Burpee (exercise)

The Spartan Race Experience

English: Starting Line

English: Starting Line (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was bored with my gym routine. It had become monotonous, and I wasn’t enjoying it any more. Enter Spartan Race and CrossFit. My colleague told me about the former; he had come across an ad on Youtube, and in a hurried moment of inspiration, had decided to register for it. I loved it when I heard about it, and registered immediately. Think after you act – that’s what I did. So now it was time to get down to business.

I had always passed by a place called Crossfit down the road where I live, but never found what it was. When I did, it was just what I needed to prepare for the race. So I joined the place within a few days. And was it fun or what?! Also a lot of sweat and pain. I was no longer doing the same routines. Each WOD (workout of the day) improved some part of the body. Every warm up before a WOD was taxing in itself. Overall, great fun! I trained for 3 days every week at CrossFit, and did a 4-5 mile run on most Sundays. I could see improvements in my strength, and I was able to run better, which has always been my weak area. Two weeks before the race, however, I sprained my upper arm while doing a snatch. I rested for a few days, but could not resist the urge to get back. And so I did. Bad decision. The pain got worse, so I took several days off right until the day of the race. On race day, it still felt sore, but I knew that adrenalin would get me through it.

Race Day – We arrived at the Amesbury Sports Park at 7 am. Our heat was to begin at 8. It rained! We expected the terrain to be slippery. First we had to run up a hill for about 100 yards.

Then one by one, these were the obstacles we did:

1. Pits of water – About waist height, jump in, climb out. Slippery, muddy.

2. Over-under-through – Climb over a wall, then under a wall, then through a window in a wall. This was there 2-3 times along the course.

3. Herculean Hoist – Rope attached to a cement block, and going through a pulley at the top of a tree. Pull rope from the ground, and hoist the block until it reaches the pulley and bring it down slowly.

4. Balancing act – Thin logs of wood dug in vertically, and placed in a line. Walk from one to the other. I could not. 30 burpees.

5. Rope climb – Jump into a pit of water. Knotted rope going from ground to a bell about 25 ft in the air. Had the most fun doing this, because I had worked on it during CrossFit.

6. Parallel bar traverse – Series of parallel bars about 7 ft high. Monkey jump using your arms from one to the next. I slipped 2 bars before the end! 30 burpees.

7. Slippery Wall – Walk along narrow steps attached to a wall. Very slippery. Big toes. Fail. 30 burpees.

8. Fire – Jump over a few pieces of wood on fire. Nothing great, just adds to the drama!

9. Rope ladder – Climb up a rope ladder, and get down on the other side. Shaky.

10. Tire flips – Flip over a tractor tire twice forward, twice back. Takes some doing.

11. Cement block drag – Drag the chain attached to a cement block, around a small field.

12. Sandbag carry – 40 lb bag, on shoulder. Walk up the hill we first climbed, and walk down. Takes a lot out of you.

13. Slanted wall climb – Slippery wall at 45 deg. angle, use rope attached from the top to pull yourself. Then climb down from the other side.

14. Vertical wall climbs – There were several of these. 5 ft was a breeze. 6 ft took some effort. 7 ft one had a small step, so it was not so bad either.

15. Barbed wire crawl – Mud  + Water. 2 feet high barbed wire. Crawl, roll,struggle. Then another one, this time sloping! Fun though 🙂

The terrain was mostly slippery, and muddy, with rocks. Overall it was a great experience. Not as tough as I first thought. CrossFit definitely helped. Time to rest and recover my arm back to normal. Until the next one!