Time to take the ORM Strava Group up a notch

Ready for some competition?

Summer is almost over, and with the back-to-school spirit in the air, it’s time to start getting some use out of the ORM Strava Group. Fabulous prizes will be forthcoming.

Wait, there’s a group for ORM fans on Strava? Why yes, yes there is. You can find it here, and join up while you’re at it.

Wait, what’s Strava?

Strava is a website and app that uses GPS to track athletic activity, and it shoehorns all that social-media goodness to foster competition. Mostly the healthy kind, and sometimes notIf you use some kind of GPS device to track your workouts, you can link that data to Strava and then feel inadequate about your performance when you compare it with others. Or rather, you can then see who else is running and riding and swimming on the same routes as you and compete with them virtually. Judging from the current members of the group, ORM’s readers come from around the world, and many of you spend a lot of time running, much of it on trails, but a surprising number of people run on tracks, which makes for satisfying oval maps.

How is this competition going to work?

I had hoped that we could get Strava to give us monthly totals, but it turns out that’s not something they do yet, so we’ll have a weekly competition once a month. I’ll post when the competition starts and ends. At the end, I’ll see who is in the lead, and the winner will be awarded a prize. What, exactly? Something out of the ORM swag bag, or perhaps even a free race entry. We’ll work something out. It will be totally worth it.

And how do we determine who is the winner?

You’re all winners in my eyes, of course, but each month I’ll use a different metric. Strava measures distance, speed, average pace and even elevation gain. To keep things fair, I’ll mix it up each time, and sometimes I’ll reward creativity: if you record a run that is particularly epic, or if you spell out “ORM” on your GPS map, that’s the sort of thing that will catch my eye.

When does this start?

September’s challenge will start on Monday, September 11th, and end on Monday, September 18th so you have time to download your grueling weekend endurance workouts. In the meantime, have fun, stay safe and keep posting those results.

Loki Run, Village Pillage

Down in the South of England – Thetford, Norfolk to be exact, there is a small company known as Loki Events. My friends and I came across them in our neverending search for virtual races; it’s fair to say that, upon finding them, the Loki Run virtual events are easily one of the most challenging & fun virtuals we’ve completed to date. So with that in mind when we saw that they had an actual event coming up, we took notice.

On Sunday, April 10th, 2016, they held a small, community-based obstacle race which they called the Village Pillage. Now as we were in the area for the first 2016 UK Spartan Sprint the day before we figured we should just make a race weekend and we signed up for it. The more mud the better, right?

With our small team, a mix of the Healthy Hibees & myself with my team RAW top, we had no idea what to be expecting. After an engaging Zumba warm up the individual runners took off for the midday start. The teams of four were held back to do a second warm up and we were then informed we had some extra challenges. This is where is gets interesting – the challenges were, throughout the course we had to carry two car tyres without letting them touch the ground (a lot trickier than it sounds) and more importantly, two raw eggs which had to be lovingly carried the full course – ever watched mighty ducks? I found myself repeating the mantra of “soft hands” throughout the race.

Loki-run-village-pillage-tyre-run

The tyres and the eggs made all of the obstacles a lot more interesting, but with a little team work we got there. The course was laid out at the back of the local high school and into the fields beyond. We started off with some standard obstacles, net crawls, tightrope crossing, inverted walls & some nice 6-ft walls. Also, some volunteers were dressed in sumo suits, (side note I need to stop telling people in those suits I’m going to rugby tackle them, some of them looked worried). Nearing the 1km mark, we broke free of the school grounds and ended up running through a wooded area. Time for another surprise. I can’t say I’ve ever come across a lucky dip obstacle before – ping pong balls in a bucket of water with a number written on each one. I drew no 26, so, at the next stopping point, we had 26 burpees at station one, then 26 squats at station two followed by 26 push-ups at station three.

