By Michelle Fielder
As a child I was always told to shoot for the Moon, because even if you miss, you'll be among the stars. I never realized where those words could possibly take me until today.
Fast forward 30+ years..........
I'm an average person: no elite athlete by any means. Not even an athlete if you want to be exact. I was the one who needed the jar of peanut butter opened for her and the groceries carried in from the car. Every morning, you'd find me walking or jogging 1- 2 miles. At least that was something, right? I always thought I was in "shape," not knowing what those words actually meant. “In shape” meant being thin, something I have discovered is not true.
So one day, while watching an infomercial.....Yes an infomercial! (I hope your reading this Tony Horton!) I heard the words of a 50 year old: "I'm in the best shape of MY life, better shape then I was when I was in my 20's" What??? Could that be true? Could I, at the age of 44 be in the best shape of my life? Well, I was determined to find out, and so began my journey with p90x. After finishing round 1, I knew I was stronger, mentally and physically, but what to do with this new found strength and determination?
I first heard of Spartan race back in April of 2011. I headed to their website to see what they were all about. At first, I was intimidated by pictures of all the athletes. They looked hardcore, and I was no where near being hardcore. My first thought was, "Are these people nuts?" Watching these people jump over fire, climbing ropes and, my all time favorite, crawling under barbed wire through MUD! Yuck! My first thought was, "there is no way I can do this!" My husband’s first words were, "You'll get hurt," but as I read more and more about the organization, I was more and more intrigued. As I read more about "Getting people off the couch" (the people on the video never looked like they were on the couch in the first place!), "the ability to laugh in the face of adversity"(I have lots of adversity in my life, I want to laugh!) and "understanding at the finish line..."(What will I understand at the finish line?? PAIN??), I found that I had something to prove...not to anyone else, but to myself. I KNEW this was the race I needed to conquer.
I will admit, I was hit with some resistance about doing this race. People my age are so ready to except their ages. I truly believe that, as we get older, society brainwashes us into thinking that we cannot test our strengths and limits, and that if we do, we must be going through a mid-life crisis. So Yes! I am going through a Mid-life crisis. A crisis to better health!
I won't lie. As I am getting closer to the Texas Super Spartan, I am scared. I think, “You are too old for this! What if I get hurt? Did I train enough? What if I have to take that dignified exit option at mile 3?!”
The thing that sets Spartan Race apart from other races is how they warmly invite you into the "Spartan Family." They have not only created a unique, warm, welcoming family atmosphere but have also created one of life long friendships. The Spartan Chicked group has given me the enthusiasm and encouragement to know I CAN do this. All of us have the same goal: finishing what we start. Some people ask why I want to do this race, and my answer is, "Because I can!" T here is nothing stopping me but myself. I may not finish in first place, and it may not be pretty, but at least I had the courage to sign up. And signing up is the first step in this daring adventure.
So how will this daring adventure end? An average person, doing a not so average Race. Will I finish strong, taking down a Gladiator or two, rr will I be carried across the finish line? Will I chicken out at the start line or will I take the not-so-dignified exit? December 3rd, 2011, I will be shooting for the moon and hoping to land at the finish line. To be continued..........