Spartan Race Workout – 1/12/14


alicia-crossfitYesterday morning I had the opportunity to participate in a Spartan Race Workout.  I’ve not really every looked into what makes the Spartan Race different from any of the other Obstacle Course Races. I had a buddy on Facebook ask me if I was interested in joining him.  I figured what the heck.

The workout was going to be held at a Crossfit gym. I’ve never been to a crossfit gym, or really looked into why a crossfit gym is any different from any other gym. I’ve been to a Bally’s before, but I pretty much knew that this wasn’t Ballys.  In fact I only know of two folks that do crossfit that I know of.  Here’s a picture of Alicia. This was all I knew about Crossfit and this gym.   I was a little bit intimidated.

As workout time got nearer, I realized that the workout was scheduled to be outside…. in January, the weekend after record low temperatures moved through the entire country.  I was just a little bit intimidated.

So I tried not to watch videos of Spartan Races or training sessions.  As the week went on and it started warming up, so did my heart… on the fact that I wasn’t really prepared to do the workout and that all forecasts have it being under 40 degrees on Sunday morning.   The thought actually crossed my mind about not following through.   Looking at that picture of Alicia, I wonder how it’d feel to not follow through.

Saturday evening I messaged my buddy asking him what he thought we should wear. Just to be prepared.  And shortly after that, I checked the website for the gym address to make sure I knew where I was going and I noticed that it said the workout was going to be inside!  I had no excuses now. I woke up early on Sunday morning and made my way to the gym.  I get into the workout area and folks are using various equipment and warming up. I’ve got no idea what to do. Shaun T. has never prepared me for this! As the instructor starts barking out a welcome, boot camp style (or what I imagine boot camp style would be, seeing as I’ve never done it). I quickly realize that if I have to do pushups and burpees where I’m standing, I’m going to get kicked in the face or kick someone. So I found some space of my own off to the side and made myself uncomfortable.


The first of many out and back runs that were supposed to be 200m, but this one turned out to be 400m.

A quick cardio warm up and then we’re off and running around the building, twice.  As I ran, this is what I saw. You can click through the picture to see the whole thing, but it’s a pack of folks, doing the same thing as me, same time, probably equally as uncomfortable (on some scale)…and they’re all wearing the same shirt.  “I AM TRAINING FOR A SPARTAN RACE”.  On the backs of everyone’s shirt… it says the same thing.  And this is really the point of this whole blog post.  As we went through the day, and I questioned why it was that I was pushing myself so hard…. I just had to lift my eyes up and see the reminder.  “I AM TRAINING FOR A SPARTAN RACE”.  As we ran what felt like 2 miles by the end of the morning and I could barely keep up, I would lift my head and see it - “I AM TRAINING FOR A SPARTAN RACE”  As folks gave their all and had nothing else to give - “I AM TRAINING FOR A SPARTAN RACE”


Am I  training for a Spartan Race? I am now. One goal I have set for myself this year is to complete the Mud Guts and Glory OCR.  In eyeing this goal, I have been keeping my eyes open for other Obstacle Course Races…. and now The Spartan Race is in my sights.   But the Spartan Race really isn’t the point. The point is encouragement… the point is having folks in your pack that can remind you of why it is you’re doing what you’re doing.  The point is to keep your head up. The point is to do your best, leave it all out there on the mat.  The folks that still had some to give, unlike me who stopped doing burpees and pushups when I had nothing left, but the folks that kept going…. did over 200 burpees between 8 and 10 am yesterday. An amazing feat as far as I’m concerned.

spartan group

Here’s our photo of our phalanx prior to leaving. I’m in there. I finished. If you’re looking for me, my head is visible just below the ring on the right.

This was an amazing opportunity and I appreciate Rusty for inviting me! We’ll be running buddies one day!



By: Robin Parker

While working out this week I started listening to Podcasts. This weeks workouts are fairly boring.  It’s what Shaun T calls a recovery week.  I’ve been beating up my body for 4 weeks during the first part of  Insanity, and before they ramp it up, he’s kind enough to give us a recovery week.  Don’t let the name fool you, it might be recovery, but I’m still getting my sweat on.  There’s something about them that they don’t feel quite as “insane” as the previous workouts, and it’s repeated every day this week. So I’ve started consuming some podcast from business leaders.  I thought I’d take a moment to point them out.

