• Back in 2015, I was overwhelmed by stress and a very busy schedule. My health began to suffer.

    I would get short of breath very easily, and I would get dizzy by simply walking through the aisles of the grocery store. I had never gone through anything like that before. In fact, prior to those issues, I would consistently run 5 kilometres in the morning before work and another 5 kilometres at night after work. I was fully energized throughout the day, and I felt amazing. However, that healthy routine and overall wellness was now lost, and I was deeply struggling to get it back.

    Throughout 2016, I made a few changes to my daily routine. I tried to eat healthier, and I was starting to work exercise back into my life. A doctor recommended that I try yoga in order to relax my body. It was helping; I was starting to see and feel some small changes. I was able to struggle through some workout classes, but I still felt very distant from the healthy lifestyle that I had lost. 

    While discussing this with a friend, I was invited to try Spartan SGX Training with Tracy Read at Readiness Fitness. I didn’t give myself a chance to question anything. I immediately agreed to sign up. It wasn’t until I was standing in the gym in January 2017 at the first class that I started to question my sanity. I thought that it was a joke when I was asked if I was going to compete in an actual Spartan race later in the year. The training was intense, but I felt that I needed to push myself to the limit in order to find wellness again. Tracy did a great job of reminding me to go at my own pace; however, she was also there to push and motivate me to reach a higher level. I wouldn’t say that burpees became easier, but I was able to complete more of them during our weekly five-minute test. 

    Our winter session wrapped up, and we started having outdoor classes in the yard in the spring of 2017. I felt so discouraged in that first class working on the obstacles. I was out of breath after the warm up and a short run around the block. I didn’t know how I was going to make it through the rest of the class. I was mentally defeating myself before I even tried. I would hesitate in my mind. My issues from 2015 became internal walls and obstacles, and that made the actual physical obstacles even larger. 

    People would often question why I kept going back. That was an easy answer. Although I was sometimes paralyzed by fear, Tracy has built an amazingly supportive culture made up of dedicated and wonderful people. Everyone supports and motivates each other to be better, and Tracy is there driving us all to overcome whatever stands in our way. I remember the first time that I made it over the tall wall. I was able to push off the wall with my foot and grab the top with my fingertips. I struggled for a few seconds to pull myself up and over. I wasn’t getting very far when I heard Tracy say, “you are going to have to figure out how to get over because you aren’t coming down now.” While I almost tumbled through the fence afterwards, I did make it over that wall. I then used that momentum to make it across the Olympus wall that day too. I was beginning to achieve what I had thought to be impossible. 

    I still have a long way to go. My rope climbing sucks, and the thought of doing burpees still makes me sick. However, Tracy’s support is getting me back to the healthy lifestyle that I thought was long gone. During one of our last sessions of the year, she noticed that I was watching as another person tried to flip the large tractor tire that she had recently added to the yard. She called me over, and she told me that I could do it. I think that I laughed at first, and I started to verbalize the mental walls that were going up. She shut that all down, she wouldn’t take any excuses, and she told me to do it. As I was lifting the tire off the ground, she offered a few motivating tips. I pushed the tire forward, and I watched it fall. The sound of it hitting the gravel echoed in my mind as my mental walls began to crumble down. I would have never tried if Tracy didn’t believe in me first. 

    Thanks to Tracy, I am looking forward to competing in my first Spartan race in 2018. ​

    Aaron S.

    October 2017

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