Happiest Day Of My Life.
Before the event my friends, life was stressful. I was relying on transit to get there and I forgot that to rely on transit you have to leave an hour before you have to leave even if you think you’re already leaving an hour early. But I got there an hour before my start time and it was cold. I realized that I should wait to get changed in order to stay warm and then realized since Ben was meeting me there I could get him to hold my bag rather than check it so I could get changed sooner after the event.
This created the problem that Ben was arriving 10:30ish and my heat was 10:45. So I was standing at the gate holding my bag and looking at the people from my heat milling around the start line and rapidly losing time that, if I was going to check my bag I had to do it now.
But it all worked out. Ben, cigarette in mouth, jogged for the first time in years to get to the start for me and hold my purse. True friend, love him.
So on to the motherfuckin’ race!
Even getting told to go over the wall to the start line was awesome. The bravado and amped up atmosphere is what I always wanted at road races and stuff, it’s what I want at work.
So we take off after the chant and I went out with the fastest guys and smoked passed them, I caught up to the back of the heat before us and smoked passed them too. I’m a runner, I run. I don’t need to save energy for obstacles because it’s really two different, finely honed, systems on my part.
I leap the first two walls nice and easy, thinking ahead to the harder obstacles at the end, and then come to the first water hazard. It’s chest deep and extremely muddy at the bottom. And stank. So that’s when it got real, the Spartan was officially on for me then.
Running up and down increasingly steep hills and narrow paths, still picking off people from earlier heats and joking around with some of the other tough guys at times was great and the first tough obstacle was the sand bucket. It was surprisingly taxing and there’s no great way to hold it.
Then sand bags were great because there is a great way to hold it – atlas style on the back of the neck and shoulders. So I knocked that out and got to the rings.
This is where the first funny thing happened. Hanging and hanging and hanging while the woman ahead of me struggled and wailed to hit the bell because she couldn’t let go with one hand. I’m super nice and supportive but in my head I’m like please fucking drop.
And drop she did. I got to the last ring and pulled up to swat the bell and in her defense it’s not super easy.
Anyway next was… something, I dunno.
The two things I was worried about hadn’t come yet so I was still thinking about that.
First of the two was Atlas Carry. Now you can’t atlas carry the Atlas Carrying. It’s a big, muddy stone sphere on the ground you gotta pick up and carrying a distance and back. As a wild-ass guess I’d say it was 80lbs. I was starting to feel the cumulative exertion and when I squat down and got the rock up to waist height I was instantly in tunnel vision and for the first and only time I thought maybe I’ll vomit…
Got it done though. So far no missed obstacles.
More running but like death shuffle running at that point. More water, more mud.
And then my rope climb. I was trying to find a rope to climb all month and never found one or a gym with a good drop in that had one so I didn’t know if I could do it, especially the foot technique.
More than that though I hadn’t thought about climbing a muddy rope with freezing wet hands while exhausted.
So I jumped up, got both hands on it to see what it was like and – it’s hard. I got my feet on it though like I’d seen Crossfitters do and I felt the shift from all the weight being in my hands to feeling dispersed through my body, it doesn’t make it easier per se but it feels so much more controlled. So I made one more progression up still thinking I was in practice mode and just seeing what it’s like when I looked down and it was already higher than I wanted to fall from. So I was like well fuck I better get to the top first try then. And I did.
Climbing, cargo nets, and then the fucking dunk wall.
I was laughing and psyching myself up to swim under this fucking thing when home boy got up beside me and was laughing too. He started counting down from 3 and we went together into the cold muddy black of that filth.
It was disgusting when I came back up, just mud pouring out of my hair onto my face, mud in my nose, and now I’m fully soaked in the cold wind but almost done.
Spear throw, the most missed obstacle is next. I got this advice online: Don’t throw it like a baseball, throw it like a dart. And it worked. I didn’t miss the most missed obstacle.
I charged up and over the last A frame wall like a barbarian and crossed the line 46 minutes after I started, suspecting that this was the happiest I’ve ever been.
I didn’t want anything else, I was happy – thrilled – just to be existing, and I almost never get to feel that way.
Then Benny and I started celebrating our dicks off.
I was too amped up to eat but oh man did beers go down fast. When you have a massive adrenaline buzz you don’t perceive the alcohol buzz coming up and as I knew that was happening I didn’t care because I was happy.
I was supposed to go see one of my all-time favourite bands play a reunion show that night and I’d been looking forward to it for months, all the old friends and getting a taste of the good old days. But after Spartan I didn’t care anymore, I didn’t care about the old days, this day was good.
Happiest day of my life. And I didn’t want or need anything else.