Michael Hyatt has a podcast that’s excellently produced and has lots of content that’s relevant to business building and general leadership. His podcast is “This is Your Life

Dan Miller’s podcast- 48 Days has been fun to listen to also.

Starve The Doubts  is a podcast by Jared Easley. He’s got a neat format that includes interviewing other business coaches.

In researching podcasts to add to this list, I’ve generated about 15 more that I need to listen to, but these guys are providing me enough content for now.    I have added at least one book to my “To-Read” list and I’ve got it on hold with the library, should be coming in any day now.  Jab,  Jab, Jab, Right Hook is by a guy named Gary Vaynerchuk. The premise of the book is that the marketing landscape and all of the platforms we have to market ourselves on is changing everyday and he’s done case studies that highlight idea methods of using the tools, as well as some failures that business have made misusing the tools.

What are you consuming? What’s on your “To-Read” list?

Testing a new plugin

Photo Credit: BrickArt!san via Compfight cc

I know that someone might see this post and think. man that’s 2 days in a row. I’m testing a new commenting platform, as well as helping someone troubleshoot their wordpress install. Thusly, this post. Thanks for being understanding. I love you all. Especially that hot chick I got a date with this evening.

Gearing Up! Making the most of your year

Photo Credit: thomasstache via Compfight cc

Everyone is making resolutions for 2014. I’ve done it  too! Over the last few weeks I’ve thought about what changes I want to make in my life as well as what I want to keep.  Rounding out the end of 2013 I had made some goals, reached them, and started new projects with regards to my health and fitness. I also failed to reach a couple of them.  Prior to Jan 1, a magical day in which everything resets, I read about getting a head start on these resolutions and put some effort into thinking about the kinds of resolutions I could/needed to set.  And that’s where I’ve mostly left it. Thinking about them.

On Monday, Beachbody had it’s quarterly “surge” meeting.  A media event where the CEO of Beachbody and his team takes the entire day to deliver content relevant to their coaches, making announcements about products, upcoming promotions, incentive trips and the like.   During this they had a social media contest that you could enter simply by talking to someone, finding out their goals, and tweeting a picture of you and them with the hashtag (I hate that word) #iwannahelpyou. I entered just sort of out of the blue, thinking it’d be silly not to enter, especially since the prize money is $200 – half for you, half for the person you’re going to help.  Turns out I was the first entry selected. I know that I had the best odds to win during the first day, but still it was fairly impressive.   Watching the Surge got me excited about being a Beachbody coach.  It reminded me of the reason that we exist as coaches, not to sell products, but to help people reach their weightloss and fitness goals.  If you were to see me at an event, or even out and about, I hope you’d notice that I’m always eager to help others out. I want to be available to meet needs.  Coaching gives me the opportunity to reach into peoples lives in a way that so many people need.

I’ve spent a bit of time today getting some things setup for the Coaching part of my life.  I’ve posted on Reddit and some other sites about an upcoming Fit Club.  I’ve invited folks to the Beachbody Super Saturday event coming up this Saturday. I’ve worked to get Focus T25 into folks hands. And the next few months are going to be exciting times.

At the end of the day – #IWANNAHELPYOU and if you don’t let me know you need help, it’s really tough!  Send me an email, message me on facebook or leave a comment.  If you have goals that you have already set and have no need for me as a coach, let me know your goals. It’s really about accountability.  I want to know what you’re doing… so we can do our best together.


Day before the day….

So we’re a week past what should’ve been my final T25 session for this round.  I’ve still got two workouts to do before the program is complete.  When I started working out I had this thing… the 3 b’s.  I’ve done pretty good with most of them. Though I bet you might be able to guess what’s been slacking….. my bible reading.  I still get my workouts in even when I’m tired and exhausted, but the bible… gets shuffled to the back… and is often put off until ….well, put off.  I have pretty much failed at getting up early the last 3 weeks. I’ve been doing my workouts in the evenings.  I seem to have more energy and push harder in the evenings too.   Breakfast since we ran out of Shakeology has been a little more difficult, but we’ve started eating lots of eggs and lots of oatmeal.  As winter moves in on us, the fresh veggies haven’t been as easy or cheap to come by. So we’ve eaten less.   I’ve also got to be honest, I’ve eaten quite a bit of halloween candy, and last night when I got up to take the dogs out at 1:30am, I had an oatmeal creme pie or two! OR TWO! Awful. I’m not beating myself up over it. It was yummy. But that’s sort of the thing, once I let a little in, I let a lot in, it seems to be a lot or nothing proposal when it comes to junk food.  I’m not talking about a desert or sweet treat after dinner, but candy and sweets at other times.

