There has been a lot of chatter lately. It sounds like this. “I can’t do the insert obstacle here because I’m too short or too tall. Because I’m a Woman, because I’m a Man. Or it sound’s like this: I want to get people to do the Spartan Race but they think its too hard, Spartan Race should market more inclusively like other races. Let me point out some obvious facts that seemingly have fallen through the cracks.
“This is Sparta!” This is not a rallying cry. It is a statement of fact. It is not a marketing tool. It is a statement of fact. It is not a feel good phrase, it is a statement of fact. The Spartan Race does not use passive phrase’s like “This might be the toughest race you ever do.” They are confident that this is the toughest race you will ever do. They are the only race that makes you do a penalty for not completing an obstacle. The obstacles challenge the Mind, the Body and the Will of the runner. They design the race deliberately through arduous terrain, and put the obstacles in the most awful locations within that terrain. This is on purpose, this is why we do Spartan Race and not Warrior Dash.
So why do some seem bent on lowering the bar. Why is it that we push ourselves to greatness, but seek to cheapen it for other’s so that they can compete with us? The City-State of Sparta was a military powerhouse. It was also unique in its treatment of Women, its emphasis on education and its political structure. Males were indoctrinated and educated into military life at an early age and served for the rest of their lives. Women were educated in a more physical fitness sense, through gymnastics and similar endeavors. Aside from the culling of the sick and weak in infancy, this was not unique to Sparta or any other ancient culture. Spartan’s pushed for physical greatness all their lives. Some research indicates this was in fact done by law. To be a Spartan was to be the best, to be recognized as being superior, to be feared because of your greatness. Spartan Racers are no different.
Spartan Race is available to those who seek to push their limits. Its not about arriving at your limits and stopping to admire the view. Spartan Race is about finding how far you will go, and then keep going. It is not about doing obstacles faster or even doing them at all. Its about challenging yourself to attempt them, to do them or fail in your attempt. If you can not complete the obstacle, you Spartan up and take the penalty and move forward. Spartan Race has a goal “Ripping people off their couches” Ripping is a verb; It requires action. This is not “coaxing people off their couches” or “holding some ones hand, off the couch” This is about challenging people to change their lives. If you are trying to convince someone to do a Spartan Race, don’t ask the race to be easier, or more approachable or anything that takes away from the glorious challenges of the race. You need to step up your game. You need to be able to convince people that it is hard, it is a challenge, it will hurt, and it will be the best thing they do to change their life.
Spartans are the tip of the spear. We are few. We walk proudly among other racers because we know that they have done what few others have done. We seek out others to join us. To strengthen our ranks. They needn’t be the fastest or the fittest. We challenge those we deem worthy or in need of the challenge. We do this because we see greatness in every person and want to see it come out. A Spartan has a mindset, a singularity of purpose that sets them apart. We seek challenges, and overcome them. We do it until we cannot. We understand the meaning of hardship and embrace it. We do not complain about the chore, the task, or the obstacle. Spartans don’t seek to have the bar lowered, We seek to raise it.