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Spartan Race Montreal: The making of a senior spartan

Chad Ronalds is preparing for a Spartan Race in Montreal this summer. You can read each installment in his journey by clicking here.

So here we are, a brand new year, full of hope and promise, unblemished as is only possible at this early juncture, time to make some new habits. But who has the time?

Chad Ronalds at the gym. (Photo: Caroline Ronalds)

Chad Ronalds at the gym. (Photo: Caroline Ronalds)

I have a list – longer than I really care to consider – of tasks to tackle: a new job (with its own lists), ongoing commitments to my other jobs, and that’s without mentioning the ongoing responsibilities of being the father of four amazing daughters!

So amazing in fact that my eldest and her roommates have decided to sign themselves and yours truly up for something called a Spartan Race. Five kilometers of devilish obstacles including mud, barbed wire, 16 foot rope climb, monkey bars (of rope no less), rock carrying, spear throwing, tire dragging, wall climbing and jumping through fire among multiple other insane feats!

Now I’m pretty sure my daughter loves me and means well but I should mention that I am 55 years old, at least 25lbs overweight and haven’t seen the inside of a gym in more than five years. Oh, I like to consider myself to be in reasonably good shape for my age; I play softball in the summer and bowl in winter, but a Spartan Race?!

Hence the start of some serious training last week, at least serious in intent if not content. I have learned from past experience that starting too fast or hard does not make for better training. Day 1 of 27 weeks of training began with a light warm-up followed by four lower body exercises, one back exercise, 20 minutes of light cardio and a cool down/stretching to finish. All of which took approximately one hour of actual time and three hours of mental preparation!

The mental prep time was necessary to overcome the inertia caused by more than five years of not going to the gym, a situation that was itself partly due to having custody of those four daughters. After all, the start of a new year is as good a time for new habits as any and this one might just help me survive this Spartan Race.

The race takes place at Owl’s Head in the Eastern Townships in July, which leaves me a few months to prepare. I’d like you to join me on this journey. Keep watching this space or sign up for email alerts in the box directly below the picture at top right.

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