Review: Spartan Up! + Biggest Giveaway Yet!!

As part of my partnership with Spartan Races, I was provided a free copy of Joe De Sena’s “Spartan Up! A Take-No-Prisoners Guide to Overcoming Obstacles and Achieving Peak Performance in Life.”   All expressed opinions are entirely my own.

Tune in to the 2014 Spartan Race World Championship Race, held in Killington, VT on September 20th, broadcast on NBC 11/16 3PM EST!!!

When Spartan Races approached me about reviewing Joe De Sena’s (Founder of Spartan Races) new book, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Admittedly, initially, I was concerned that this book might include an egocentric trip through the mind of a very successful and athletic guy.  A little judge-y, on my part?!

In actuality, however, this book is an inspiring synopsis of how each and every one of us, despite our current physical and mental shape, can “Spartan Up!” and challenge ourselves to face our next obstacle – whatever that might be.  In fact, within the book, Joe repeatedly discusses how he was rejected  by Cornell University three times before he was formally accepted, and graduated from the school.

Throughout the book, there is a common theme of relativity that explains how an obstacle may be more challenging for one person than it is for another.  As Joe says, “By the time I did my first Ironman, I had already completed eight ten-day races, so the Ironman felt like a warm-up to me…. In contrast, if the most strenuous thing I had ever done was walking to and from the supermarket a quarter of a mile away, an Ironman would have posed an unbelievably imposing obstacle.  I was not a natural athlete by any stretch, and I never thought I could do an Ironman when I first heard of one.  But after doing these multiday adventure races, I knew I could.  It all depends on your frame of reference.”

As the book explains, the Spartan Races were born out of a very challenging and military-style Death Race that Joe originally founded with his friend and fellow adventure-enthusiast, Andy Weinberg.  There are varying race lengths, starting from 3-miles to 20+, that include various obstacles and challenges, such as burpees, rope climbs, and greased monkey bars.

In Spartan Up!, Joe explains the purpose behind the race obstacles and how life is full of natural ones.  “In scientific terms, it is the ability to avoid the fight-or-flight response to a situation, to remain calm and able to think clearly.  This quality is borne of the kind of preparation that prevents the individual from getting stressed out by unfamiliar obstacles…. Preparing for the unexpected is easy.  You just need to do the unexpected.  Break out of your routine.  Go for a run at night.  Swim in the open water.  Stop and climb a hill in the distance.  Go farther during that bike ride.”

** Ultimately, Spartan Up! is an easy and motivational read that leaves you wanting to challenge yourself more.  The book contains stories ranging from Olympic athletes to 400-pound individuals taking on the obstacles in front of them – whether that’s a week-long Iditarod race or a walk around the block.  Joe provides an inspiring narrative about how each of us can face life head-on and push ourselves to be better, smarter and stronger individuals, embracing the true embodiment of the Spartan spirit.

We wanted to surround ourselves with people who inspire us.  The people who inspire us the most are those who don’t waver, don’t quit, don’t take shortcuts, and don’t fall short.  Each of us can be one of those people if we choose to be.  Sacrifice time now for more time later. -Andy Weinberg

BIGGEST GIVEAWAY YET – ENTRIES DUE BY MIDNIGHT EST 9/22.

1. Spartan Races is giving away a free cruise to Stirrup Cay, Bahamas!  Win it! Enter here.

cruise

2. Win a free entry to any Spartan Sprint Race.  Enter in the giveaway widget below.  The winner will be announced on Crossroads of the Heart on Friday September 25th!

Trophy
Your Entries
0
Total Entries
3
Days Left
2

3. 10% off any Spartan Race in the continental US.  Use promo code: SPARTANBLOGGER

Related articles

Review: The Last Lecture

2014 Book Challenge!

My 2014 Word of the Year is…

8 Things I Learned in July

Oops!  I’ve been gone from this blog for a little while.  But, hey, at least I am back with good news??  That’s right, folks.  I’m in the middle of birthday week!  It’s only the most fabulous week of the entire year – of which, I jam the most celebrations humanely possible into 7+ days  before laying dormant for the remaining 51 weeks.

The bad news is that I don’t have much to say today.  But, I figured I should pop on over here and get some of the writing cobwebs out before I go absolutely nuts-o’s from pent up word frustration.  Therefore, I decided it was a good time to link up with Emily’s Things I Learned post, especially since she is also returning from a little writing vacation.

In July, I learned that:

1.  There is this weird eclectic festival held in the Midwest each year where people camp out for four days, don face paint, opt for frequent nudity and ‘bond like family’ often with alcohol and drug paraphernalia in hand.  I’m not sure why I find this so fascinating to learn about besides confirming that there really is another person out there for everyone.

Source: The Daily Beast

2. Garth Brooks has (had?) an alter ego by the name of Chris Gaines, which was conceptualized as a creative outlet for Garth’s rock and roll side.  Nothing ever came of Gaines, but I find the whole thing and Garth’s disguise a little creepy.

3. Not writing for almost two weeks makes you question if you will ever write again.  Like, is this just writer’s block or am I losing it?  Let’s hope it’s the former!

4.The  Omnivore’s Dilemma is really long and intense.  I am liking it a lot, but I am definitely going to miss the end of July due date, folks!

5. Flowers from a boy are very nice :)

6. Even though 75 degrees used to scream summer when I lived in Cleveland, it now feels like fall weather to me.

7. After non-intentionally avoiding beef for six weeks, I become sick from eating it.  Awesome.  Another food item to cross off the ‘I can eat that’ list. 

8. Seasonal artists  in France went on a nude strike this month to fight for improved pay and insurance benefits. This article reports on the “ballsiness” of the demonstrators.  I find the word usage downright hilarious.  Mais Monsieur, what will we ever do without our artistes?!