Road to Spartan Part 3: Why?
“This is Sparta,” King Leonidas roars as he kicks a Persian emissary into a well.
Gerard Butler made those words famous in the epic film 300 and I have had those words in the back of mind ever since signing up to run the Spartan Beast with my Team Omax partner Callie Bundy.
Sparta has a very short but colorful history. As a warrior class, the Spartans were single minded in their pursuit of victory in battle. Spartan boys began their military training at age 7 when they left home and entered the Agoge, a system that emphasized obedience, endurance, courage and self-control. While Callie and I haven’t been plucked from our homes to enter a multiyear training program like the Agoge, there are some unique similarities.
Something happens when you tell people you are doing a Spartan Beast. You either get the “why would you do that, are you crazy?!” response. Or you get the “I’ve always wanted to try one of those” response.
Social media is forcing us all to think in sound bites and memes, making sure that our answers to complex questions are short and cliched. My answer on why I’m running this race is anything but, so please stay with me for a second.
It has been said that the key to happiness is something to do, someone to love and something to look forward to. I have a great career where I get to make people’s lives better with many of the products I create. I have a daughter whom I love more than anything and as a single father, every day is a constant balancing act of those things, never leaving much time for those things to look forward to.
When the idea of this race came up, I instantly recognized it a my “something to look forward to.” It meant training, it meant preparing, it meant stepping outside of my comfort zone and pushing myself. It meant living my life to the max, something we say a lot but rarely do.
With one day to go before the race starts, I’ve recognized that this race has breathed new life into me. And whether Callie and I finish first or last is inconsequential as the real benefit has been in the journey, in the Road to Sparta.