10+1 Life Lessons Joining Spartan Races Taught Me

“Ok Kalvin – breathe – you’re almost there – breathe – secure your feet – good – trust your grip – NOW TAP THAT BELL!”

This was my internal monologue as I struggled to inch my way up the rope climb obstacle with my remaining strength during the last Spartan Race weekend at Vermosa, Cavite.

If you invited me to do a Spartan race 2 years ago, there wouldn’t be any chance that I’d say yes. I was extremely obese and didn’t really have enough physical capacity and willpower to finish anything this challenging.

My Spartan journey started last October 2021 in Batangas Lakelands. My gym coaches Joel and Thea of Fitness and Health Gym encouraged me to join, offering me another challenge after gaining strength and losing a lot of weight during the pandemic. Up for it, I said yes and started my training with practicing the rope climb in our gym.

Doing the multi-rig during Spartan Cebu

Being so heavy back then, I would chicken out and panic when I reach the middle because I had a strong fear of heights. I also managed to get a good bruise on my right leg due to the rope lock and lots of painful popped hand blisters. With practice and determination, I was able to overcome my fear and finally RING – THE – BELL!

My fitness journey taught me a lot about myself and these lessons were magnified even further when I started training for Spartan races. There are many, but I’ll share ten that I have a deep connection with.

Carrying the Atlas Ball – Spartan Cebu

10 Life Lessons from a Spartan Race Junkie

  1. Set yourself free from your own unbelief. Be best friends with yourself and believe in you!
  2. You only have one body, listen to it. Eat right, rest right, treat your body right.
  3. Trust your own process. You are gifted with a unique way of thinking and a unique set of biomechanics. Find what works for you and stick with it.
  4. Nothing can take your strength away from you. Whatever strength you’ve gained, you’ve gained. Trust me.
  5. Your weaknesses does not define you. Accept them and learn to love and strengthen them. You are ok as you are.
Over the wall! Spartan Vermosa
Spartans helps each other out! Spartan Cebu
  1. When you get stuck, ask for help. Keep yourself humble and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  2. Failure is not the end of everything. It’s okay to fail, just make sure to learn from it and carry on.
  3. It is ok to feel fear, anxiety, and doubt. There’s nothing wrong with you. Your feelings are valid.
  4. It’s okay to go slow. What matters is you finish. Don’t compare your pace with another. There’s a time to go slow and a time to go fast. Going slow allows us to see beauty unfold in our surroundings.
  5. We are all capable of jumping through fire. Life has already equipped you with tools to overcome, trust and open yourself up to do the impossible.

I believe any kind of sport that you train for can teach you something about yourself and how you overcome life challenges. These little nuggets of wisdom that we earn through grit and hard work is what makes us better athletes and ultimately better human beings. Every time I finish a Spartan race and see the results, I get to see a better me, that I’ve only ever dreamed about, become reality. I am amazed of the transformation I have achieved both physically and mentally.

There are just some lessons you have to experience first hand so it can make enough of an impact to change your life forever. Also, perhaps, in your own growth, you get to inspire other people to pursue their own version of a more active lifestyle.

Right now, I know I’ve already come a long way, but the more I explore the gift of what my body can offer me, the more I realize that the possibilities are endless.

The Bonus Lesson: In every circumstance, always find a reason to SMILE.

So friend, and fellow Spartan – Let’s move! Aroo!

Photo Credits: Spartan Race PH, Pitikulochi, Team Vitality, Team FHG

Chasing Sunrise

One day he suddenly woke
In the last hour before dawn
A chance to chase the sun was on

Moving forward
He clutched his side
Pain shot up in every stride

He gasped for air
Breathed fast like there’s no tomorrow
No more time that he could borrow

He kept running
His heart pumped a different beat
He didn’t stop until it’s complete

A ray of light
Broke through the sky
The man let out an incredible sigh

“If only I knew
The sunrise was this beautiful
I would have taken all my strides in full”

Then every morning he rose
Moving gracefully
Through sunsets and goodbyes

His dream now alive
He claimed victory
Over the challenge of the sun

Beyond Halfway

Beyond Halfway

There will be times
where you will fall a step
short of halfway.
That’s okay.
Remember those
who took an extra step
for you to get through.
Cherish the ones
who broke through their
own halfway to help you.
Celebrate each step beyond
the halfway point.
You’re getting there.

Don’t give up!
You’re getting there!