Finally: Photographic proof I attempted the Vermont Spartan Beast

It took three days to get the mud out of my hair.
It took three days to get the mud out of my hair.

It’s picture day! Only way better. Because it’s muddy.

I only got one good professional photograph this year, but this one shot brings back all the good from my attempt to take on the Beast. (You can read more about the experience here.)

It hurt. So much. There are still bruises on my legs. But I don’t regret a single moment. I pushed myself, then I knew when to back down. Since I didn’t make the whole Beast this year, I’ll just be one year older when I do.

And I am a-okay with that.

 

Tales from the Spartan Beast

Seven miles of the Spartan Beast, and I am content. I am proud of this. Proud of how far I ran, hiked, crawled, climbed, pulled, and burpee’d. I took each challenge with a touch of a smile – until I began to shiver too hard and felt the warm disappearing from my fingers. At mile seven, I looked at the next obstacle and shook my head. Beyond it lay water features, 55ºF, misting rain, blowing wind, and seven more miles.

“No. This is enough.”

One bath and two showers later and I still feel like there’s grit in my hair.

I am fascinated by how pain moves through the body. Yesterday morning, the soreness existed on my peripheries. The sides of my legs, the edges of my arms. It was as if the Spartan’s main result was clarifying the edges of me, the boundaries of my being.

By the afternoon, the aches had moved to my centers. The front of my thighs, the muscles that follow the lowest reaches of my ribcage. Deep in my biceps. Reminding me of where my center lives.

I want to come back to take on the Spartan Beast next year. Why?

Why go through the pain of it? The shaking, shuddering fear? The moments of pure pain? Why..?

Because of the laughter shared between strangers on a long slog straight uphill. Because it defines the edges of my body. Because it highlights the center of my soul.

Oh – for those in the know… the code I had to memorize was Romeo 653-6120.

What keeps you pushing yourself to the next level, the next challenge?