Our next new obstacle experience was that of a slightly different nature, volunteers dressed up as sneaky ninjas playing a version of obstacle tag rugby. If they caught you, you could end up with 27 burpees, or 5 squats. The punishments varied; I think that depended on the person who caught you. We also had to swipe the tags from the ninja area.  So from the 5 ninja stations, we managed 4 tags & 3 punishments. It made for an interesting break in the 5k course. Emerging on the other side of the wooded area and we had pretty much circled back towards the start. Around 4km and we found the log carry slalom – a single log needed to be carried about this part of the course by two team members; so, with Egbert the egg in one hand and a log in the other we got it done. (Yes, I named my egg – and we also named the tyres). With the finish line in sight, our next obstacle was a mallet target throw, a lot easier than a Spartan spear throw that’s for sure. On to the final 10-ft wall and then a water slide under the very low to the ground finish line.

Loki-run-mallet-throwBoth eggs & tyres survived!

You could tell that this race was organised by a team who loves the OCR scene. The entire event had a large family type feeling towards it, with the extremely friendly marshals, enthusiastic race briefing and the overall atmosphere on the day. It seems that the race director has taken elements and obstacles from other events and combined them to bring a really great experience to the athletes. They may currently be a small company, but with the virtual races, promising race days and awesome bling I can see them becoming a company to watch out for.

Loki-run-village-pillage-team

Photo Credits: Geoff Herschell

Let’s Wrap Up 2015

Reflecting on the end of the year is always fun. Because we are in the business of tracking eyes, ears, clicks and whatnot, we thought we’d let you know what the world observed the most from ORM in 2015.

Most read: Gear article

Dario reached out to the Albon, Atkins, and Moat to find out what got them through the Spartan World Champs. You can find out how they were decked out, top to bottom. There are also links to where you can purchase these items yourself wherever possible. The “What The Pros Wear” series is quite popular overall, but it does appear we need to reach out to some women in this department.

What The Pros Wear

More gear stuff.

Viral Video

Charley caught this 15 second video. It got shared over 3,300 times and was seen by over 430,000 people. Watch and you’ll see why.

This is Michael and Michael finishing Spartan Race in Carolinas. Michael carried Michael through over 4 miles of…

Posted by Obstacle Racing Media on Sunday, November 15, 2015

More of our videos

Most read: Editorial

At the end of May, in a conversation about what he was going to do after Atlas folded, owing him thousands, Hobie told me he was going back to working full time. I was inspired to write this.

Hobie Call stands alone

More editorials

Most Heard : Podcast with Lee Haney

Episode 134

More podcasts

Most Read: News item

In August, Spartan announced they were casting for a new reality competition show. Things moved super fast and the show was shot near Atlanta in November, and is due out in 2016.

Spartan TV Show

More news

Most Read: Transformation

Even though it was just released 23 days ago, Allison’s brave story about herself has been the most viewed in our transformation series. My speculation is that this is a testament to the growing popularity of the monthly series, and Allison willing to “go there”.

Allison Transformation

More transformations

and finally…

We asked our staff to do the following:

Please write the biggest memory or take-away from 2015 in OCR. Could be from a specific race or weekend, could be something you are reflecting on that you are relating to your life.

Here is what we said.

Peter McNairy

Peter McNairy

It was spring BattleFrog in Carolina’s. When I got to the monkey bars, I knew something was wrong because of the caliber of elites who were still there. I made my first attempt getting two rungs to the end and grip and biceps gave out. This was my first indication that I wasn’t ready for the coming season and that BF had stepped up the game.

 

  Dario Cantatore

Dario Cantatore

2015 was another year of the big 3 becoming the bigger 3 and many smaller races fading away. It worries me that as great as Spartan Race is that they are becoming one of the only brands in the business capable of putting on a fully figured out great race weekend. The concept makes me think of the similar situation that is occurring in the current US economy with the middle class shrinking and the upper class gaining more and more ground on everyone. This is naturally the way capitalism works out and I thoroughly applaud Spartan Races ability to continue to dominate the market place.

