At the end of last year, when I was making my planning for 2017, my goal was to complete 7 trifectas. As 2017 proceeded, more Spartan Races were announced and I added them to my planning, resulting in a current goal of completing 11 trifectas.
At the time that the first Agoge in Europe was announced, I wanted to register, but the € 300 entry fee scared me away. ‘I will do it next year’ I said to myself. 2017 would be the Trifecta year, 2018 would become the Spartan Endurance year.
Halfway the month of June, I went to Amsterdam to participate in the Spartan Workout Tour kickoff. Joe De Sena himself was there and promised that everyone who would commit on camera to do the Agoge, would get a free entrance. So I committed to participate in Agoge 006, at the Isle of Sky.
With the Agoge on the planning, I started to think about completing a perfect Delta. The Delta consists of a Spartan Race Trifecta (Sprint, Super and Beast), Spartan Endurance (Hurricane Heat 4 hours, Hurricane Heat 12 Hours and Ultra Beast) and Spartan Training (Spartan X, Spartan SGX and the Agoge).
At that time, I already had a trifecta and was registered for the Ultra Beast (which I by now completed). So I started looking for Hurricane Heats and found an HH12 at Marston Lodge and an HH4 at Tirol. In Tirol, I had already the trifecta weekend planned but time wise I would be possible to squeeze in the HH4. It all sounded perfect, or at least it did so in my mind.
Beginning of July, approximately 6 weeks before the Agoge, I got confirmation that I could participate so I started my preparation. I started looking for a ruck sack that was big enough and started to buy some gear from the standard gear list. As of training for the agoge, I had no idea how to prepare, so when I packed for my holidays in France, I threw my 20 kg weighted vest in the car and planned on doing some hikes to get used to walking with some weight on my back. And I started doing pushups at random moments throughout the day. It may seem silly, but I wanted to do something and I really had no idea what else could be done.
Yesterday, I received the final gear list and at that point, I started to panic a bit. There was a lot of stuff I needed to buy. A lot! And lots of stuff I would only need once in my lifetime. So I started thinking. Is this whole thing a good idea? It would require a lot of time and money. I needed to be away from work 5 more extra days, in a year where I already am barly working, or so I might seem to my employer. I would be away from my family 5 extra days. I would not be able to train my clients for 5 extra days… All of this might not be an issue if I was 100% certain that I would complete the Agoge. But the more I think about it, the more I think there is a bigger change I will not finish the Agoge. I don’t have any experience in hiking or survival, let alone for 60 hours. Although it is a team effort, I lack the skills listed in the final gear list.
Furthermore, at the moment, I’m having a very nice holiday in France with my family. Getting ready for the Agoge would require a lot of time shopping online for the needed gear and to be honest, that is not how I want to spend my holiday. It would not be fair to my wife and daughters who already had to miss me a lot this year.
All of this resulted in my decision on not participating in the Agoge. Next to the above arguments, September and October are going to be tough with al the Spartan Races and I’m afraid that the Agoge might damage my body a bit which may result in not achieving my initial goal of completing a lot of trifectas.
As you can see I’ve thought this through and my decision is final. I don’t think there is any shame in not starting the Agoge. If the circumstances would be different, I would go ahead without a doubt, but in this case, I can only say that I’m only human after all and that I need to limit my goals for this year. And who knows what next year might bring.