An Interview with Self-Acceptance Advocate Brandee J By Guest Writer Emma Medeiros FabUplus Magazine:…Read More →
Svingen-Jones A FabUplus Maniac!
WHAT WAS I THINKING!!!
Those words echoed through my mind over and over again as I ran from obstacle to obstacle. I am not supposed to be here.. I am not supposed to be doing this.. but indeed I was there, and Indeed I was doing it, and it felt AMAZING!!
How did the decision to run the Rugged Maniac obstacle race come about?
It came across my facebook feed.. I remember the day as if it was yesterday, I saw the race, looked at the 25 obstacles and said aloud to my husband “this looks like fun”. Knowing full well I had no intention of ever running such a crazy race. But it did look like fun. All of the participants were smiling as they trudged through the muck, holding hands and cheering.. but I honestly could never imagine myself hauling my 250lb body over fences, and under tunnels.. it just wasn’t going to happen, I was too big.
Then it happened.. my wonderful husband came across a groupon for the race 50% off and he sent it to me.. “look hunny it is that race that you saw, it is on sale, did you want to do it?” And there is was, the challenge was laid out before me.. if I said no, he would know that I had no intention of ever running the race in the first place, and if I said yes, then I would have to do it.. so I did what everyone else would do.. I caved and accepted the challenge. I replied hesitantly with a “sure”. I had 3 months to train for it, I was running 20 – 23 kilometers a week, so why the heck not..
How did you go about preparing yourself and what did you do to train?
Well, I didn’t really know where to start, I am very intimidated in a public gym, so I did what every other good intentioned athlete does.. I hit Google and searched up obstacle course training plans…well, was I in for a shock.. the training plans looked almost worse than the race itself!! Everything from push ups to chin ups to burbee’s and more was the training plan.. Did they not know I am plus sized.. hello, there is no WAY I could do the training plan.. then how the heck could I do the race?
How did you feel leading up to the race?
Well, after searching up the training plans, I began to panic and fear set in. It is funny how when we are faced with challenges in our lives that fear comes creeping in, trying to scare us into not moving forward. So I came up with plenty of reasons why I couldn’t do it, when deep down, I wanted to try. So fear became my motivator, and I created a training plan that I could do that involved a little bit of cross training.
How did you feel come race day?
AMAZING…. there are no other words to describe it simply amazing. Sure I was nervous when I first started, mostly because of my size, but once I got there and I saw that there were several other plus sized athletes that were there as well, I began to feel a bit more comfortable.
During the race, I was filled with adrenaline and confidence, I really don’t know where it came from, but it came, and as I looked around, I saw many people who were half my size that could not do some of the obstacles that I was able to do. And there were some obstacles that I was not able to do those people half my size were able to do.. so it then didn’t become about my size, it became about my own endurance.
How do you think this race changed you as a person?
This race changed the way I viewed myself and my abilities. I am always thinking about things that I can’t do because of my weight and my size, but the truth is that you can do anything that you set your mind to, and my weight is not an obstacle for me.
What advice do you have for anyone who is thinking of entering an obstacle race?
Just do it!! First and foremost, don’t compare yourself to others. There will always be someone faster, fitter, stronger, this is not a race against anyone else, it is a challenge for you. Do your best, try your hardest, and you will not be disappointed.