But I do want other companies to succeed at the same level because this drives competition which in turn drives innovation. Races became a bit stagnant and repetitive as I did more and more of them over the past few years. Some companies have started to try and fix this issue such as races that invented creative obstacles that weren’t just the usual variation of either jumping over something, carrying something, or going under something. And while I don’t currently think BattleFrog is innovating I hope they succeed in drawing larger audiences with what seems like their move to push in all of their chips this year. Will Tough Mudder move into competitive morning heats? I hope so. Will another company make a big push to change the big 3 into the big 4 or 5? I, again, hope so. Who will come up with new challenges and obstacles? I hope everyone does.

Phoebe Brimer

Phoebe Brimer

Shirtgate 2015.  Tough Mudder changed their policy and briefly eliminated finisher shirts, but collectively, racers rose up and TM reversed the policy in very short order.   Power of the people!

 

 

Allison Dacus

Allison Dacus

The biggest takeaway in OCR 2015 for me would have to be the introduction of the BattleFrog Xtreme! I had heard of endurance events like the Death Race and the Toughest Mudder, but those events sounded a little too extreme for my beginner status. When I heard that BattleFrog was introducing an event where you can run as many laps as possible during one race…I knew I had to participate at least once! I honestly never thought I would be able to run the required three laps to get my enormous BFX medal with stars, but once I was on the course I just had to keep going. BattleFrog Xtreme really lives up to it’s slogan that, “if you have a never-quit heart, the BattleFrog Xtreme race is for you”. You never know what you are capable of until you are on a course all day…especially when the last person you want to let down is yourself. I’ve already signed up for another BFX for 2016 and I know I will be able to push for more than the three lap minimum! 

Jeff Marier

Jeff Marier

I have to give my “Best of 2015” to Tough Mudder. I was honestly disappointed in their 2014 event and they came back with not only a better event this year, but they came back swinging with a phenomenal event in 2015. They upgraded their existing obstacles making them a notch harder, added new obstacles that were truly inventive, their festival area was freaking awesome, and some of their obstacles I just couldn’t have done without help–which beckons back to their original identity of being a challenge (not a a race) and emphasizing teamwork. In a small cultish world of OCR, it’s becoming more and more important to establish and assert your identity and Tough Mudder put on a pair of brass knuckles and hit me with a surprise left. I made new friends, grew closer to old ones and when you attempt an obstacle and walk away saying “that was awesome!” even when you’ve failed, you know you’re onto something special (I’ve never heard of anyone giving up on a wreck bag carry only to say “that was cool”). Having a combination of fun (despite failure) and the ability to have a sense of accomplishment afterwards is the sweet spot of OCR and TM nailed it this year.

Matt B. Davis

Matt B. Davis

 

After a ridiculous quantity of races in 2013 and 2014, I made a conscious choice to do fewer races, and to travel on fewer weekends in 2015. I didn’t go to Spartan World Champs in Tahoe, The UltraBeast in Killington, which were “CANT MISS” events I had been to the previous 3 years. I also didn’t go to BattleFrog’s first championship. I have zero regrets and greatly value the time I spent with my wife and kids instead. My favorite race experience this year was BattleFrog BFX in Georgia.

 

Charley Harper

Charley Harper

2015 had a great start. I placed well at a few road races, a couple ultras, and the occasional OCR. I felt strong as the latter half of the year approached. My end goal was to place well within my age group at OCR World Championship. As October came around, I became sick. My body slowly weakened and I ignored it telling me to allow time for rest. By the time OCRWC weekend rolled around, I had strep and developed an acute respiratory infection. Even though I was advised not to race by my doctor due to the weather, I wasn’t going to miss this event. To be honest, I don’t even remember most of the event. I didn’t realize how little I could recall until the next day when I was getting pictures for the team competition and had no idea what the course layout was. I remember briefly running into Jared Campanella and Cody King at Tip of the Spear. I remember the generosity of a couple towards the finish line. It took me over five hours to finish the course, but I did it, and completed every obstacle on the first try. I conquered a lot of fears that day. I’m terribly afraid of heights. I was so out of it, I couldn’t even be afraid. I walked away that weekend disappointed I failed to perform, but happy that I ‘conquered’ my fears. The sting of that weekend has stuck with me. As much as I hate slowing down, I learned that I have to listen to my body. No matter how strong your drive, refusing to respond to what your body needs will end in failure.

