In thinking about taking on a Spartan Race, there was one element of the race that scared me the most. It wasn’t the horrendously long barbed wire crawls, or the burpees that would inevitably follow my failed rope climbs, nor was it the hills that I knew would face me. It was the gladiators. At least the electric wires at the end of Tough Mudder were predictable. But people who can knock you down? That’s a whole other level of intimidating.
You’ll know at the finish line… but first, you’ll probably get knocked on your butt by a gladiator.
Now, over the last few months, I’ve had the chance to get to know one of the Sydney gladiators. I’ve spent a training session struggling to keep up with him, and then high fiving afterwards, I’ve played stacks on with a bunch of Spartan Race Street Teamers… and this gladiator ended up at the bottom of it. I think we all secretly wanted revenge. Benny took it, and tried to do a push up with six people on top of him.
In case you were wondering, he didn’t succeed. Maybe next time.
Benny has said that the day he was a gladiator at the Sprint was one of the best days of his life. It wasn’t because he got to knock people over. It was because he fought to be able to be in the right shape to stand in front of that finish line and make sure people earned those last few steps. The confidence he’s got is infectious – he wants people to fight like he has, and he often shows us how to fight. He takes bad days and smashes them with a kettle bell session. He laughs through the struggle. He uses harsh words when people need to hear them, and pushes people beyond what they think they can do.
And he does all that by example.
As you get towards that finish line at the Sydney Beast on November 3rd, you might just get to stare down Benny, and run towards that finish line with all the fight you’ve got left in you.
You should know that these people who stand in front of the finish line fought hard to stand in their place. Benny fought to get there, and you’ll have a fight to get passed him.