This past weekend, I completed my first Spartan Race. If you've never heard of it, you can click here and see what it's all about, but for sake of time I can tell you how FREAKING hard it was lol. The race was 13.75 miles long with 25+ obstacles, such as rope climbs, traverse walls, cement ball carries, a lake swim of about 100 yards and so much more. It was the most difficult, physical activity I have ever participated in, and to be honest - I felt completely unprepared.
A few months back, I started taking group cross-training classes at my gym and really enjoyed the camaraderie of the activities we were doing, so I continued with it. They all had been talking about the Spartan Race and encouraged me to sign up. As ignorant as I was to what the Spartan Race actually consisted of, I agreed and registered. It wasn't until I really looked into it (two weeks before the race) that I realized that I was ill-prepared to participate. I had been lifting weights for years and had run maybe a mile here or there, but never had I run anything close to the length of this race, especially with all of the obstacles.
About a week before the race, the owner of my gym and I were talking and I shared with him my anxiety about the race. I told him how I was nervous about being able to finish... I didn't want to embarrass myself in front of everyone because of my inability to complete the course. He looked at me and he said, "I've run this race before. I've seen the obstacles and I've experienced it's hardships. I've ALSO watched you train. I've seen you work out. Having seen both, I know you're gonna make it."
Something about his confidence reassured me that somehow I would make it out alive, but it didn't keep me from freaking out. I didn't sleep AT ALL the night before the race. My stomach turned the entire drive to Glenn Rose. As soon as we pulled into the venue, my greatest fear became a reality. We received a text that we would DEFINITELY be swimming during the race. It was about 45 degrees outside and I was NOT prepared to deal with the cold.
I was scared. I wanted to back out. Most of all, I didn't want to fail... especially in front of my friends. I contemplated faking an injury, but something inside pushed me to the starting line... something in me would rather the risk of failure than the regret of inaction.
Off I went. I was told that it would probably take me about 5 hours to complete my first race. I ran it in 3. Not only did I complete the race in a better time than I expected, I finished first in my group.
As I crossed the finish line, my heart leapt with the strength that my legs no longer had. I had finished the race and done it far beyond what I imagined possible. It was a moment I will certainly never forget.
But what if I had dropped out of the race before I tried it? What if I had let my fear of failure and embarrassment get in the way of this incredible moment?
Fear of failure is such a real emotion, but it accomplishes the opposite of what it promises. It says, "don't try so you won't fail" but the truth is the only way to fail is to never try. I would rather fail trying than live with the regret of never trying at all; failure is a better trophy on the mantle than the empty spot of regret.
The truth is, before I had even run the race - someone who knew what I would go through and knew me was CONVINCED that I would make it. The question I had to answer was, "did I trust that voice?"
There is Someone who has seen your race and has seen you - He has declared that you WILL make it. Not only has He SEEN your race - He DESIGNED it. God has set you up for success. Don't let the fear of failure keep you from stepping out beyond your norm and running your race. You're going to do better than you think you will.
You're going to make it.
You're going to win.