I can’t do it, it’s just too hard.
How many times do we offer that excuse up in response to a workout, a race, chasing a dream, or any single obstacle in life?
How many times do we make that excuse versus standing up straight and saying “Bring it on.”
The Spartan Race, the world’s newest craze in adventure racing, is a mud-run for those who tell any and all obstacles to “bring it on.” The 75-obstacle, 10.5 mile race is designed to push participants to new limits – mentally and physically. A runner will encounter barbed wire, wall climbs, rope climbs, open water swimming, and more – all in the name of a good challenge.
It’s an incredible challenge for any person willing to sign up for the race. But for United States Marine, Cpl. Todd Love, “challenge” took on a whole new meaning.
You see Todd is a 22-year-old veteran who lost both legs (above the knee) and his left arm while serving in Afghanistan in 2010. Todd had to learn to walk again, use his three new prosthetic limbs, and mentally recover from the devastating attack. Todd credits his faith for being able to keep everything “from falling apart” after his life-changing incident.
Todd and two other wounded warriors, Noah Galloway (double amputee) and Sgt. Jonathan Mozingo (lost his left leg) completed the Leesburg, Va. Sparta Race on August 25 with five other members of Team X-T.R.E.M.E. The team consists of the three wounded veterans, two additional men, one woman, and an eleven-year-old boy. Talk about challenge conquerers.
The team’s mission is to “Honor, empower, and motivate wounded veterans through physical and mental rehabilitative cycle that is a model for overcoming adversity and hardship through innovation, teamwork, and perseverance.”
In other words, realizing that life is worth competing for every damn day and encouraging others with the same message – no matter the odds one’s life is facing.
Team X-T.R.E.M.E. completed the Spartan Race in 5.5 hours together, not advancing to a new obstacle until everyone was through the previous one. Even more amazing was the fact that all eight members wore blacked-out gas masks that restrict oxygen intake by 25-30%. Talk about awesome.
From the images, Todd went through the majority of the course on his hands. He was carried through different portions but made sure he completed every single obstacle. And that bad-ass man completed it. Makes your excuse for any race seem pretty bad now doesn’t it?
In fact, the crowd was electric as the team crossed the finish line. “Spectators, racers, staff, and volunteers gathered to watch the team come through. It was inspiring, humbling, and a reminder of all the reasons why so many of us run – for reasons bigger than ourselves.” – Carrie Adams, Spartan Race Editor.
I can’t imagine too many dry eyes lined the finish line when Todd finally crossed upon completing the Spartan Race.
Todd was asked by many people – why would you take on this challenge? It’s tough for anyone! His response was simple:
“I did it to push myself in all things physical, proving that overcoming obstacles isn’t just something you attempt, it’s something that you embrace.”