I will never forget the the first time I gave up during an event. I don’t remember the specifics of the situation but I’ll never forget how I felt within. I think it was after the Bender but before the Box, somewhere before mile ten but after my leg had cramped up and stopped me at the vertical net. The leg cramp was bad but it wasn’t when my will gave out; I do remember sitting there, sucking down the mustard some random Spartan had given me. I saw a race volunteer standing right next to me and I couldn’t bring myself to tell her I was out. No, it wasn’t there, it happened after the bender. I had left my teammates behind as they finished the obstacle and I did my penalty. I didn’t even attempt the obstacle, my will already had started to crack. After my burpees, I trotted forward then slowed and eventually I simply stopped and stood there. Something inside of me broke and I felt the tears coming unbidden to my eyes. It was last September, I was 35 years old and I was standing there crying, watching others run by me.
“I can’t do this. I’m not supposed to be here. I can’t do this.”
I don’t know how long I stood there but at some point, two random women, people I didn’t even know, yelled out to me “don’t stop! You got this!” Years of sport training pushed me forward, like a horse responding to a whip, and I started trotting with them but my mind was done. I shook my head through my tears and told them: “No, I can’t do this. I can’t!”
They said to me the same thing my nurse said to me as I endured my second natural labor: “you ARE doing it!” They went on, “Keep going, just to the next obstacle!” Just to the next obstacle, just to the next contraction, just to the next day. Don’t. Stop.
I moved with them, my mind was giving up but my body wouldn’t let me. “Come with us!” They said and I did. I trotted with them to the Box and suddenly my teammates were there. I don’t know when they passed me, I don’t know how I met back up with them but from that point forward, my teammates pulled me through that race. From that point forward, it was my team that kept me going. I just wanted to stay with the team and they stayed with me. I didn’t stop. I kept moving through tears and even through complaints and protests. I kept moving forward.
In 2019, I had the goal to complete a Spartan Trifecta. I don’t think I would have completed my goal without my teammates there to encourage me and jog with me every step of the way. They helped me find the will to go on and not give up on my goal.
I’ve delivered two babies without medication and those are really the only thing I can compare to my experience out on the trail for the Beast. For all three events, I trained as best I could but I wasn’t fully prepared for what was going to be thrown at me on the day. And on all three occasions, I had a moment where I mentally gave up but someone helped to push me forward. I cannot over state the importance of having a good support system around you but here’s the amazing thing: it’s not them who keeps you moving, it’s YOU. Another person won’t physically drag you across that finish line. If you keep moving, you will get yourself there. Something deep within you can hear that encouragement and respond. When the event seems hard, keep moving. Don’t give up, focus on just getting through to the next mile marker or the next obstacle. Focus on keeping your feet moving and each step will carry you closer to your goal.
Don’t give up. Keep moving forward.