Three days ago a new documentary was released, called Rise of the Sufferfests. The doco explores the phenomenon of obstacle course racing, but also delves into the psychology behind why people like me do what we do.
On the first day of its release I had a few friends contact me to tell me that I was in the doco. I assumed that they’d just seen a brief glimpse of me on the screen so I bought the movie on iTunes so I could see what it was all about.
There were many familiar faces in the documentary but I was just excited to see my own movie debut. When I finally saw my back on the screen I knew exactly what was going to be shown and I started feeling a little emotional.
The footage used was of me and my friends Kirsty and Taylor as we crossed the finish line after the Spartan Beast in Lake Tahoe last year. Kirsty and I had met Taylor at the start of the race and learnt that she was there to run for her dad who had passed away a few days before the race. Instead of staying at home, Taylor decided to still go to Tahoe and race for her dad.
We all experienced physical, mental and emotional pain but we drew upon each other for strength and all conquered something deep inside. Sure, there were many tears both on and off the course, but together we pushed through.
Any time I am struggling through a race I think back to that day in Tahoe and draw upon my inner strength to get me through.
As I watched those few moments of footage from Tahoe I was reminded of the saying “through pain comes strength”. It made me stop and think about the reasons why I do what I do. It’s not for the medal, it’s not for the bragging rights, and it’s not for the photos. I race because the pain I experience during and after an event serves only to make me stronger – physically, mentally and emotionally.