Last weekend, after I ran the Super and Sprint at Spartan Race Mallorca, I wandered around the festival area and ended up at the rope climb where I stayed for a while. I talked to the volunteers, cheered people on and shouted: “That is not a burpee” to random people.
As the day came to an end the last participants were passing by on their way to the finish line and an everlasting feel of accomplishment. One of those racers was a guy, visibly in shape but completely worn down by the race. I have no idea if he did only the Sprint or if he ran the Super as well but he was tired. You could see it by the way he approached the rope climb. But still, he tried to get up the rope, determined to ring the bell and avoiding those 30 burpees.
Unfortunately, he lacked the proper technique and getting there just by strength was out of the question. I didn’t want to make him do burpees so I showed him the technique and he tried again. This time he got halfway up the rope before he had to let go of the rope again. “Can I try again, he asked”. Of course, there was no way that I would say no to that.
Keep pushing yourself
So he tried again. Over and over again. But he never made it past 3/4 of the rope. But he kept trying. By this time, doing 30 burpees would have been quicker and possibly less intense. But the guy wouldn’t give up. It was obvious to me that he was determined to ring that bell. This went on for about 15 minutes until he fell off the rope. Not from high so he didn’t get injured but I could see he was exhausted. While he was laying on the floor, he looked at me and said: “I’m sorry”. “Don’t be”, I replied, “you tried your best, you can’t do more than that!” “Do I need to do burpees now?” he asked, still laying on the ground. “Are you crazy?”, I said, “get out of here and go to that finish line!”
I’ve seen a lot of people struggle that day, trying to ring the bell, but for sure, this guy was the most determined person that day. Although he didn’t succeed, he didn’t give up. Well technically he did but you get what I mean. He kept on trying until he couldn’t anymore. And that is the true spirit of a Spartan racer! I feel so much respect for this man – and all others who pushed themselves that day. If you keep pushing yourself, you might, in the end, reach your goal. But even more important, it will make you feel proud of yourself, knowing that you gave it your all! And that is one of the best feelings you can have!
Disclaimer: that is actually me in the photo since I didn’t find a picture of that man trying the rope climb.