Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
This was where I started to think about DNF-ing myself. I was THAT close from adding another burpee-free Beast to my Spartan Race resume, and missing the bell by my fingertips in front of all those people was humiliating. I still trust my Fit Four gloves on the course, but I will now only use them for training or for when the skin on my hands are damaged. I do not need them for grip obstacles. To paraphrase Kevin Gillotti, “Skin is the best grip.” And it is true. Just look at my ninja training videos.
Honestly, I reacted the way I did not because I had to do the thirty-burpee penalty, but because I was mentally exhausted. I wanted to get out of Tejon Ranch as fast as possible, and failing an obstacle meant that I had to stay on that course for an extra ninety seconds to do something I could have easily avoided. At that point, everything hurt (arms, legs, mind, etc.). And that was why I wanted to quit.
But, I was glad that I hung in there. With my self-motivation, plus the fact that I had already completed twenty-two other obstacles before reaching Twister, I knew that I had to embrace the suck. And guess what? I did not fail an obstacle after that. (I even nailed the spear throw. Officially five-for-fourteen on that obstacle. Yeet.)
I am sure that you have heard this before, but my message to you all is that failure is not the end of the world. Yes, no one likes failure, especially if it happens to you multiple times. But, know that you will find success in the future, whether that means in one day or in one year; all you have to do is not give up.
(Sorry for my language, Mom and Dad.)
I didn’t have to do this, but you should know by now that I’m kind of extra AF.
Meilani. Of the hundreds of unique people I’ve met through obstacle course racing, you were something else. (In a good way, of course.) Ever since I started Spartan Race, you were the first person I met outside of any Spartan event. (I have to say that hiking Mission Peak on a rainy January morning has to be one of the worst ways of meeting anyone for the first time. But, I’m glad that it worked out, lol. In retrospect, it wasn’t too bad since we’re Spartan AF.) On several occasions, we’ve trained for races together and motivated one another on race days either in person or through social media. ( #Hypeman/ #Hypewoman.) And even outside of the sport, we got to know more about each other through somewhat random conversations, cheered each other up when neither one of us asked for it, and picked each other up when we were at our lowest points.
I honestly never thought that we’d be as close as we are today. Even though I’ve only known you for about a year, I’ve learned so much about you and so much from you, and I truly appreciate and respect you as the woman you are. You may not always see this in yourself, but you are one of the strongest, most talented, hardest-working, and overall most a-MEI-zing women I’ve ever met. (See what I did there?) You have inspired me (and many others) to be not only a better athlete, but a better person. And for that, I thank you.
On behalf of everyone who loves and cares about you, we all wish you a happy birthday, and we will continue to support you in everything you do. Enjoy your day, and please don’t kill me for the last four pictures...