OCR Transformations- Allison Dacus

ORM presents the series of stories on OCR Transformations. Runners and athletes whose mind body, and spirit have been altered through obstacle racing.

Over the past year I have asked people to share their stories to the OCR community, their friends, and even perfect strangers. I have asked them to share some “embarrassing” moments in their lives, dig deep in their past, and bring to light their transformations so all of you could read about them. Overall, the feedback of the OCR Transformations series has been very positive and readers seem to really enjoy it.

Asking people to be transparent isn’t always an easy task. I have heard those I’ve written about say things like… “wow, that’s really embarrassing to read” or “this is so amazing it brought me to tears” or even “I’m not where I want to be, I don’t think I am ready to share my story”. The truth is, we have all come from something we weren’t necessarily proud of. That’s the point of this series though, to put the good, bad, and the ugly all out on the table to help inspire others that are going through the same things in their lives. No, we won’t always relate to the person’s story 100% of the time and that’s fine. But maybe, just maybe…you will be able to pull out a tiny bit of the inspiration and motivation that each story offers and it will cause you to find something in yourself you didn’t know existed.

Everyone has been on a different journey and it isn’t easy to put all your cards on the table. You feel venerable, embarrassed, and ashamed even…but then you realize that it is all in the past and your journey isn’t over. That is why I have decided that there is no better time than now for me to share my own story. This is my thank you to all of you who have been so willing to be my “subjects” throughout the year to make this series a success.

HELLO…IT’S ME

I grew up in what was once a small town right outside of Hilton Head Island (these days you can hardly recognize it) called Bluffton, SC. We used to have one lane going on and off the Island and the only McDonalds in town was on the South end of the island, which was a good thirty-minute drive from my house. Kids played freely in the neighborhoods, we rode our bikes (without supervision) to the convenience store, and everyone looked out for one another. Oh and we didn’t have outlet malls!

Sports were one of the only activities we had to keep us busy. Most of us would play every sport the town rec offered until we were old enough to play in Middle School and High School. Softball, baseball, and football were the largest sports in the area. Clearly I wasn’t going to make the football team and I was a definite Tomboy, so cheerleading was out of the picture…softball it was!

Allison Volleyball

I was pretty kick ass at softball up until High School. I was on all of the All-Star teams, always team captain, and very well rounded on the field. However, since Bluffton didn’t have their own High School we had to go to Hilton Head High which was made up of rich kids whose parents could afford lessons and club ball throughout the summer…and thus, my dreams of being a star athlete were quickly crushed. I was good enough to make the JV volleyball and softball teams for my Freshmen and Sophomore year, but once I turned 16 I was off into the workforce!

My parents got divorced when I was eleven. I remember when my friends would talk about their parents getting a divorce and they cried and were sad, but that was honestly the best day of my life. My dad moved down the road within about a mile of my mom’s house…it was the perfect distance so I could escape when things got too tough.

“Hello, my name is Allison and my mother is an alcoholic.”

IN THE BARBIE WORLD

I did my best to understand the situation I was living in, but at 12 years old there really isn’t much to grasp. I began being very hard on myself. I strived for perfection with grades and sports just to make her happy. As a teen, my mom convinced me I was manic-depressive because of my mood swings…when really my mood swings were caused from her (but I believed her and I believed there was something wrong with me).

During my most venerable years as a teen I lived in a reality were I was becoming self-conscious and I had no idea why. Maybe it was the “get that makeup shit off your face”, or the “what do you mean you got a B on that, you could do better”, or maybe just the fact that I literally had to tip-toe around my own home any time after 5:00 p.m. and the entire weekend. No wonder I developed control issues!

As soon as I could get a job, I jumped all over it! I started working every chance I had just to stay out of the house. Senior year Bluffton opened a High School and we were all shipped back over the bridge to finish out our last year (talk about a major uprooting). I kept my grades up, but I did everything I could to just get away from it all. I signed up for work-study so I could leave school at noon as long as I had a job to go to. I had three jobs at one time at age 17.

