2020 feels like it’s been the longest year ever and at the same time it flew by like a big blur! A new year means you get your chance to reflect on the previous one and use that as fuel for your new 2021 ambitions! 2021 is here! Not only is it going to bring us back our chance to enjoy some of our lost hobbies and activities, it’s bringing back SPARTAN RACE! AROO!
Most of us may have gotten caught up in a different lifestyle lately, being more confined and less active than before. How can we get out of this pace we’re in and even consider getting back to where we were before 2020? It’s been over a year for most of us since we have signed up or done any kind of race. How could I possibly get back into “Spartan Shape” and even have the confidence to sign up for something like that now!? What would I need to do to get back to that place?
The mind and the body are connected and control what we accomplish on a day to day basis. The mind is the power of what we are truly capable of accomplishing, mentally and physically. Interestingly, our thoughts and perceptions of what we can accomplish, are going to control the end result. The first step you need to take is deciding that you want it.
There is something gratifying and addictive about accomplishing something that takes hard work, effort, time, and sacrifice. Some of you have experienced that, like when crossing the finish line at a Spartan Race. The feeling of accomplishment is irreplaceable. When we challenge ourselves to do better, each day and each week. When we make those decisions to eat vegetables with dinner and skip the fast food, or even push ourselves through the workouts and long days that we thought we couldn’t get through. The process of it all is what we learn to enjoy the most.
Really, start to take a look at your daily habits. The good, the bad and the ugly. If you were going to take one step ahead from where you are today, what would you change? What would you keep doing? Stop eating out as much? Keep up on that weekly workout or that tough weekend hike? Go to bed earlier so you can wake up early and work on your running? Create a program instead of working out only when you feel like it? If you want something to fit into your lifestyle, you need to make time for it. Sometimes this means sacrificing a bit, so you can fit these things in. Start by making a change!
Next, write down some goals that are deeply rooted! The goals that are going to keep you moving forward when your body and mind tell you to stop! This will be your fire that will motivate you to stick with your current training, allow you to push to the top of that hill, or get that last rep in your workout. This could arguably be the most important thing. Don’t overlook the importance of settings goals and being able to envision your desired outcome!
Start training! Spartan Race requires grit! Running, getting up and down hills, work load capacity, and grip strength! Start logging your miles and know how far you’re walking, running, and hiking weekly. Set some attainable goals and build on your current program. This might mean adding some farmer carries, some running or burpees at the end of regular workouts you do throughout the week. Set some benchmarks for yourself to see if strength, muscle endurance or stamina could use the most improvement.
Train Smart! Know your strengths, weaknesses and limitations. Don’t run if your knee is hurting, figure out why. Take care of your body and your mind, listen to it and respect it. The essential components that create a healthy mind and body are exercise/movement, sleep, stress management, and nutrition. Where are you at with these? Are any of these inconsistent, difficult to maintain or far from optimal? If you are out of tune with yourself and need help figuring this out, hire a coach. A good coach can help you with the physical part, nutrition and guidance for healthier mindset.
Lastly, find a friend or community! Surround yourself with the types people that are not only going to motivate and inspire you but will be there to celebrate with you at the finish line! Find a run club, a weekend workout group, or a gym that will take care of you and will thrive off your success! Not only can a good friend motivate you and keep you accountable, they can get your back when things get tough. We can be so reliant on ourselves sometimes. Be comfortable with leaning on others a bit, especially when challenging yourself to new things and pushing beyond your current limits.
Spartan Race has helped me, and many others stay accountable and reach their fitness goals. It has pushed me to become stronger, more resilient against life challenges and has taught me to overcome obstacles more efficiently in my day to day life as husband, a coach and an athlete. 2021 is coming quick so get prepared and get ahead now! Set some goals and make the decision to start improving your circumstances and overcoming your own obstacles. If you want it bad enough and are willing to get a little uncomfortable, you will be surprised in how much you can push outside your comfortable zone! Aroo!