Obstacle course races (OCR) simulate real life. In a race, the obstacles participants face range from crawling under barbed wire to climbing over walls to skill-oriented challenges such as the spear throw. In life, every individual will encounter challenges. Whether it be a developmental delay or getting fired from a job or heartbreak, life will punch you in the face. Each person has a choice. They can allow the negative situation to knock them out cold or they can get off of the mat, rise up and become a better version of themselves. Each obstacle in a race presents a challenge and a choice. Tackle each barrier head on or allow the difficulties, excuses and obstructions conquer the individual. Every person needs to do at least one OCR to give them the confidence to take on all of life’s hardships and come out stronger on the other side. Plus, they’re fun! Who doesn’t want to get muddy and feel a sense of accomplishment?
Each obstacle course racing series offers different distances. Some are three to five miles with 15 – 23 obstacles, others can be as taxing as 28.6 miles and 66 obstacles. This is identical to what a single person will face in life. Some tasks such as learning to recite the alphabet as a preschooler pale in comparison to a couple in the midst of a divorce, however, it’s important to note that depending on where the individual is in life, a terrifying task for one person could be seen as a cakewalk for another. Neither person is better than the other in this instance. They are just at different points in their life or development and based on their attitude towards the hardship, it can be perceived as easy or difficult.
It’s necessary for each person to know their fitness level and where they are on their fitness journey. That’s why the different distances are available. There is one for everyone. That being said, each course will attempt to overwhelm the individual with a physical challenge. But, it’s so much more than that. Akin to life, every obstacle imposes a mental and spiritual aspect. Approach the course with a positive mindset paired with the appropriate physical training and there isn’t anything that person can’t get past. In contrast, come to the course without a sense of belief and it will feel like hell on earth. That’s a key component to the obstacle course of life. Show me an individual with a positive mindset that gives 100 percent effort in their physical training and that person will take that into the rest of their life. A person who constantly floods their mind with negative self-talk will struggle when faced with life’s trials.
Who do you choose to be? The person that compares themselves to others, tries to control every situation and has a low self-esteem and self-image. Or, are you the person that attempts to be the best version of themselves every day, wakes up and says, “I feel terrific, I like myself, I like myself, I like myself,” and approaches every situation with grit, determination, and a can-do attitude? Conquer what you can control and get out there and get muddy!
Cover Photo Credit | By Billie Weiss, Original uploader Rschuman at en.wikipedia – ©2011 Billie Weiss, Transferred from en.wikipedia by Ronhjones, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18320807
Written by Michael Anello