If you have been reading my emails for any amount of time, you will know I am a superfan of all things Spartan. SInce my first race at a Sprint in Ripon in Yorkshire in 2012 (i think) I was well and truly hooked.
I love everything about them, the community, the training, the preparation, the Spartan ethos, the mud, the obstacles, the struggle and the opportunity for you to show yourself exactly what you are made of.
So often I hear people say ‘oh I’m not fit enough to do a Spartan’, well that is exactly the point. You do a Spartan to push yourself, to go beyond where you currently are and actually Spartan is incredibly inclusive, I have seen people of all ages and ALL levels of fitness just getting off their asses and just giving it a go. Because you don’t have to be super fit to take part, you just have to be willing to try.
Yes if my 4 year old can do it, then so can you!
Every time I run a Spartan I am left having learnt some lesson or another. While running, climbing, jumping, hurling yourself over walls for over 6 hours, you know that there is a hell of a lot of time that passes when it’s just you, the mountain and a few thousand other racers going all in and that gives you time to think.
During that time you notice the mental chatter that goes on and I was very mindful on this particular race of where that chatter was taking me.
The run up to this race was anything but ideal for me as I struggled with injuries.
I initially injured myself on this very race this time last year and ever since have had reccouring problems with my ankles, knees and more recently pulling my back out just a few weeks ago. So going into the race I was not feeling my best, in fact I almost talked myself out of doing it as I really didn’t want to risk further injury.
I may be stubborn, maybe a bit stupid and wreckless, but I decided that I wasn’t going to let something like an injury stand in the way of doing something that I love so much.
So I worked on preparing myself mentally. I knew this wasn't going to be my best race, or my fastest time, I just wanted to go in, enjoy it and make it over the finish line and with a smile on my face.
And I am happy to report, that is exactly what happened. 25km, over 2000m of elevation (damn those mountains) and 6 hours and 16 minutes of literally blood, sweat and pains (no tears this year), but I crossed that finish line still walking, and with a big ass smile on my face, because I did something I wasn’t 100% sure I would be able to do.
It’s at moments like this, that reinforce my belief of working on mindset and indeed the power of the mind. Yes your mind can be THAT powerful.
Often we focus on the the things that we don’t want. So I could have been focused on not wanting to get injured, but instead I focused my attention on what I DID want this weekend. To cross the finish line and to actually enjoy the race (well most of it, I can honestly say I did NOT enjoy the sand bag carry. That part was truly aweful!! My face below says it all)
I was literally repeating the mantra in my head as I was going round, especially on the downhills which is what killed my knees last year. Repeating the words in my head and at times out loud
“Strong ankles, strong knees, strong back, sturdy feet, strong heart, I can do this!”
It brought incredible power and focus at the times I needed it the most. Any time I felt a little twinge or had a little stumble I would go back to repeating my mantra and would shift to feeling the strength to carry me through with every single step I took.
It was a great reminder for me to not give up on myself, to keep on pushing, believing and always working to shift my mindset towards what I DO want to achieve in life.
If you want to achieve anything in your life, it will take moments of having to push yourself, to do the work and just keep on going.
You CAN get through it. So just don’t give up.
With this motivation fresh in my mind I am going to be running a FREE 7 Day Back to Basics challenge. As we step into summer I want to feel energised, empowered to make good food choices and enjoy my summer feeling my absolute best.
When it comes to re-energising your body and your life we can get bogged down with over complicating things, when in truth we just need to make a few simple shifts to move back into that feel good factor.
So starting on Monday I will be setting you daily challenges to move through the mindfield of health, nutrition and mindset bringing it right back to basics. This is not about restricting and cutting out all the things that you love, but more about adding in the things that are going to help you feel good.
This is completely free I just want to hold myself accountable as well as motivating you lot to get moving too.
If you are in, CLICK HERE to add yourself to the free facebook group and comment on the video letting me know that you are in.
I’ll see you in there.