As many of you have been reading on this blog, I have been trying to be more active. Being a father of two little ones, I want to be able to play with them everyday and not lose my breath after a few seconds. What I did this past year was sign up for a few events to keep me active. In the past year I did the Urban Warrior Dash, The Santa Hustle, The Hot Chocolate 5K and the Ditka Dash, my wife joined me on that one and it was her first 5K.
So this year is no different. I have decided to do a number of runs and mud runs. Although I do a running club at my school two days a week, I feel that I need to do a little more to get in shape for these events. So what did I do? I signed up for a free Spartan Training Workout at Reach: Beyond Fitness to see how much work I need to do to get ready.
Sunday morning at 8am I was surrounded by a little over a hundred people who were all there for one thing: to push themselves with an intense workout. Now the last time I did any type of workout was when I used to belong to a health club, but once my knee went bad I had to limit my exercises. After a few months of rehab, I was able to start exercising again and started running slowly again.
When I entered the gym I turned in my waiver and got a Spartan T-shirt and wrist band with the words "UNBREAKABLE" written on it. I walked around the gym for a bit and found myself a spot to relax and start stretching. We were rounded up by Don Devaney, who was a representative from Spartan HQ, and did a few warm up exercises before we ran outside to Eckhart Park. Running to the park in the snow wasn't that bad since I've done a few 5K's in the snow. When we arrived at the park we all lined up on the stairs of the field house and took a group shot, then we ran out on the field for our first set of exercises.
|Front of the shirt.|
|Back of the shirt.|
The field was covered with snow and ice and we lined up ready to go. The workout consisted of lunges, burpees, squats and push-ups. Once we were done with that we ran back to the gym to start the real workout. Yeah, that's right, this was still just part of the warm up and did I mention that this was a two hour workout. Yep, you read that right!
Once back in the gym, we ran upstairs and were told to find a spot on the floor and be prepared to sweat. I was already sweating, so I took off one of my layers and found a spot on the floor. What happened next, was brutal, intense and gratifying all at the same time. Don led us in the exercises by talking about the benefits of them and showing us how to properly do them. We did squats, lunges, burpees, a modified version of the burpee called "the Wrestler". Bear crawls, crab walks, push ups, dive bomber push ups, inchworms, planks and more burpees. Honestly, I can say I did about 80% percent of the exercises. Even though my body was in pain, I tried not to give up and I kept pushing myself.
After the workout surprisingly, I felt good, a little sore, but good. While people walked down the stairs Don was standing there shaking everyone's hand and thanking them for attending. I thanked Don for "kicking my ass" and he laughed at my comment and told me that he was glad I made it.
|Don Devaney and myself. I don't look that beat up, do I?|
When I walked down the stairs people were hanging out trying the equipment that was available at the gym. I walked around for a few and them headed home to face another workout...playing around with my kids.
|People trying out the monkey bars.|
This experience has shown me that I need a little more than running to get me prepared for what I have planned this year. Although I have a lot of running events that I am planning on doing, I know I need to be in better shape physically to do the mud run events.
Here is what I have planned to do this year:
Chitown Big Game 5K - Feburary 2
Shamrock Shuffle - March 30
Tough Mudder - May 10-11
Soldier Field 10 Mile - May 24
Warrior Dash - June 14-15
Hot Chocolate 15/5K - November TBA
The Spartan Race has no set date yet, but hopefully I will be ready in time to compete in it. I am going to try to do all events, time, money and accompanying friends willing, but if any of you would like to join me or make a team, I am open to suggestions. It would be fun to go to these events as a group, we can make a dad team, support each other on these runs and make custom shirts.
I feel that doing these events will show our kids that we lived our lives to the fullest and always liked facing a challenge. They will see how hard we worked to accomplish something and maybe that will rub off on them and make them work hard in their lives. Who knows, maybe one day we will be doing one of these events with our children. That would be sweet, wouldn't it?
Thanks for reading,