…and taking names!

fall-of-romeMaintaining the “status quo” is damn near impossible!  We are either moving forward, or we are moving backward.  History is full of examples of failed empire’s attempts to maintain a constant level of control, success, money and health.  All ended up failing and in most cases are no longer around.

IMG_1099For some people, 2013 is the year that they will finally get 0102081146ainto the physical shape that they have always want to be.  For me, 2013 represents the chance to fall prey to complacency.  You see, I am stronger than I have ever been in my life.  Last year I finished two grueling obstacle races.  I have reached a level of fitness that many, otherwise healthy, people might envy.  I very easily could be convinced to slow down and “maintain”, yet I need to keep moving forward.  I never want to go backwards, back to being laid-up in bed, back to a wheelchair.  I want to be there for my wife and kids.  Forward is my only option…

So now I am faced with tackling new challenges and finding new ways to keep my momentum.  With that in mind, I recently ordered a custom road bike.  Even during my serious running days, I was never a biker.  I had a lot of pressure from friends who were into triathlons to get one, but I never gave in.  Right before the accident, I was very close to”biting the bullet”, perhaps if the accident never happened, I would be a triathlete today?

IMG_1575My first goal for 2013 is to ride a century.  A century ride is 100 miles or more within twelve hours.  I plan to do this in June.  I will ride from my parent’s home in Millersburg, PA to Blakeslee, PA in the Poconos, where my parents spend the month.  It is 101 miles door to door with two mountains to climb.  (Yes mom, I am avoiding highways.)

The reason I need to have my century ride out-of-the-way by June is because my bigger goal for 2013, and the reason I will be biking in the first place, starts in July…

Last July I did a Spartan Race.  It was the sprint race, which is normally 3-5 miles. (The one I did ended up being a little longer than 5 miles.)  It was the hardest thing I ever did, and I loved the challenge! You can read about the race here.  The folks at Spartan Race have been super supportive of my need to keep moving forward and my desire to motivate others.  They have published numerous articles about my recovery and about how completing a Spartan Race has been the pinnacle of my recovery to date.  They have been so supportive in fact that on January 17th, they are allowing me to participate in a Spartan Race demo in Time Square, NYC.  We will be showing the world what obstacle racing is all about and discussing it with the media.  Look for a follow-up blog post when I get back.

trifecta-badgeThis year I will again run the PA Spartan Sprint in July.  In August, I will also do the Mid-Atlantic Super Spartan, a 8-10 mile race, with more obstacles and craziness!  If I survive that race, then in September, I will run the Spartan Beast in Vermont, a 13+ mile obstacle race from hell.  At least Vermont is nice in late September!  Completing the Spartan Race Trifecta in a single year will be my biggest challenge yet!

Accomplishing these goals will be awesome, but what I am most excited about is the process of preparing to do them.  Over the past five years I have learned that it is better to love the process and not the goal.  When goals are reached, they last only for a moment.  The true beauty lies in going through the process.  That is where the knowledge lies.  In the process you learn about yourself and what you are made of.  The mind fights the body to keep pushing and the body bites back. Every small victory gets you one step closer to recovering…

This year, moving forward is going to be so much fun!