[caption id="attachment_4215" align="alignleft" width="224"] Sensei Javier Lozano Jr "flexing" during a chilly morning for the Spartan Race Military Sprint.[/caption]
As a teenager and young adult, I use to compete professionally on a national circuit, traveling to various Karate tournaments throughout the United States.
On occasion, I've had a student or parent ask why I don't compete anymore.
My answer, usually -- I've lost the interest to compete at that level.
Here's the main issue. When you compete at a high level, where the competition is VERY difficult, and you NEED to be training regularly, something has to give. When I was young, I had no commitments to anyone. No steady girlfriend, no job that DEPENDED on me, etc. Yea, I taught Karate for a friend, but again, it was part-time. My money made went to my tournament competitions. Now, I've got a Karate and fitness school to operate, students to teach, an employee to mentor & monitor, responsibilities to my community, and a beautiful wife that I'm in love with.
When I competed, I trained at all hours of the day because I didn't like to loose. I wanted to achieve success. And success was winning my fighting divisions. So, I got a bit crazy... When you were sleeping, I was training. When you celebrated a Holiday, I was running outside. I trained before AND after Karate classes. I knew, every time I stepped into the ring I was more prepared then the person across from me. Granted, there were times I lost, but at the end of the day, I gave it my all.
See, when I competed, it was an obsession. I wanted to win and succee more then anything else. When I removed myself away from competition, I tried to comeback a few times, but things weren't the same. I just couldn't get back into the swing of things. My calling had shifted.
Now, fast forward to today...
I enjoy supporting my students when they compete in tournaments. Coaching them. Helping them. Inspiring them. All of that. Being a leader for my students, and shaping their lives is a big motivator for me.
So, where am I going with all of this???
Well, I never said that I'm not competitive... I just don't have the same desires for Karate competitions when I was younger.
Reebok Spartan Race Military Sprint
On Saturday May 4th 2013, a bunch of our fitness clients at Summit Fit Dojo
all signed up for an Obstacle Course Race called the Reebok Spartan Race
. I ran this race last year with my wife and a bunch of our fitness clients, and so we did it again this year. It has now become an annual event for Summit Fit Dojo members. This is a great way to dig down, deep inside of you, and see what you're made of. Not the same as a Karate tournament, but the mental toughness training that I get from it is an adrenaline rush.
The Spartan Military Sprint
, hosted in Ft. Carson, CO and created by the amazing soldiers stationed at that base, created this course, with the Spartan Race
team putting their twist of obstacles too.
This was a 4.5 mile "mud run" that had nearly 30 obstacles, which included unorthodox obstacles, such as the famous spear throw, army crawling through mud - under barbwire, climbing over 8 foot walls, flipping tires, and carrying a ruck sack weighing about 150 lbs up and down a mountain.
Yes, I paid for this event, and really enjoyed it -- minus the burpees.
See, Spartan Race has a rule if you don't accomplish an obstacle, you have to do 30 burpees. No joke. 30 burpees, then you move on. So, if you're not physically strong or mentally strong, this race can be draining.
Last year, as a rookie to obstacle course racing, I completed the course in 2 hours and 38 minutes. I did it with my wife, and many other Summit Fit Dojo members. We ran as a team and finished as a team. Sorta. Some people were ahead of us, and some behind, but we tried to finish strong -- together.
This year though... I had a personal goal. I wanted to finish the race in under 2 hours.
When I got through the Gladiator Pit (Spartans trying to hit you with large gladiator sticks), I finished my race in 1 hour and 44 minutes.
Not bad for being sick too!
Anyways, where I'm trying to take this is that, though I no longer enjoy the high level of competition from Karate tournaments, I still enjoy personal competition that pushes me physically and mentally. I'm a competitor and truly enjoy the achievements of success.
If you, or anyone else is interested in trying one of these fun and exciting Obstacle Course Races, I'd recommend getting in touch with Summit Fit Dojo's Fitness Program Director - Lynn Voorhees. We have been able to create an amazing fitness program that will help you achieve any of your fitness goals -- including races.
We will be going as a team to Copper Mountain in August to run the Warrior Dash
, so get your shoes on and start running!