As a child I had always been active. It was the age when kids were allowed to roam the neighborhood, as long as we were home by dinner. I remember jumping over fences. Hiding in bushes. Running through trails in the woods. Exploring large cement sewer drainage tunnels (yes, this really happened, on a regular basis I might add). This was the time when going to McDonalds was a real treat. Like a once a year treat. If you knew someone with an Atari, they had the cool house to be at. But the outdoors, the outdoors were our stomping ground. The outdoors is where it all happened back then.
As I grew up I remained active. I became a wrestler in high school, and running some track as well. These were good times.
Then I went to college. Eh, it was college. My main activity at the time was walking to class. A few years of mild activity while working towards a degree I never use.
Around the age of 21 I became involved in the Martial Arts. Here I was, almost done with college, getting a degree but with no real direction. Although I was now active again, and it felt GOOD! I became very involved in the Martial Arts. I studied a few styles and obtained my 1st degree. I trained well into my 30’s.
In my late 20’s I met my wife. She became involved in the arts as well. We’d workout together, and have a great time doing it.
Then about 6 years ago we had kids. That’s right not 1, but 2 kids. Twins that is. She got pregnant, and I got a belly to match. I really don’t know how it happened, since I was always so active prior to this. I knew it was really bad when I bent over one day to tie my shoe and I was out of breath doing it. Some people need to look in a mirror to know they need a change; I needed to FEEL better about myself again. This is where my journey into obstacle course racing began.
I joined a local gym since they had a daycare, and got a trainer right away. I had never really trained in a traditional gym so I needed some direction. Direction is what I got. I changed my diet completely, and focused on my workouts. I made the Tri-State Tough Mudder my goal.
I started to FEEL good again. I started to drop weight. I lost 50 pounds to be exact. I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into with the OCR’s. All I knew is that I had a goal I was working towards. Honestly, without the Tough Mudder as a goal, I don’t know if I would have stayed in the gym training so religiously like I was.
Long story short a year passed, I had lost the weight, and it was race day. I ran the race with my trainer, his girlfriend, and a couple other people. It was a BLAST. I was hooked. After that initial Tough Mudder I booked my calendar for the next year full of races. It kept me focused in the gym and while running. I no longer train with my trainer. Having the mindset of what it takes to excel in a race is motivation enough.
OCR has changed my life. If you have done one, you can relate. If you haven’t and you need a change like I did, give it a shot. It’s transformed my lifestyle, body, and diet. It’s made me young again, like when I had the outdoors as my playground.