I believe challenging yourself in life is the gateway to self-respect and personal satisfaction. What’s more, science agrees with my conviction. And that’s one of the main reasons I set the goal to run my first spartan race. I wanted to see what I was capable of. And this felt like the perfect challenge to put myself to the test.
And on December 10, 2023, I did exactly that. I ran my first spartan race in the Al Watbah desert outside of Abu Dhabi in the UAE. Completing this goal has been on my bucket list for a long time. And honestly? I couldn’t feel more proud of myself for doing it!
Now here’s where it gets interesting…
This experience has taught me a few very valuable lessons that will be incredibly beneficial to you. But before I get into that, if you’re “uninitiated,” you may be asking yourself…
What Is A Spartan Race?
A Spartan Race is an endurance obstacle course designed to challenge your physical and mental stamina.
Moreover, there are various race lengths you can choose from—5k all the way to 20k or more are all available. Some of the obstacles include:
- Barbed wire crawls
- 4 to 6 foot wall climbs
- Bucket carry
- Hercules hoists
- Spear throwing
- Fire jumps
- Rope climbs, and more
I’ve run 2 full marathons, 4 half marathons, and also train Brazilian jiu-jitsu. And I gotta be honest… This Spartan Race I ran was among the most physically and mentally challenging activities I’ve ever done in my life.
The result? I’ve learned a few interesting takeaways that I think will be incredibly valuable for you. And the best part? You don’t have to run a spartan race to learn and apply these lessons.
3 Powerful Key Takeaways From Running My First Spartan Race
Accomplishing this goal is one of my crowning achievements. I learned a lot about myself and about goal setting in general. As a matter of fact, there are 3 key insights that I took away from reaching this objective.
1. Your Goals Don’t Always Happen On Your Time
The story goes I was originally supposed to run my first spartan race with a friend back in 2021.
I purchased the ticket, began my training regime, and was battle ready.
Unfortunately, that friend and I ended up having a falling out. The result? I didn’t run the race. However, the desire to accomplish this goal never left.
So a year later in 2022, I purchased a ticket to run the race again.
And then, the weekend of race day I re-injured an old shoulder injury. I was training Brazilian jiu-jitsu, get caught in a take down attempt, and the weight of my entire body landed directly on my recently healed shoulder, reinjurying it and forcing me to take a couple of weeks off from training.
Needlessly to say, I wasn’t able to run my first spartan race that time either.
But my desire for this goal STILL remained intact. I can’t explain why; all I know is the desire never subsided. And so at the beginning of 2023, I made another attempt at accomplishing this goal by purchasing a ticket to run the race in Abu Dhabi at the end of the calendar year.
And finally… Success. Moral of the story?
Your goals aren’t always going to happen on your watch. And be okay with that. Should you still set deadlines? Of course. But don’t be so rigid in accomplishing your goals within a specified time that you consider yourself a failure if you don’t make it.
You can always push the date back just like I did.
2. There’s A LOT Of Untapped Potential Inside You
Like I mentioned, this race was hard. And quite frankly, I didn’t know how I was going to do. I told myself if I could complete the race in an hour or less, I’d be satisfied. My results were…
- Time: 0:53:36
- Age 30-34: 16/100
- Overall Performance: 67/560
I shocked myself with these stats. And it made me realize that there’s a lot inside of us that we are failing to tap into.
And here’s the deal.
I never would have known I was capable of this kind of performance had I not had this race to push me. We can only access our untapped reservoirs of potential through voluntary self-effort!
Only by pushing yourself beyond your current scope of capabilities can you unlock and realize the latent potential that lies dormant within you.
That was a huge eye opener.
3. Life Is About Striving
Look at our culture today.
People are addicted to cheap pleasures. They want to drink on weekends to escape their mundane work life; they lack any clear sense of direction, and are trying their best to avoid any discomfort.
If they only knew the satisfaction that comes from striving.
No amount of Netflix, TV, social media, alcohol, or cheap dopamine hits can hold a candle to the rich feeling of fighting, scratching, and clawing to accomplish something difficult. And that’s why it’s my conviction that a large portion of life is about striving.
I supposed I knew this already.
However, completing my first spartan race has really drilled this idea into my consciousness and, more importantly, my character. For this reason, I’ll continue to set bigger and loftier goals for myself in the future! And so should you!
Completing this goal is one of my biggest accomplishments. And the reason for this article is hopefully to inspire you to set challenging goals for yourself as well. I can promise you: Nothing compares to that potent sense of self-respect that comes from following through on your word and accomplishing what you said you would.
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