Humans are incredibly resilient creatures, there’s not much we cannot do.”  

Renee hopes more women get out on the Spartan Race courses in 2012.  “Some of the greatest athletes in the world are women. I think its so important for woman to follow their desires and to never lose sight of their dreams.”  

To find out more about Renee follow these links:

https://twitter.com/#!/ReneeKylieDiaz

http://www.reneekylie.com/

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000456968528

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