I experienced my first mandatory burpee in March of 2016. It was the Spartan Sprint in Houston, and I racked up so many that I have forced myself to forget the actual number. Let’s just say, “Alot!” However, the memory I cannot shake is a feeling of failure throughout the day. Here we are a year later; Spartan’s always wet weekend near the Texas capital came and went. I showed up in Hampstead, TX, with a score to settle. And while I still racked up my share of burpees, I left all hard feelings out on course and walked away with a few personal successes that will help fuel me for races to come.
Bucket Brigade– I’ll start with this, because I’m feeling some side-effects on this Monday morning. The little ache in my back reminds me that, from the moment I filled it with rocks to returning it back at the finish line, I never put my bucket down. As I passed dozens of Spartans searching for their second wind resting on the BB path, I considered the truth that I’ve been there, and I’ll probably be there again. But for now, this time, I was determined to complete this exercise unbroken.
The Rope– A year ago, the thought of me successfully climbing a wet rope at the end of a race was hilariously unrealistic. This time, ringing that bell was a foregone conclusion. Again, I still had my share of fails and burpees. But concerning the rope for which I once held with such hatred, we have made amends.
Attitude– This was an internal obstacle that I had built for myself at last year’s Sprint. I was so disappointed in my early fails and the resulting pace that I let it dictate my mood for the rest of the race. I found myself defeated before I even touched some of the obstacles last year. This time, I attacked every obstacle as strategically as I could, but with an underlying tone of, “If I get this, great! If I don’t, big deal. Shake it off, and move on.” So, that’s what I did. Not even burpees were as detrimental to my spirit as they’ve been in the past. I may have even smiled through some of them. Probably not!
Spartan’s Houston Sprint was a weekend of reconciliation for me and this city that caused me such grief last year. I ended up loving the race. Even more, I loved meeting and videoing so many inspiring Spartans. (See the video!)