I’m starting a December Challenge group.  I’m determined not to let the upcoming holidays take away my progress.  I’d love for you to join me. Will H. – you mentioned you were interested in being held accountable for your fitness after your move…. and I think you’re done moving, so now’s the time!   I think you can like, or +1 or comment on this post these days. So do something like that  and I’ll give you some details about how it’s going to work.

Making an effort

In case you missed it. Amy and I made a video last week… it’s cute. I had fun making it.   We were on vacation last week…. under the guise of celebrating our 15th anniversary.  It was a sequel to the trip we took this time last year when we went with a family we barely knew and met a family we hadn’t known…who are now are good friends.   It sounds like it might’ve been more than it was….. but it’s not.  Friends from our new church (we hadn’t completely committed to it at that time) had invited us to join them in what they were hoping was going to be a big group…but just ended up being the 3 families.    We only got to spend 2 nights and 3 days last year. This year we made a bigger deal… took the kids from school, took off from work, and drove back and forth up Rt 40 in Tenneessee.   Our first night there we made that video. I worked out…. I think I may have worked out 1 other time… but by the time I went to sleep Wednesday night I had already missed 3 workouts.  I had decided that I was just going to hit the pause button on this week… and pick up Week 9 on Monday.  But that has me making excuses…and getting out of it.  So I pressed play last night on what might’ve been one of the hardest workouts I’ve done. Perhaps it was just a result of not having momentum, perhaps it was just Shaun T being his Shaun T self and kicking it up a notch.  Core Speed is the bonus disc you get when you order through a Beachbody Coach.  I had forgotten all about it, until last week when I got a message asking me if I had tried it yet.  I hadn’t.  But now I have…. and I must say, it was intense.  I’m not convinced I’ll ever be able to pull off the one-arm burpees.

Today is a new day. One which started with breakfast and not Beachbody.  I’m not sure if I’ll get one in today or not… possibly the stretch dvd.  Tomorrow we run… the family will be running/walking/jogging/ambling for 3.1 miles around Blue Ash as part of the Matthew 25 Fighting Hunger 5k.  We’ve got a team of about 25 people walking together. We’re really excited to do this as a group but also as the a symbol of what has been an awesome season in our life, of fitness and faith and fighting…for ourselves, for our marriage, for our family, for our church, for our community.  This isn’t the end, it’s just a mile marker along the way.

Let’s talk

So I think about where I am today… and see results and progress and goals met…. but I’m so unmotivated. Nothing about my external motivation has occurred. It’s all internal, well, all about what I’m not doing.   I’ve failed to wake early enough to get my workouts in early since Thursday or Friday.  I haven’t read the bible in a few days. I’ve also failed a bit on breakfast… today completely skipped it.    I’ve not read any personal development stuff since I finished START…. and my motivation is taking a hit.   So I know what needs to be done… now I just need to do it.  I know one factor in the breakfast thing has been our lack of shakeology and the money to purchase it.  It’s not cheap, and my health is worth it, but between feeding 3 kids, our mortgage and gas money…. things are ridiculously tight.  Every pay check we’re like, I don’t know how we’re going to make it.    On top of this, I’m feeling a bit under the weather. Getting up early is the worst when I feel like this. Getting up to workout fuhgetaboutit! I was able to get my workout in last night and that felt awesome, but also quite a bit difficult not feeling well.   This morning I got up to Caleb off to school and by the time I got back I felt like I could give it 25 minutes….but didn’t have it to give.  So here’s hoping that I have it after I get home from work.


Another national wakeup call, another point that I can bring out and apply to my life, and this time, I’ve not even finished listening to the call.

