Some friends and I recently competed in and completed the Southern California 200 mile Ragnar Relay Race. Our team name was Team 12 Pack (#Ragnar12Pack) and we were all different beers. Shout out to fellow F.A.T. member Rob Freer for quite possibly the best costume as he was “Tiger Beer.” As the fitness nut, I got nominated to be Michelob Ultra. And Sara of course was O’Douls. This is what I learned and reinforced while at the event and I wanted to share it with you. I hope it pumps you up to achieve your health and fitness goals and inspires you to greatness.
1) What matters is that you finish
Your TIME does not matter. What matters is that you came out, did your best and finished. I’m sure most of our Team 12 Pack felt this way about Ragnar and what really made it hit home for me was watching my wife Sara. Sara, who is 26 weeks pregnant with our
first baby boy came out and rocked Ragnar. I’ll admit I was worried about her competing….fair amount of mileage, extreme heat, cold, lack of sleep etc. Yet every time
I saw her while on the run she was smiling and in great spirits. Countless times she reminded me that she wasn’t out to get a personal record and if she needed to walk, take a break or stop, she would do it. (For those of you that know how competitive Sara can be this was amazing to hear. But she is so right. As you reflect on this, remember that it could be about an upcoming event or race or it could be the timeline of achieving your fitness goals. What matters is that you finish. I’m so
proud of you Sara and I love you so much.
2) Sleep is Vital
Nothing makes you appreciate sleep more than getting almost none of it and then having to go run many more miles. I think I got just over 2 hours of sleep during our 32 hour race and I know that all of us were feeling the effects. Tired, sore muscles, cranky, short fuses, less willpower to eat healthy items, etc. Now imagine if you’re sleep deprived all the time?! Not only are you just a bundle of joy to be around, you are also basically throwing in the towel to achieving your health and fitness goals and you’re most likely letting relationships deteriorate at the same time. Sleep is essential for recovery, keeping hormones in balance and your sanity as well as the sanity of those that come in contact with you.
3) Support Structures are Essential
I know I’ve preached this countless times before and I will say it again. Positive support structures are essential to achieving your health and fitness goals. The support we showed each other throughout the race was so awesome. We would move the van to the halfway point of someone’s run and high five them, refill water, pump them up etc. All of the other runners competing also supported and inspired one another. High fives, (Fast Action Training members are you seeing a High Five theme? cheering, honking and fist pumping as they drive by, and more. This may have been heightened by the recent tragedies of Boston but I will say that the running community is one of the most supportive communities I’ve been involved in. As a coach, this is always my favorite part and further reinforces the fact that you NEED positive support structures in your life if you truly wish to achieve your health and fitness goals. You need someone in your corner to listen, let you vent frustrations, give you sound advice, pump you up and give you a smile of encouragement when you need it most.
4) The mind is stronger than the body
Willpower, perseverance and determination. You’ve got to have the mental strength to keep going, to keep pushing, no matter what. There were definitely a few times where I wanted to stop. Going into my final leg, my right hip felt like someone had taken a bat to it and my left knee/IT band was throbbing….but I finished. This might be a stubborn plateau that you’re fighting through or the difficulty of creating new, healthy eating habits. Whatever it is, remember that part of what we preach at Fast Action Training is not just physical strength, it’s mental toughness too. With the proper dose of willpower, perseverance and determination (and some positive affirmations too) anything is possible.
This race was thrilling, exhausting, amazing, extremely challenging and a TON of fun all rolled into one. Special thanks to all of Team 12 Pack: Kelly, Chris, Micah, Michelle, Bryan, Tiffany, Shawn, Kara, Ashley, Rob and my wife Sara. We can scratch that off of the bucket list and here’s to a lifetime of awesome memories.
Remember these principles everyone and go achieve greatness with your health, your fitness and your life. Have a terrific start to your week!
Dedicated to your success,
P.S. Yep, even mid my 8 mile run, I still love my catch phrases and high fives. Well done on the video shoot Mr. Desena.