Bucket List

Ready to Become a Spartan

In five days, I become a Spartan.

After miles of crawling under barbed wire, climbing up muddy hills, carrying heavy objects and pulling myself over insanely high walls, I will finish my very first Spartan Race, and cross another item off my bucket list.

I’m probably not ready.

A mystery virus of unknown origins took over my body for a good 10 days. I missed several of our team workouts. All my body wanted to do was sleep. Honestly, it was the worst I felt since I finished chemotherapy in February 2013.

So, I’m not ready, and I certainly don’t look like most of the other folks on my team whose chiseled, lean bodies lend themselves to rapid movement over tough terrain, no matter the obstacle. Despite the “one of these things is not like the others” aspect of my participation, I am immensely grateful for the support I’ve gotten from my team mates. Marc, Rich, Chris, Jennifer, LT, Heather and, really, everyone, welcomed me into their little community with open arms and have encouraged me every step of the way.

And I’ll be slow. The course is a 5K (ish, probably longer) with something like 20 obstacles to overcome. I’m stronger than I was when I started this journey, thanks to great coaching from Jared Lawrence and Nate England. My running isn’t great because of the neuropathy that leaves me unable to feel the ground beneath my feet. What I lack in speed, though, I more than make up with endurance.

Still, I’m doing this. I have no idea what to expect, except that it will be challenging. I don’t know what the course looks like. In a lot of ways, I’m flying blind. I’m okay with that. I had no idea what to expect when I did my first marathon in 2001. Even after I knew I went on to do five more, and a whole bunch of half marathons.

I had no idea what to expect when I did my first obstacle race three months after chemo. I was slow, but I finished with a very important person by my side every step of the way.

So, on Saturday morning I’ll be the slow giant with the shit bag strapped to his waist wearing the “It’s Not Harder Than Cancer” T-shirt (because climbing over a Berlin Wall is hard, but it’s not harder than cancer).

Look for the pictures after the race is over. It’s going to be epic!!

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