The speaker on the call (I can never remember their names, Mindy, not Lawhorn) mentioned that the three things you need to be a successful beachbody coach are: Dedication, Consistency, Belief. When she started speaking about consistency, I realized that this is really where my struggle is. I don’t mind working out, I don’t even mind getting up early to do it, but what I can’t seem to do is be consistent about it. I did good for the first 4 weeks or so, but sometimes I’m so tired. Amy started complaining that she felt like she was missing out on time in the evenings because I’d fall asleep so early. So I’ve been trying to be more aware of how getting up early is affecting my evenings.

I’ve been trying to build up a base of twitter followers and hopefully posting meaningful content that helps people see that I want to be helpful and not predatory when I ask them to join my facebook group. I start out pretty good, but then a day goes by and I don’t look at it and next thing I know there’s 3-4 days without any content, and none scheduled to be posted. Don’t go look now.

In any case, I’m going to attempt to be more consistent….with pursuit of my goals, with personal development and caring for my family.

S’more People

So this evening is BACC‘s “S’more People” event.  Please join us at Blue Ash Nature Park about 6pm. There will be a fire and some games and hot dogs, all free.    With the invite out of the way, I want to take a minute and just write about what this means for my family and I.  They did a similar event last year.  BACC basically didn’t even exist this time last year.  They had met for perhaps 3 times, once over the previous 3 months, and I’m sure countless planning meetings. We found our way to one of their monthly meetings and almost immediately decided that God had brought us to this body for a reason.   This fall grill out was the first time I remember have conversations with most of the folks that we now are close friends with.  It is kind of scary. I’ll admit when we started considering leaving VCC for BACC, the idea that we’d be leaving a group of people we’d developed relationships with and having to create new relationships with new folks really concerned me.  I didn’t want to abandon the folks that we had grown close to, but knew that it was time for us to move on.   I even called a pastor friend of mine and had a conversation with him about this specifically.  Over the last year, we’ve spent countless hours with a group of folks dedicated to serving the community that I live in. We’ve launched a church, served in almost any role that we were asked, had meetings and outreaches and social gatherings and our own struggles that we’ve had to press in and rely on this community.  And we love the folks that we get to do it with.   We’re not a very big church.  But we’re doing Kingdom Work… and that’s really all that matters.   So where ever you are lean in and listen…. don’t let you’re fear keep you from being obedient.  Relationships and growth take a lot of work, but I guarantee it’ll be worth it.


I listened to this weeks National Wakeup Call over the last day or so.  During this call a super successful coach Mindy Lawhorne provided some tips on motivating her team.  One of the things she mentioned she gleaned from a book, No Excuses by Brian Tracy.  She summarized his definition of discipline thusly, “Discipline is doing what you need to do, when you need to do it.” She could be quoting it, I don’t know, because I  haven’t dug deep enough to find out. In any case, this is what I believe I’m struggling with.  I think I’m confident that I’m going to do what I need to do, the WHEN is wishy-washy.  For that matter, some of the WHAT’s are wishy-washy too.  At the begininning of this journey I defined my 3 B’s – which are really just some arbitrary way I came up with my WHAT.    Breakfast, Beachbody, and Bible …. at the time I started this, I was reading Jon Acuff’s START.  In it he mentions that you need to find some time to not steal from your family and other obligations and make it a time where you can tackle your what… he suggests 5am.  And thus my arbitrary setting of my WHEN.   The difference between my what and my when is the fact that the WHEN really is arbitrary, breakfast sort of has to be in the morning, but apart from that, my workout and reading the bible can really be any time during the day.  But then I start pushing the limits and not putting in buffers of time for when things go long, or the DVD player doesn’t work properly, or I need to go to the bathroom, or make a mess getting ice out of the freezer…. and all of a sudden I’m up against a wall that doesn’t exist if I just hold fast to this arbitrary WHEN.  So WHEN did I get up this morning? 4:45 or so. Granted, I snoozed the alarm a few times, but I’m pretty sure I started my workout prior to 5:15.

So I want/need some accountability with this WHEN.  I want to hold tight to it. I want to make it a habit. But I also need to make sure that in the evenings I still have the energy to give to my wife and kids.    How do you define discipline, what’s your WHAT and WHEN, and then WHY?  If you don’t have answers to those questions, let’s work together to figure them out. Together we can be successful.