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Playing in the Mud – The Beast Within

Prior to getting this column online, every Saturday morning the New England Spahtens had a post from me on their page. The posts were driven by something that had happened during the week. Their point was to motivate, inspire and push people to be their absolute best. I have to get back to that and reach down deep inside once again and push once again. I hope I can continue to do that with Playing in the Mud.

I was messaging with someone the other night. In fact, that night was the first time we ever messaged. I saw something she posted and it got my attention. The post was questioning her ability and her self-worth all in one post. Two sentences seemed to minimize her worth. Two sentences got my attention.

My response was simple and to the point, “You can do it”. It took a few minutes and before we were done, she believed in herself. There was something inside of her that needed to be reminded about her beast. We all have a beast within and within moments, her beast was alive.

Let’s be blunt, unless you are a pro or elite, we all question ourselves on a racecourse.   It sucks. We get to an obstacle and wonder if we can get past it. We get to a climb on a mountain wonder if we can overcome it. We get to a starting line and wonder if we will ever finish. Why do we keep wondering of we are good enough? What causes us to doubt and how can we overcome that fear? It is, the beast within.

I am not an elite, a pro, fast, or even consider myself anything special in the OCR community. In fact, I just hope to finish each and every race I enter. So, you can imagine how often I question myself out there and how many times I think about DNFing. I remember my first Killington Beast. Through that whole race I doubted myself. I kept pushing forward and kept walking. The water was cold. The burpees sucked and the darkness was haunting. But as I was sitting there through the third barbed wire crawl and looked at the dunk wall in the darkness I had enough. I could hear the Festival Area but I knew I was nowhere close.

I looked at one of my friends and she could see it in my eye and she said to me, “You going to be the beast or let the beast be you”. This one sentence reminded me that there was something deep inside of me that I had not yet tapped into. I decided it was time to be the beast within me. I reached down to something that was within.

When I had to recover from open-heart surgery, every day and every minute was a battle. The battle from within came from my desire and my need to overcome my past. My past had defined me before my surgery and I had to reach down to change my future.

What do you have to do? You have to reach down and find what you believe in. What do you believe in? What are the things that make you who you are? These things bring out the beast. You have experienced those moments and what have you believed in to overcome yourself. What did you do to prove yourself wrong? What did you do in that moment of doubt? Did you quit or did you remember? Did you walk away or did you decide to fight another day?   Did you take the path or did you look for the easy way out?

A beast doesn’t give up. A beast fights for itself. A beast believes. A beast faces doubt and destroys it. A beast is you.

Going back to my new friend. She didn’t give up. She overcame herself. She learned that there is a beast inside of her. I do not know what caused her beast to be born, but I have seen it in her messages since.

Once the beast is revived, it is hard to keep down. Once we have success, we want more. Once we know we can complete our goals, we raise the bar for ourselves. We can never step back, we only move forward.

Every step you take moves yourself closer to your goals. Don’t give up on yourself. I believe in you and I always will. Be yourself, be your best, be your beast. I cannot wait to look you all in the eyes and see your fire. Your beast is now born.

Until next time, be epic and keep playing in the mud.

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