I still felt like something was always missing. I hated the person I saw in the mirror. I would get frustrated with life and hit myself as “punishment”, I would lose my temper very easily, I would cry…a lot. Until one day, I found a new way to control all of my emotions. I started inserting my finger into the back of my throat until my gag reflux would take over. It started out as pure curiosity just to see what was “purging” all about. Then, I realized…I felt free, I felt like I had control over my own body, and I had found my new escape from reality.

Prom

On top of the bulimia, I bought myself a gym membership and went to the gym every chance I had. I was only 130 pounds to start with, but you can’t tell a teenage girl anything about weight and have her actually listen. When I went shopping for my prom dress, my size 3 fit perfect…until I just stopped eating all together unless I was about to pass out. By the time prom came around, I had quickly become a frail 119 pound version of myself. It still amazes me that my mom didn’t wonder why we had to pin my dress so much. That night was the first night the boys in my school noticed me…I actually got told I was pretty (no wonder teenage girls have poor body perceptions…just a thought).

Fast forward to College when I moved away and came to Aiken, SC. Living on my own allowed me to actually breathe for the first time! I slowly….slowly….stopped hating myself all the time and I was able to find a healthier approach to my diet and not feel the need to purge anymore.

WE GOTTA START MAKING CHANGES

My weight loss journey has been all over the place! There are two significant times I can think of that attribute to my actual “life change” decision to become healthy and stop treating every other week like a new diet fad.

The first scenario was about four years ago. I had already begun my running journey and become pretty lean, but then I bought another ticket to the lazy train and let all my hard work slip away. I was at a point in my life when I started hanging out with a group of friends that all we did was go out and drink, work, and go out again. I had become a mess and was trying to fit in for all the wrong reasons. Reality set in when I took a trip to Scotland that same year. A majority of the trip was spent hiking and walking around castles which were pretty epic. Except one day we went for a hike that kept going up and up with no end in sight. I was struggling so bad to get up this mountain… I couldn’t breathe, I had to stop multiple times, and I literally wanted to turn around and walk back down. After we made it to the top and enjoyed the view for a few moments, the people I was with cracked a joke (meaningless to them, but a dagger in the heart to me) and said, “I thought you would have been able to run up this thing! Maybe too much Haggis on your trip”.

“Ummmm…….”

allison 1

When I got back to the states I realized two things: 1. It wasn’t the Haggis jackass, I had been gaining weight, so there! and 2. I needed to get myself back in shape and fast. So I made the most logical decision and cut out ALL THE MEAT! I also started a blog (for accountability reasons), started running every single day, and leaned my ass back up (went from 148 pounds down to 135 pounds).

WHO RUN THE WORLD

I did a great job of maintaining my “new” self and I even ran some great PR’s during half marathons and 5k events. My workouts consisted of running, spin class, running, light plyometric, oh and did I mention running yet? That was until March of 2014 when my life changed forever…

Allison Running

I had done a local mud run years ago and vowed that I would never do anything like that again! I HATED IT!!! That was until my boyfriend and his crazy ass friends somehow convinced me to run a Spartan Sprint in Charlotte, NC while it was 30 degrees out. I had NO clue… ZERO clue of what I was about to get myself in to. Fear, excitement, vomit, hypothermia, happiness, and satisfaction are just a few words that I can use to describe my experience (no I didn’t vomit or have hypothermia, but I was close to both). I can’t explain what happened that day, but something clicked in me and I needed more of the crack also known as OCR!

