Happy New Year! Now comes the dysfunctional tradition where we make all sorts of whimsical promises to ourselves–words noble enough to keep us charging through January, but just vague enough to float away unnoticed by the beginning of March.
“Oh yeah. Stop drinking so much beer. Whatever happened to that…?”
After a few years of resolutions that go nowhere, I wouldn’t blame you for opting out of the cycle of resolution/fail/sad/repeat. I used to sit back with a smug look on my face every January 1, pledging NOT to make any resolutions so I wouldn’t feel bad about breaking them.
But the answer isn’t to take your ball and go home. The answer is to DO SOMETHING. Last year I wrote about failproofing a New Year’s resolution, and how the best resolutions are those in which you take an immediate, specific step. It doesn’t matter if it’s small, as long as it’s achievable and as long as it ties into a bigger goal. If you’re looking for somewhere to start, here’s your first step:
Sign Up For a Spartan Race
I don’t care if you’re young, old, male, female, in shape or out: Signing up for a Spartan Race is an incredibly simple and powerful first step to putting yourself on the right track for the new year. If you have no idea what a Spartan Race is, or if this just sounds way out of your league, ask yourself three questions:
- Can I walk/jog a mile?
- Can I pick up a chubby three year old and carry him/her to the car if he/she is throwing a tantrum in the grocery store?
- Could I, if necessary, drag the same chubby three year old by the arm or leg to remove him/her from harm (or just to get him/her in the van if the tantrum is particularly obscene)?
If you answered yes, I think you have what it takes, physically speaking, to finish a Spartan Race. Yes, they’re longer than a mile, and you most-likely will not find any ill-behaved children on the course. But you don’t need to be any sort of athlete to finish one of these suckers. If you have medical issues check with a doc, but barring any prohibitive health problems, a Spartan Race is within reach!
What Is a Spartan Race?
From the Official Spartan site:
Simply, Spartan Race is the world’s leading obstacle race series. It’s an event of pure primitive craziness that you’ll never forget!
Spartan Race has:
- Races all over the globe!
- Different distances for different levels and styles or racing.
- A unique culture and community of athletes striving together to overcome any and everything
Our goal is simple… to get you off your couch, throw you in the mud & trails, and feed you one tough endurance event day that will be the adrenalin rush of your life.
Reasons Why Spartan Race Is the Perfect New Year’s Resolution
It starts with a baby step.
Find a race close by. Sign up. Start training. The moment you punch in those credit card numbers and hit the sign up button, you’ve had your first success!
Different Levels for Different People
Start with the Spartan Sprint, which is basically a 5k, but WAY more fun. If you’re ready for a step up, try the Super Spartan or the Spartan Beast.
The Snowball Effect
Grab a few friends or family and tell them what you’re going to do. Don’t tell them you’re thinking about it. Tell them you’re DOING it, and tell them to sign up with you. If you don’t have any takers, SIGN UP ANYWAY! These things sell out, and there will be hundreds of encouraging racers to offer a hand and cheer you on when race day comes.
Once you sign up, and TELL people you’ve signed up, a couple of things are going to happen. First, you’re going to start moving. Come up with a plan to get you race ready, and start following it one day at a time. Baby steps.
Walk around the block. Once on Monday, twice on Wednesday. Jog it two weeks later. Add some 3 sets of 10 air squats along the way. Carry a sandbag (perfect, cheap, Spartan Race Training tool).Take a look at some of the “workouts of the day” posted on the Spartan Race site or on any of the blogs promoting training for mudruns. Start moving.
You will start to pay attention to what you are eating. You know you’ve got a race coming up, and even though it’s doable, it’s going to be DANG DIFFICULT. Putting a bunch of junk into your body is not going to make it any easier, and you know this. Spartan Race even offers a “Food of the Day” to help you stay on track.
Fun, Stories, and Motivation
I guarantee you will make some memories, and you almost certainly will have a good time. You will see all sorts of body types and all sorts of age groups. You’ll fail on some of the obstacles, you’ll stand up and keep trudging toward the finish line. You might even walk most of the way, but you’ll finish, and with that finish you find yourself counting the days until you get that feeling of accomplishment again.
Start 2014 With Success
Sign up for a Spartan Race. It’s a resolution that will have a ton of positive spillover effects, and it starts with a simple step:
- Sign up.
Then a few more:
- Do something to prepare. Run. Walk. Hike. Do pushups and air squats. Carry suitcases up and down the stairs. You’ll look like a fool, and you will realize how stupidly simple it is to make positive changes to your everyday routine.
- Eat more good food.
- Run the race!
You will have fun, you will stack up a bunch of small successes along the way, and you may pack on some muscle and lose some fat along the way!
And Now the Freebie…
I’m going to sweeten the deal some more:
In about a week, Naturally My Dear will give away one FREE ENTRY TO ANY SPARTAN RACE DURING THE 2014 SEASON! Check back soon for more details.