Reflections of a Spartan
Reflections of a Spartan.
By, Coach Kelly “KDub” Wallace
As many of you already know, I participated in the Spartan Race a few weeks ago with several other athletes from CCS&C. Going into this event, I was expecting just a fun 4 mile muddy obstacle course with a few friends, but it turned out to be so much more. As I reflected on the day, I realized the Spartan Race reminded me of a few life lessons and even taught me a little something about myself.
First, I learned that I am more afraid of heights than I thought . At the starting line, the emcee was trying to get us all pumped up, and one of the things he said was that if you are afraid of heights, you will have to face that fear during the race. I remember thinking how glad I was that I didn’t have to worry about that part. I wasn’t afraid of heights…or so I thought. A couple of the obstacles made my toes tingle and my hands grip tight, but there was one obstacle in particular where I completely froze. We had climbed up to a bridge about 30 feet high with no railing, and there were gaps between the slats of wooden bridge and you could see the muddy water below. I climbed up to the bridge and stood up no problem; but when I tried to walk across my feet weren’t going anywhere. I froze and I was forced to face my fear head on and complete this obstacle in spite of my fear. How often in life do we come up against something and want to cower from it? Instead, we need to learn to confront it with courage and act in spite of our fear. For me, I rely on strength from God and sometimes those around me that He has put in my life to help me through hard times. Which brings me to my next lesson.
“ We are not meant to do life alone”:
I was reminded that we’re not meant to do life alone. Let others help you, and you help others. When I was frozen on that bridge, Chris Doty was standing next to me and noticed how scared I was. He started talking to me, encouraging me and even let me grab his hand as he walked me across that bridge. This wasn’t the first or the last obstacle where fellow Spartans were helping each other. Throughout the day, we pulled people out of muddy pits; we pushed people up muddy inclines as we bear-crawled under barbed wire; and we literally supported each other as we scaled a wall sideways. This is how life should be all the time…helping others and letting others help you.
“Don’t give up”:
Unfortunately, we don’t always ask for or accept help from others. There was one obstacle in particular that I wish I would have tried a little harder and asked for help. It was relatively early on in the run and even though I had already accepted help on a few obstacles, I didn’t think I should need help again. I chose to complete 30 penalty burpees instead. I quit too soon . I gave up. Do you ever feel like you quit too soon sometimes? Maybe we need to learn to push ourselves just a little harder and when that’s not enough, ask for help.
But sometimes you do everything you can and still fail. That’s part of life. It was the rope climb for me that day. I gave it my all, and I got close to the top; but it didn’t happen. As Matt Chan said in the Crossfit documentary, Test of Fitness , “ It took taking a chance and being okay with failing .” The only way to not fail at anything is to not try anything. Is that any way to live? I don’t think so.
Throughout the entire day and into the evening as we gathered back at the gym to celebrate and share stories, I was reminded of one final thing… CCS&C is amazing – both the community and the training. We are incredibly blessed to have a phenomenal group of people at our gym. You all are encouraging, inspiring, hardworking and supportive! I am so proud to be a part of such a great community. And to be able to get up on a Saturday morning and go participate in an event like the Spartan Race without specifically training feels fantastic. What we do every day in our gym really does prepare us for the unknown.