Opinion: Giving it the old Spartan try


I may be getting too old for extreme workouts.

A couple of teacher friends and I “coach” our school’s Spartan Fit Club. We train for Spartan obstacle races: 3 to 4 miles, usually over hills or through mud, always with heavy stuff and high walls. Obviously, this year we’ve been limited in opportunities to showcase our athletic prowess, but occasionally such opportunities present themselves, like this past Saturday.

A certified Spartan coach (yes, you can officially become Gerard Butler-esque!) in Indy hosted a mini-challenge at his gym and a few of my students and I went. He’d set up a 22-station course that included things like balancing on one leg and throwing a weighted “pancake” over your shoulder. It sounded easy! It even looked easy as the first competitors went through. Sure, there was a fairly high rope climb and an intimidating tractor tire flip, but I had confidence. This near 50-year-old mother-of-four Spartan could do it!

And I did. Barely. Literally 3 minutes in, I seriously considered a coronary event. My heart rate was through the roof! But then I decided if I were going to die, I certainly wasn’t going to do it in a warehouse parking lot amid potholes and random amateur athletes.

I pressed on. I fell off a rotating ring contraption and later hit my ankle with a sledgehammer. I nearly stroked out on the sled pull.

That afternoon, after the adrenaline of conquering monkey bars and spear throwing (“This. Is. Sparta!”) had finally worn off, I convinced myself I had COVID-19, the muscle aches and fatigue were so great.

Spartan schmartan. I’m too old for this.

Peace out.