Spartan Team

My 2014 race year was a whirlwind of first experiences. I was able to meet the most amazing people from what is known as “the OCR community” and I even traveled to places I wouldn’t have before. I stopped writing my own blog and started working with this dude Matt B. Davis and Obstacle Racing Media (you made heard of him, he’s kind of famous ☺). Even earned some mental scars on Wintergreen Mountain during the Spartan Super (that took me seven hours…yes I said seven). Then the 2014 race season ended and life took over; which leads me to…

ISN’T IT IRONIC

The second scenario of my weight loss journey was when life took over and denial set in. A lot happened at the end of 2014—I bought a house and changed jobs all within 3 months. I knew I had started to let myself go a little especially after the Carolina Beast and Super that October. I’d find myself eating Zaxby’s or Checkers more and use the excuse “it’s fine, I’m active I can burn it off” (yeah if I were Michael Phelps training for the Olympics). Reality really set in this past February when I ran my first half marathon for the 2015 season. My time was incredibly slow (maybe due to lack of training and my new muffin top) and this was the first event that I developed an injury from. For weeks after, I had MAJOR foot pain so I went to the foot doctor thinking I may have fractured something. The doctor couldn’t find anything truly wrong other than, “maybe your shoes or weight gain can cause issues as well”.

“Weight gain…what weight gain sir? Sure I am a little fluffier, but it will be fine it will fall off!” – Denial.

Allison Then and Now

My clothes kept getting tighter and not in a cute way where it was politely tapping me on the shoulder saying, “excuse me ma’am, but I am about to make your life miserable”. It felt like I woke up one morning suffocating in my own body! I wanted to claw out of my own skin. I don’t recall ever looking at myself the way I did during this time. I was sad, I hated the person staring back at me in the mirror, I was confused, I was determined to NOT buy new clothes even though I couldn’t breathe in my dress pants at work, and I was in pure denial! In my mind I was doing everything right when it came to eating and my health. I was meal prepping, eating clean, and working out…or so I thought.

“None of it made sense…twenty pounds? How could I have gained TWENTY freaking pounds in a matter of three months? This can’t happen to me! I am healthy and I’m active, why do I feel like I have a load of bricks in my pocket? Something is wrong with me this isn’t right!” – Denial.

I scheduled a physical with my Physician and convinced him to run blood tests and all. I just knew something was wrong with me that caused my weight gain. All of my results came back nearly perfect (well all except for my weight at 158 pounds and a BMI above the range it should have been). I still wasn’t convinced that “I” was actually the problem. Shit got real one Friday night when I had to tell David our Friday date night was going to be at the ER. I had to leave work early in agony I couldn’t explain in my abdomen and lower back. After six hours and a few crazy tests later I was told I had a bad Kidney infection.

Fit Fam

I had to go back to my Physician for several follow-ups because I kept having Kidney issues or I would pull a muscle at the gym. I HAD IT! I was done getting injured, I was done getting sick, and I was done feeling like a sausage stuffed in casing…DONE!

I finally made an appointment with my Physician in August to get to the bottom of it all. He gave me the reality check that literally everything that was happening to me was directly related to rapid weight gain (I mean I went from 138-140 pounds to 158 pounds in a matter of six months for goodness sakes, there has to be consequences DUH). On that day, the Sheriff (a.k.a my Doctor) laid down the law and set me up with a plan of action!

“Hi my name is Allison and I had caused my own weight gain. I ate healthy, but I ate a lot and I kept telling myself I was active even though my activity level went from 90 to literally nothing. I was responsible.”

THIS GIRL IS ON FIRE

That appointment forever changed my life. I knew I was going to walk in at my next appointment and I was going to show my Doc I was serious and I was determined to make a difference. I cut my portions literally in half and I limited my foods for the day, but I don’t have to count calories. I discovered what a typical day needed to look like for myself in terms of food and I kept at it. My secret weapon: I got my fat ass in the gym and started working out FOR REAL this time!

OCR Trans

My goals and drive to lose the weight and feel normal again really motivated me to find myself again. By mid-October I had reached my healthy weight at 140-142 pounds again and my BMI had gone back down to the “average” goal. The difference in my performance was incredible! I ran the Savage Race in Georgia late September and placed 11th in my age group for the open heat, 16th in my age group for the Atlanta Spartan Super in October, and 12th in my age group at the Carolina Spartan Sprint in November (my Sprint time in March 2015 put me at 87 in my age). Basically, I had been training with a twenty pound “weight vest” on so once I shed that weight I was able to unleash the beast that had been brewing inside of me.

