Spartan Race Week

spartan

Every year I try to do at least one “fitness-competition” type of activity. This year, I’ve had a growing fascination with obstacle course racing, so I signed up for a Spartan Race last year and began mentally and physically preparing.

The Spartan Race embraces the idea of the Spartan warrior, and the obstacles are meant to signify the struggles Spartans faced back in the day. We will honor the way Spartans fought lions and dueled to the death by jumping into muddy pools of water, climbing rope walls, and carrying really heavy buckets of rocks up and down some hills.

Joking aside, I am really excited about this race. There really isn’t any way to simulate what challenges I’ll face on Sunday, but I’ve prepared by running a trail race, and going out with my garden brick and throwing it around a field for an hour or so (true story). I’ve also been trying to add some strength elements to my runs. When I’m feeling ambitious, I will hit up some playgrounds and do some pull ups, box jumps, pushups and whatever other things I can think up on the spot to train my body.

Oh, and burpees.

I’ll do burpees on my runs, but also always do them when I do my basement workouts. For those of you lucky enough not to know, a burpee is where you jump with your hands above your head, land, immediately drop into a squaty pushup position, do a pushup (optional, but encouraged), hop back into a squat position, then stand (or go right into another jump). It was probably designed by the Gestapo circa 1943 and is about as fun as a chemical burn. Anyway, when I was researching how best to prepare for a Spartan Race, they said do a lot of burpees.

So…

yay

Anyway, this post isn’t about burpees. The race is this Sunday and I feel like I am as ready as I can be (that is, for someone who hasn’t built an obstacle course in their back yard). I’m also really excited to see the pictures before/during/after. I guess everyone gets scraped up a little during these races, so if I can come back with a sweet scar and a story to tell, I wouldn’t be upset. I just don’t want to sprain an ankle or anything like that.

I’m always excited to try new things like this, and hope that I’ll enjoy this race enough to do another one or two in the future. Not quite sure what my 2017 fitness event will be, but I’m hoping it will be hard to top this year’s Spartan Race.

WISH ME LUCK!

 

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Sweat Local Columbus

SLC pic

Last year, my wife and I decided that 2015 was the year of concerts (sorry to those of you who read this blog regularly and have heard this before, but I promise I’ll move on to the point soon). So, as 2015 was winding down, we decided to dedicate 2016 to travel (and also the year of yes for me personally). We had planned a trip to Grand Cayman with Kelly’s family in March, and we have our biggest trip as a couple planned to Ireland in September. We also have a weekend in Nashville planned, and I am sure one or two other little weekend-trips will pop up as the year wears on.

But 2016 is kind of morphing into something else for us. It’s kind of turning into the year of Sweat Local Columbus.

For those of you who don’t know, my wife and I live in Columbus and are very active in the fitness community. Aside from being a spinning instructor, my wife attends yoga classes, strength and cardio classes, and just about any other class that will get her to break a sweat. I go to a lot of those same classes, but also run in just about any race that sounds like fun, and I’m also training for my first Spartan Race (next month!). I can also do a flip aided by the pull-up bar that hangs in the door frame over one of our guest rooms. Just saying… impressive stuff.

Being that we do just about as much as we can do fitness-wise around Columbus, my wife had the idea of Sweat Local Columbus — a 5k and fitness expo that aims to bring all of the boutique studios and gyms around Columbus together and put their brands and message in front of the people who consume “fitness” in our city. I remember when my wife came home with one of those ideas that start out as a “hear me out,” and turn into a “it’s really happening” in the matter of a few days. We’ve sunk a few big dollar deposits down on event space and race coordination, so, we’re kind of past the point of no return…it’s REALLY happening.

It’s exciting to see something like this come together. My wife has for sure had the heavier hand in getting SLC off the ground and running. We’ve both been pushing the event like crazy to all of the small, locally-owned gyms and studios around the city. A lot of the feedback has been positive and we’ve already secured some really great sponsors and vendors to help support.

So while we aren’t giving up on the year of travel (still looking forward to Nashville, Ireland, and wherever else we end up this year), I’m equally as excited about Sweat Local Columbus and what this might mean for us moving forward. Now the only thing we are going to have to worry about is how to top it in 2017, the year of…?

Altered Course

Courtesy of www.golfchannel.com
Courtesy of http://www.golfchannel.com

There is a new show that debuted on the Golf Channel last night called Altered Course. It is equal parts fitness competition as it is golf competition, and it pits teams of two against each other in a race to finish extreme golf holes as fast as you can all while using the least amount of shots.

About 6 months ago, Kelly and I saw the casting request for this show, and since we are equal parts fit and golf fanatic, we decided it was the perfect show for us to be on. Unfortunately (as much for the Golf Channel as for us), we did not make the first season, but that’s because there are no guy-girl teams this year. We’re both confident that Golf Channel will figure out that this competition is (warning: golf pun) tailor-made for a co-ed competition and we’ll be the focal points on season two.

Each team has a #teamname, though. Most aren’t terribly clever (#GeorgiaBoys, #IcelandicDuo), but I feel like it’s something Kelly and I need to focus on so that when we tweet the show, we can use our hashtag and since it will be clever enough, it’ll get our foot that much further in the door for next season.

#RingsAndSwings

#LoveBirdies <– that one’s not bad. I’ll keep working on it.

So one thing I noticed when I was watching this show was it’s use of flying drones with cameras providing unique perspectives of the obstacles the contestants face.

Courtesy of www.golfchannel.com
Courtesy of http://www.golfchannel.com

They do a great job at showing the elevation changes, and it’s really the only way to show the flight path of the ball on some challenging holes. In this episode, players had to hit a blind shot over trees from the 1st fairway to the 2nd green 120 yards away. The drones do a much better job than what a blimp could do because they can get close to the action and really track the shot.

Golf Digest had a piece about how the US Open this week will use this same technology on it’s Fox broadcasts. I think this is a great thing for golf. I don’t think it will be perfect at first, just like how it wasn’t perfect on Altered Course, but the more we can experiment with what works and find new ways to make golf more exciting, the better it will be for the sport.

It’s no surprise that the golf industry isn’t in the best shape right now, and the USGA and PGA of America are trying to push initiatives to make the game more fun and more accessible to everyone. First Tee is introducing golf to inner-city kids and there are all sorts of “tee it forward” and “while we’re young” campaigns going on to make the games faster and more fun.

Back to Altered Course…

I really appreciate the show for the fact that they are trying to do something different with golf. I don’t think this style of golf will catch on around the country in the way the show is designed, but it allows viewers to see golf in a whole new light. It’s not all about who is the best player, but rather who can think on the fly and who can best balance endurance with a good enough golf game that will eventually win the show.

Courtesy of www.golfchannel.com
Courtesy of http://www.golfchannel.com

Basically, Kelly and I are behind the show, and ready to win it next year. I posted our submission video from last season below, and we’ve recommitted to our fitness in anticipation of getting on the show next season. We made the video on an old Mac laptop thinking we had to submit it that day. I know the level of production for next season’s video will match our intensity on and off the golf course! Oh, and if you can think of any clever team names…