Pushing Your Limits Mentally and Physically-You Got This!

Y'all.  I end every post with, "You Got This," because I want anyone reading to always know that...whatever it is in your heart, you got this. 


This past weekend, I repeated that mantra to myself as I ran the Spartan Beast race-13.1 long miles and 30 no-joke obstacles. 


Things started off badly.  The race was called the Chicago Beast so we (my husband and I) booked a hotel in Chicago.  Turns out, the race was actually 2.5 hours from Chicago in Indiana.  Ugh.  Once we realized that, we set our alarms for 3:30 am and went to bed really, really early.  


Gameday:  We wake up at 3:30 am and are in the car by 4 am.  This would give us plenty of time to get there and stretch out before our 8 am start time, right?  Wrong.  Turns out being 2.5 hours from Chicago means we would go through a time-zone change and not be arriving until right at our start time.  Crap. 


We keep driving.  We arrive at the race only to find the longest race line I have ever seen to get our numbers/race package.  By the time we get to the counter, both of our heats are long gone and we are put into a 9:00 am heat.  Okay, cool. 


Did I mention that I have heel spurs?  Well, I have chronic heel spurs that won't go away, no matter how much stretching or staying off my feet I do.  It means that when they appear, it feels like every step on my right foot is like I am stepping on glass.  It's terribly painful.  The week before the race, I went to the doctor to get a cortisone shot because that is one of the only things that seem to help (or at least, had in the past).  Getting a shot in the heel of your foot is excruciating and people could hear me screaming from the waiting room.  But hey, I needed to be able to at least walk if I had any hope of running my race!  Unfortunately, cortisone is no guarantee and two days later the pain was back. 


9 am-off we go.  13.1 miles of soft sand, rivers, rocks, climbing and running.  My foot is throbbing, but I have shoe inserts, took a pain reliever and I am stubborn.  It will not beat me.  


Mile 3:  My heel spur breaks in my foot.  I feel it.  I scream.  This means bone fragments (well kind of) are in my heel crunching with each step I take.  What was painful before has now increased even more.  But I keep running. 


Obstacle ahead-I manage to nail the monkey bars and rope climb with no issue and then I see my nemesis-the Twister.  Monkey bars that spin while you hang sideways and shimmy along.  I have trained for this. My upper body is strong.  I hold my breath.   I make it!  Pride and excitement lift me up and carry me the next few miles.  


I hit a few more obstacles and there she is, my other nemesis:  The Bender.  10-foot high monkey-bar style metal bars that reach backwards so that you are climbing upside down (after pulling your entire body onto it 7 feet up) and then flip over it and climb down.  This one slowed me down by 30 minutes at my last race as I struggled just to make the 7-foot jump and lift my body onto it.  I trained hard for this one.  


A lady about 10 years older than me (so in her 50s) jumps up and pulls up.  She looks down at me-"you got this," she yells, "I know you can do it."  I needed her words and I believe her.  I jump, grab the bars and pull my weight up.  I make it without dying.  "Thank you, you are amazing" I yell as she jogs off.  


Mile 9:  Tyrolean Traverse Obstacle (Google it: it's hard as shit).  I wrap my legs and arms around the rope and start to crawl along, all while the rope is ripping the skin off my legs and my hands are raw (look, I don't know what drives me to do this, but I love it).  With each pull, the bell (the target) seems to get further away.  "Help" I yell.  But nobody comes.  I keep going.  After what feels like forever, I am within reach of the bell.  With the last bit of energy I have, I lurch forward and reach my right arm out, hitting the bell in tandem with accidentally letting go of everything else.  

I fall 10 feet to the ground landing on my back.  Snap.  You can hear the wind get knocked out of me.  Am I dead?  Did I break my back?  Am I passed out?  "Medic" I hear someone yell.  "No, I am fine, I got this."  I scramble to my feet and jog away, praying that I don't faint.  


At the next station, I grab some water and catch my breath.  


I fail the next obstacle.  I do squats instead of the required burpees because I think I may faint.  


I keep running. 


Another girl is running next to me.  We help each other at the final obstacles and cheer each other on.  I am amazed by her.  She is amazed by me.  Before we lose each other I pat her back and tell her that she is awesome.  I thank her for pushing me through. 

I get to the spear throw which I have never made.  I don't make it today either, but I have caught my breath by now and do my thirty burpees.  


I get to the Hercules pull-I love that one-and sail through it.  


One more obstacle, the fire jump.  By now, I am more hobbling than running.  I do my shuffle-hobble and leap over the finish line.  


My husband, who has been waiting for an hour and forty minutes (he's basically superhuman) is at the finish line when I cross.  He takes a picture and says, "Great job, babe, you did it.  I was worried about you the whole time."  "Yep, you and me both," I am thinking to myself.  We high-five.  We don't hug because we are both gross.  I am so proud of him.  I know he is proud of me. 


And...I am proud of me, too.  Because for four long hours, I repeated the words that I always say to everyone else, but this times, thousands of times to myself:  "You. Got. This."  


And you know what?  It's true.  I got this.  And so do you.  


You don't have to let fear, or pain, or anything else stop you.  Ever. 


Happy Hump Day Boss Ladies.  You got this.


11 views1 comment