I am still nowhere close to my full potential. To survive a race I still have to do a ton of penalties for monkey bars, rope climbs, and most upper arm obstacles…but I train to my weakness and still make decent time with 90+ burpees on the table. For the upcoming 2016 season I am concentrating on my weaknesses to build them into my strengths. We built an 8’ft wall so I can practice climbing on my own and we are in the process of building a monkey bar set using Olympic rings. Training for the actual obstacles has been the key to a better race day experience. I have a 40lb sand bag I run around my neighborhood with and I am definitely the girl in the corner of the gym sweating to death from 50+ burpees after every workout.

Allison and David

Becoming the person I am today hasn’t been easy. I truly believe that without the struggle, I wouldn’t be able to appreciate and hold on to the good I have in my life. We will always have ups and downs, but OCR has taught me how to adapt to the obstacles thrown in front of me. We are all capable of more than we ever thought possible…you just have to believe in yourself, stop saying “no”, and keep moving forward because there is a feeling of satisfaction waiting for you at the finish line (and so in life as well).

THANK YOU

I know without a doubt that I wouldn’t be the athlete I am today without David pushing me harder each and every event (I probably would have never even signed up for my first event). He kept telling me I could even when I kept yelling I couldn’t…hell the man has even built me a mini obstacle course in our back yard just because I want to get better. For all the times I needed a lift over a wall, or even a running push up a hill I couldn’t thank Monsi and Jeff enough for always being my positive inspiration (and for the occasional ass grabs to keep it interesting ☺). My dad who encourages me to keep chasing my dreams and reminds me that it is okay to be just a little crazy (I get it from him). Also, the constant encouragement from my friends and acquaintances on Social Media keeps me motivated each and every day to be a better version of myself!

CURRENT TRAINING PLAN

This may sound crazy, but I don’t have a “real” training plan. I have had to adapt so much lately to figure out what seems to work for MY body and it has reminded me that everyone’s body does something different. Here is what has seemed to work for me: I eat less fruits (1 banana and a handful of grapes a day), I start each day with oatmeal, for lunch I eat a tuna wrap (everyday, except on the weekends I switch it up with an alternative light option), I may have my grapes or a handful of chips with my wrap (I love chips ☺), and for dinner I make pretty clean meals (I just eat a smaller portion than before, living with a guy causes you to try and eat more). I have started to eat for fuel and not just because I am bored which has made the biggest difference. For my workouts: they are still all over the place because…that’s life. I made a commitment to myself to get at least 5 days of real activity in (whatever that looks like) and I have started using my lunch break for runs just to make sure I don’t find an excuse not to. I am currently working two jobs so finding time for the gym has been a struggle, but I am about to start a half marathon training schedule (I’ll keep you posted on how that goes). When I find a routine that works for me…you will be the first to know. Until then, just follow me on Instagram because each day looks different and I am figuring it out as I go!

Allison Transformation

Follow Allison on Instagram and Facebook!

Episode 154 – Christian Griffith – #liveforaliving

Christian Griffith

Christian Griffith does not do anything quietly or half-assed. When Matt met Christian in 2012, Christian was already living what most consider a “pretty good life”. He had a well paying job at an ad agency in which he could dress how he wanted, and travel to races all over the world on any given week. That was not enough for him and in April of this year, he moved from Atlanta to Jacksonville, FL to go work for GORUCK.

Sounds great right? Still in marketing, but for a gear and event company that pushes people past their comfort zone. Seems like a perfect fit, however, 7 months into that job and he realized he still had a thirst for more. Much more.

On Monday, Christian left GORUCK to start the next chapter of his life.

Listen in and find out how he plans on taking on truly being his hashtag #liveforaliving.

You will also hear his unique opinions on OCR, and what he doesn’t like about Matt.

Today’s show is sponsored by:

Enduring Warrior – Donate $5 to this great cause and be entered to win tons of cool race stuff, gear, etc.

