A Spartan’s Guide to Going Home for the Holidays

Aroo! I’ve got my Spartan-themed [insert whatever holiday floats your boat this time of year here] decorations up and I am psyched for an EPIC holiday season! (To be honest, I put them up the day after Halloween because that was my last #RestDay).

However, as we Spartans migrate home this season to celebrate with family and friends keep in mind that there are some “Don’ts” a thoughtful Spartan should avoid after he or she has sucked down a couple of Michelob Ultra-lights and is feeling cozy in the den.

DO NOT give your family a play-by-play account or (god forbid) force them to watch nauseatingly shaky GoPro footage of all your races, or any of your races, or even of any single obstacle! They don’t care and they don’t understand. You’ll end up feeling hurt and misunderstood.

misfit toys

DO NOT bore them to death with “Your 2016 Trifecta Plan” and the logistics of how it will involve volunteering in six different time zones and skipping the rent for a month so you can earn three identical medals with slightly different color schemes!


DO NOT overdo it on the race pictures! Yes, Aunt Emma will have her three albums of cat pics and cousin Bob is gonna show you those amazing snaps from his latest fishing expedition, but that doesn’t mean you should try and trump them with multiple different angles of you jumping over a Duraflame. Trust me, they already hit the “Like” button in passing as they hurriedly scrolled past them in your newsfeed.


Your mother spent 15 hours last night before you arrived meticulously decorating the family tree, following a particular pattern passed down from generation to generation. She does not want your help.

spartan race tree

I don’t care how many posts you’ve seen on SNE, burpees in the mall are never appropriate during holiday shopping.


I get it. Uncle Bobby could stand to “lose a few,” but it’s the holidays so if he wants have another slice of double-blueberry cheesecake with a super-sized scoop of ice cream let him do with without your input on number of burpees that it would take to burn it off. In fact, avoid these terms completely: Macros, Carbs, Glutens and most especially: PALEO!

i dont even see food

This is never an acceptable Christmas gift:



Instead, here are a list of some topics to bring up that will ensure your holidays with the family will be more interesting and fun for everybody than your endless humble-bragging:

  • The upcoming Presidential Election.
  • Your “Life Plan” to open a Crossfit box with a loan from Grandpa.
  • The situation in the Middle East.
  • What an asshole your ex is.

Happy Holidays! Aroo!


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Dave Kalal

Dave Kalal has a doctorate in clinical psychology and has worked in the field for over 20 years. He has harbored a life-long passion for science, with an emphasis on scientific skepticism. Dave has been an avid rock climber since 1999. In 2010 he completed his first Spartan Race and since has gone on to ultra running and endurance events, including the Spartan UltraBeast and FYA Survival Runs. Currently he races with Team Vita OCR.
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