Last week I took a class in Mechanicsville, Maryland to become a Spartan Obstacle Specialist. For those of you who might not be familiar with Spartan, they produce obstacle course races (OCR) world-wide, ranging from a 5K Sprint to the marathon distance Ultra Beast. Obstacles test strength, agility, and athleticism, as participants scale walls, swing through hanging bars and rings, hoist weights, and negotiate a wide range of challenges.
The Obstacle Specialist course is a 5-hour one-day tutorial to provide tips, strategies, and training on some of the most challenging obstacles. This particular class was taught by Kevin Donoghue, a pro OCR racer who brought insight, passion, intelligence, and perhaps most importantly, patience, to his work. Now, I consider myself to be quite fit, but these obstacles revealed lots of holes in my fitness. It was a humbling experience, but still fun and completely worthwhile, especially if you are considering doing a Spartan race.
the Spartan Obstacle Specialist courses are usually offered on race weekends. Click here etc see a calendar of classes: http://www.spartancoaches.com/spartanfit-course-calendar.php
Bike to Brooklyn is a fully supported endurance cycling and running challenge from Washington DC to Brooklyn NY, all to raise awareness and funds for a great cause. I’ve done this ride the past two years, and it’s an amazing experience. Proceeds support Run Hope Work, a non-profit organization that uses fitness, mindfulness, and professional development to support young people by bringing stability to their lives. You don’t have to do both the bike ride and the run, but being a participant for either or both legs will be the adventure of a lifetime.
I join host Diane Jenks on her podcast show “The Outspoken Cyclist” to discuss strength, balance, and functionality for aging athletes. My interview begins at minute 42 in the show, but you’ll want to hear all of her fascinating guests as well!
Not sure what to give dad this year? Get him an adventure! Use the code SPARTANDAD to get discounts on Spartan obstacle course races, Spartan gear, and Spartan books. For more information, go to bit.ly/FATHERSDAY_SPARTAN..
Marriott Rewards is now the official Hotel Partner for Spartan Race and has an exclusive offer to people who join their loyalty program – 20% off races, free VIP bag check and $5 off Spartan gear at the races. Once enrolled, points are earned when you stay at any 4,500 participating hotels around the world. All the info is here: https://www.joinmarriottrewards.com/Spartan20/s/EN/channel/D
Joe De Sena is a man of vision. In his new book, Spartan Fit (Houghton Miflin, 2016), the founder of the Spartan obstacle course race series lays out that vision, giving his readers not just an effective guide to improving strength and fitness, but also a view on how to live a more adventurous and healthful life.
De Sena takes his philosophy from the ancient Spartans, recommending a stripped down exercise and eating regiment that avoids fancy equipment and processed foods. His 30-day training program, based on principles that I agree with and advocate in my own books, is designed to build endurance, strength, and athleticism without requiring readers to join a gym or buy expensive equipment, and his eating suggestions and included recipes favor a varied plant-based diet that nourishes the body without sacrificing taste.
But De Sena provides more than just a program. Spartan Fit also include inspiring stories of people who overcame challenges to achieve a measure of greatness, from an adventure racer battling horrific race day conditions, to a woman who overcame two crippling car accidents to find her way back to a meaningful life. These stories, as well as a recounting of the way of life practiced by the ancient Spartans, leave the reader not only with the tools to get stronger and healthier, but with the inspiration to lead a more adventurous, meaningful life. It’s a book worth reading.