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5 Success Principles Reinforced When I Ran in the Spartan Sprint

I found out I had Crohn’s Disease in 2009. In 2011, I had my first surgery to remove damaged portions of my small intestine. For 5 years, Crohn’s stayed under control. In June 2016, I started having familiar pains that 5 years ago would lead to surgery. It would persist until on September 4, 2016, I was admitted to the hospital because I could not bear the pain anymore. I would spend 6 weeks again in the hospital. I lost 45 pounds (I lost 50 the first time) going from 175 to 130. Surgery was again necessary. The doctor would remove 60 cm of my small intestine this time (30 cm was removed the first time). As I lay in bed in extreme and excruciating pain after the surgery, I changed my mental state. I died.

I decided that I would no longer live in fear of what Crohn’s could do to me. Yes, I lived after the first surgery. I became motivated to speak about Crohn’s in an effort to educate others. I was active. What I was not doing was following my heart. I became interested in obstacle course racing. I never got the courage to follow through. I made excuses of why I could not do it at the time. As I lay in bed in extreme and excruciating pain after the surgery, I changed my mental state. I was reborn.

When I left the hospital, I vowed that I would conquer my fears. I started living.

I ran in the Spartan Sprint which is an obstacle course race (OCR) on March 18, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. It taught me everything I need to know about how to be successful. I’m now going to share 5 success principles I learned with you.

Desire: The Starting Point of All Achievement (Your Why)

I have read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill numerous times. The first principle of achieving success that he states is “having a burning desire for whatever it is you want to do”. I call it your why. My why is simple: push my mind and body because Crohn’s does not define me or deny me. It’s the burning desire or your why that is the foundation for an undertaking to achieve a goal. When you are met with obstacles, what keeps you going? Your burning desire or your why. Without it, you will give up at the first hint of resistance. Your burning desire or why has to be strong enough to keep you going. It can be anything: your kids, your family, your freedom. It’s your why. It’s your burning desire. Everyone that was participating in the Spartan Sprint was there for a reason. It was that reason that committed them to endure and finish. When you are setting goals, write down your why. Read it every day. It’s your commitment to your success.

My affirmation: I am strong. I am blessed. I am the one!

Faith: Visualization of, and Belief In Attainment of Desire (Your Why)

When I decided to begin this fitness journey, I had to have faith that I could do it. I’m not talking about so much as a religious faith but more of invoking an emotion of faith. I constantly told my subconscious mind I was going to complete the Spartan Sprint. I constantly told my subconscious mind that I would overcome any obstacle that was presented to me. I fed my subconscious mind only positive thoughts. Remember, I was released from the hospital in mid October of last year. I could have easily told myself “I can’t to do this, it’s too soon”. No one would have thought less of me because of what I had just went through. Yet, my desire was so strong that I would not accept anything less that to fulfill my goal. Faith is necessary for any undertaking. You must believe and have faith that you can achieve regardless of how daunting the goal you have set may seem. If your desire, your why is strong enough, no task, no goal will be out of reach. If your mind will believe it, you will achieve it.

Organized Planning: The Crystallization of Desire into Action

Plans are needed for goal achievement. They do not have to be perfect. They do need to be well thought out to the best of your ability and knowledge. The key is that you have a plan to take action. When you set a goal, you typically have limited knowledge in the area of interest. Therefore, your plan is a working plan that can be modified as you gain more knowledge through experience. Note: I used experience and not failure as failure provides a learning experience.

When I decided to run in the Spartan Sprint, I knew I had to gain my weight back once I recovered from surgery. I googled on preparing for obstacle course races and utilized the training guide on the Spartan Race website. Through all of my preparation training, I still was not fully prepared because the obstacle course race was a new experience. I did not let my inexperience sway me from not entering the race because how else could I gain experience and understanding? I learned that for future races, I needed to add different components to my training program, i.e. terrain running. That is the nature of achieving success: Plan-Action-Results and repeat with more defined plans until your actions achieve the desired results.

Power of the Master Mind: The Driving Force

A master mind is when 2 or more individuals come together with a common interest with the purpose of assisting each other to achieve individual goals. The master mind was alive and at work during the Spartan Sprint. There were groups that participated together. There were individuals such as me who entered the Spartan Sprint alone. It didn’t matter though because we were all there together for our individual reasons. I saw people assisting others to overcome an obstacle. They may or may not have known one another yet the goal is the same which is to finish the race. I received words of encouragement from other Spartans. I received helpful hints from other Spartans on how to complete an obstacle when I was struggling. I received praise when I completed a difficult obstacle – the Spear Throw since you only get one chance and I did it. In turn, I found myself looking to help others any way that I could. We have the same goal which is to finish the race. In life when you have set a goal, look to utilize the master mind. Someone can always have a different perspective. It allows you to get honest feedback. It adds more concentrated faith to everyone’s subconscious mind which helps to achieve your goal.

Persistence: The Sustained Effort Necessary to Induce Faith

Standing at the starting line, the only thing I knew was that it was 4.8 miles with an elevation change up to 1200 feet to the finish line. I knew not what type of obstacles I would encounter. I began the race, one step at a time. Which each obstacle that I faced and completed, my faith grew stronger. With each step I took, the finish line was closer although I could not see it. There were a couple of obstacles I could not complete and so I paid the penalty in burpees. I continued. The road to success is littered with obstacles. How bad do you want to get to your destination? Your why will be your answer. Belief in your abilities to get results will fuel your faith. Persistence will drive you to the finish line. You may face obstacles that you may not overcome and thus a penalty will be assessed. Pay the price and continue to move forward. Persistence will drive you to the finish line. Running the Spartan Sprint, I never stopped moving forward. I may have stop to rest but I kept moving forward. Persistence will drive you to the finish line.

The above 5 success principles were prevalent for me during the race. Just like achieving any goal that you set for yourself, success is sweet. But more importantly, is what you have become because of your journey to achieve your goal. What you found out about yourself. What you can accomplish when you have a strong desire and put your mind to it. Again, it’s great when you achieve success but a deeper transformation has happened. I saw that nothing can stop. I realized that the power of the mind is stronger than anything in this world. As long as my mind is controlled by my burning desire, it will take my body to places only in my dreams. Thank you Spartan Sprint Race! You helped me apply the principles I have been taught.

My affirmation: I am strong. I am blessed. I am the one!

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