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You can also find this and all past episodes on iTunes and Stitcher or wherever you like to listen.

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Show Notes

Run 100 Miles -Superior Saw Tooth 100 – The blog post that put Christian on the map. This website has a bazillion race reports going back to 2007. So read this one, then read on, you’ll learn a lot and it’s entertaining as hell.

Monster Inside Me – The episode where you can learn about the amoeba that almost killed Christian.

 

Get To Know ORM – Charles Haley Harper III (Charley)

Compassion and Laughing at Fat People on an A-frame.

My father raised me to try my hardest at anything and everything I did. This typically involved being one of the best at anything I attempted. It didn’t matter if it was a video game, debate, trivia, work, or sports, I always strived to be the best. Sometimes I succeeded, sometimes I did not. Compassion was not one of the things we practiced; in competition, there is no room for compassion.

Despite my best efforts, running, is something I’ve always sucked at. I ran cross country in high school and the only time I ever broke a 22:00 5k was because the course was short. Long story short, I developed a very elitist attitude. I was adept at being a top dog. I was promoted very quickly at any job I held, and I ranked top in the nation at any video game I played.
Charles Harper Hardware

After a nasty leg break in 2010, being told I’d never run a mile again, I figured I’d start running. I was slow, still am, but I enjoyed it. I started doing 5ks on the weekend. I’d place in my age group here and there in small fields. My competitive nature kicked in and I started to grind. As I got faster, my elitist nature started to kick in. I started running more and training harder.

On a random weekend in September 2013, the girl I was dating invited me to do Savage Race with her. She had been telling me about doing these mud runs and that I would like it. I told her that if I wanted to spend a lot of money to drink and get dirty, I’d go in the backyard with a twelve pack with a water hose and have it out. A family friend had a bib and wasn’t going to be able to run it due to injury and gave it to me. I figured, why not?

Oh – how I fell in love. It was like the first time a girl runs her hand up your thigh. I was hooked.

I wasn’t great at it, but I knew I could be good. I saw this sport as something I could conquer. I started looking down on others, making fun of those that couldn’t make it over an A-frame, and ridiculing someone who couldn’t even get over the entry wall into the wave. I’ve always been that person. Compassion has never been my strong suit.

I started doing more and more races and scoffing at others. I remember seeing ‘a guy’ with funny glasses at Firebreather Challenge in Woodstock, Georgia. A random person came up beside me at one point and said, “I can’t believe a blind person is doing this.” I thought cool, he can’t see, I’ve got a jacked up leg, same difference, and went on my way.

Blind Pete

Charles Harper BFX
Skip ahead to BattleFrog Atlanta Spring 2015. I was running BFX. I had just finished a lap and decided to drink a couple beers and eat a hamburger. As I was sitting at the BFX tent, a group came around the bend with a gentleman in a wheelchair at Tsunami. I thought, “You’ve got to be kidding me.” I sat there and watched this team work together to build a human rope for the guy to climb to the actual rope, and he made it up alone after that. I can’t pinpoint when it happened, but I think that was it. OCR taught me compassion.

Mudstacle OCR OEW OCR

OCR taught me what an actual adaptive athlete is. OCR has helped me develop a character trait that the world needs more of. It has taught me to respect what challenges some people are facing and the fact they are overcoming them. As much as I love running the elite waves, I enjoy the kick in the feels of someone doing something they never thought they’d accomplish by making it over an obstacle much more. It bleeds over off the course too. It has changed the way I look at people. An elite athlete making it through Sawtooth is nothing new. You want to see what OCR is about? Go by Sawtooth around 2pm when the late open waves are coming through and watch a 240 pound woman pass out before she is willing to let go of that bar. OCR isn’t about the elite. OCR is about the everyday people who are willing to make a change in their life and challenge their existence.

(The blind guy I referenced is Blind Pete. Blind Pete possesses an athletic talent most people could only dream about. If he isn’t your friend on Facebook, you should make him your friend. He is one of the most inspirational people you’ll ever meet.)

Charles Harper Fire Jump