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I Am Spartan

“Last-minute decisions can be a roll of the dice. This is going to be great or it’s going to suck, hard.”

That was my thought as I walked down the hill from the Bob Temple North Side YMCA to a newly mown field where a two-hour Reebok Spartan Race workout was set to take place.

While it was early on a Saturday morning, the day was hot. Air thick. Not a spot of shade existed on the workout field. To top it off, after I registered and signed a waiver that I knew I was risking my life, someone handed me a black cotton “I’m Training for a Spartan Race” T-shirt.

We were highly encouraged to wear the black cotton T-shirt during the workout. “Really?” I thought. “Can you not see me? I’m sweating already and I’ve only walked down the hill. Sure, put a fat guy in a black T-shirt and make him workout in the sun. Great idea.”

This was destined to end badly. But, I had a great time.

I have to back up and say that my friend, Marc, posted information about the workout on Facebook. Marc is a Spartan Race veteran.

He was at the workout, as were Jared and Nate, the guys he trains with. They did their usual Saturday “Gutcheck” workout before coming out to the Spartan event. That might have been a bit much.

Marc introduced us all before the workout got underway. As I said, I had a great time.

Don’t get me wrong, it was a challenge. I haven’t worked my body that hard since the days of Adaptive Fitness Warehouse. Pushups, planks, burpees, running, squats, lunges, sit ups … we crammed a lot of work in that two hours.

My favorite part was the group work. Toward the end of the morning we got in groups of 15-20 people. We all sat shoulder to shoulder and linked arms to do situps together. Then we held plank shoulder to shoulder and crawled under the folks in the line mimicking the barbed-wire crawl obstacle in the Spartan Race.

I got a little swimmy in the head when we did partner work at the very end. The idea was one person does squats while the other does pushups, or one does burpees while the other does lunges, etc. I saw stars while switching from squats to pushups, something about the up-and-down of hitting the ground then standing up quickly. Marc was my partner. I tapped out for the last four minutes. There is no shame in puking during a workout, but blacking out is a different story altogether.

Still, I loved the workout. I’m signing up for the Spartan Sprint in Nashville in October. I worked out with Marc, Nate and Jared and the rest of the “Gutcheck” crew on Saturday. I expected to be intimidated by a room full of very fit people. Happily, I was welcomed with open arms, and I’ll be back at it next Saturday. I have a race to train for.

This is going to be a great adventure!

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