Before heading to Hawaii to compete in the Spartan Beast, I had gotten really sick with an infection related to my Spina Bifida. I honestly didn’t know if I was going to be able to make the trip, but leaving the hospital on Monday I decided I had to do this.
I still wasn’t 100% right, but Tuesday I woke up and jumped on a plane to Hawaii. I made it safe and sound, but by Wednesday, I knew my medication wasn’t working for me. I kept thinking about how badly I wanted to accomplish all 3 Spartan races in 2 days. Well, things don’t always work out as planned.
Along my journey, I’ve had to learn patience and acceptance. I slept most of my Hawaii trip and had stomach issues due to the medication, along with high fevers. The doctors adjusted my meds, and the night before the first race I was finally able to pull myself together and decided it was go time. I was ready to take on the Spartan Beast!
The day of the race, the weather was very hot and humid. Luckily adaptive athletes get some prime parking. Walking up to the venue was a mad house, with people on the ground searching for something, I just didn’t know what. Walking up a little closer, I noticed boxes of headbands with our numbers had been poured out all on the ground.
Looking for our headbands was pretty impossible, so we decided to write our numbers on us with a sharpie. This seemed like a great idea at the time, but due to the humidity, it came right off. So we went without a number, and started as soon as possible.
We started our first obstacle at 9 am. I honestly didn’t know how long it would take me to finish a Beast, but we were going to find out today. It was pretty calm at first, followed by tall grass, felt like a jungle being so short. I literally fought off grass, and sticks.
Cold water came in no time, followed by the cargo net up hill, and then up ahead was a huge mountain, with an emphasis on HUGE. It looked like tiny ants climbing the mountain. Slowly but surely we were making our way to the top. Mentally, I felt great. Physically, I prayed really hard that I could handle it.
There’s always that point during a race, where you can turn around, or keep going. I came upon that faster than I thought. Making that quick choice to keep going, before I allowed my mind to convince me to turn around. Onward!
While going up the hill, many told us as they were passing us down on the other side, "good luck, it’s very rough and slippery." They didn’t lie. The only way to climb to the top was to dig my hands into the mud, then grab on to whatever looked stable (shrubs, trees, plants, tree roots) whatever I could find. Little by little, going up.
Anytime I used my crutches, they would get swallowed up so deep into the mud. Most of the time I had to give my runner my crutches so I could bear crawl it. Thankfully before walking at a later age, I was a pro at crawling. By the time we got to the top, I was exhausted and had scrapes and scratches all over my hands.
Oh but wait, we still need to go back down. Going back down was totally unsafe. Now were using those bushes, trees, and roots to stop us from rolling down the hill. As tiny as I am and light, it would not be a perfect way to be taken out. Grabbing on to anything to stop my fall.
My eyesight must always be on point when I race. Most of the time you will notice my head down, making sure I don’t fall. Despite wearing leg brace, the fall would be bad. Placing my crutches on something unsafe, could take me out in seconds... and Biggie Smalls would be down for the count.
I was relieved when I finally made it down the hill. After that it was smooth sailing through a few obstacles, a spear toss, some rig action, a rope climb and a sandbag carry. I was able to finish in about 9 hours, which was a really good time for my turtle elite status.
A big thank you to my runner Chad, who had amazing patience and communication. Getting to the top of that mountain was one of the best feelings. I’m truly blessed to have the support of some amazing people.
We did about 13-14 miles; everyone’s GPS came out different. Let’s give a big clap to Norm for his assistance in building this year’s Hawaii course. If you’re not familiar with Norm, he builds the hardest Spartan courses #EFFNORM. I truly want to say thank you to my sponsors from Bakersfield, Fit Aid and my amazing followers for their endless support and love.
I was a little disappointed by the lack of photographers on the course this year. Also, some things felt a little less organized from last year, especially for competitors coming in later. But despite a few event hiccups and being sick, I had an awesome time. The beautiful sights, the amazing people, the sense of accomplishment all made it worthwhile.
My advice. Make the best of it.
Things didn’t go as planned from the start of my trip, but I made the best of it and was able to accomplish 1 race out of 3. I must humble myself and remind myself, just years ago I was laying in a hospital coming out of a 12 + hour operation not being able to move.
Be thankful Misty. We all have choices, choice to be stronger, mentally fit, or tougher. Or we can allow this world to shape our thinking, and shift our focus. Don’t allow your willingness to strive to be better, be changed by the outside noise around us.
See you soon Hawaii. Thank you to Spartan Race for another great race!