Since 2011, I have ran about 45 races including 5 mud obstacles runs. None of which prepared me for Tuxedo Ski Ridge on May 31, 2014. I’ve always been a sucker for mud runs, testing my endurance and strength with obstacles, so naturally the Spartan Race was going to be my mecca.
I arrived at the ski ridge around 8am with my parents who have always been my biggest fans in any competition or event I’ve participated in. Stripped my warm ups down to just my sports bra and spandex shorts. My bib number; 8051 was painted on both my arms like a god damn warrior. I took one last minute to lace up my shoes and then headed to the start.
The horn blew and I was finally facing the fate that I had trained for over the last 6 months. I raced the mountain alongside teams of Army National Guard officers, as well as teams of ordinary civilians, some even over weight just looking for a challenge.
My whole high school career I wanted to join the military; Air Force to be exact. I even went as far as visiting and being accepted into the ROTC program at the oldest private military college in the United States; Norwich University…In which I declined right before graduation.
I love the adrenaline rush of pushing my body until it breaks, which is why I always gravitated towards the military. Well this race certainly gave me the reality of all the above…
My father, who is a former U.S. Marine watched as I almost broke down crawling under barbed wire for about 100 yards up a mountain.
I had to constantly be attentive and think on my feet about how I was going to overcome some of the obstacles that seemed impossible for someone of my height and muscle build to conquer. I had to make sure not to let my mind get the best of me in so many instances where I wanted to stop and sit down for a bit.
I literally wouldn’t let my legs stop moving. I couldn’t.
Crossing the finish line after 5 miles of obstacles, up and down a ski mountain 5 times, was possibly one of the most rewarding feelings I have ever experienced.
On the two hour ride home, I laid in the back of the car thinking about my performance. I never gave up. I wish I could take that motivation and apply it to so many aspects of my life. There are so many times when we let our mind get the best of us and we just give up.
Completing the hardest race of my life, motivated me to want to do more, be better, push harder.