Son: Mom, you know what I want to do this year?
Son: I really want to complete my Trifecta this year.
I think out loud I actually said something like “Really?!? Awesome!! Oh my God I’m so proud of you! We should totally do it!”… In hindsight I may have been just a tad annoyingly over-excited.
Let me back up a step for those of you who are not Spartan race savvy. Spartan races are amazingly fun obstacle course races. You know, the kind where you finish exhausted, covered in mud and feeling absolutely triumphant! The kind where you get under the ice-cold water hose fully dressed (voluntarily and with a great sigh of relief) and just watch the rich brown muck melt off of you until you are left with gritty, somewhat stiff clothing (as in the picture above) that will still require additional soaking before they even come within sight of the washing machine. The Trifecta is an achievement that one earns by finishing Spartan Race Inc.’s three races, the Sprint, the Super, and the Beast (or the Ultra Beast) in a one-year period. And my 14-year-old wanted to complete his! Oh yeah!! It was a seriously proud mommy moment- the kind where you realize you are, in fact, having a positive impact on your children, but it was also a moment of epiphany!
Mom … I really want to complete my Trifecta this year. — Alex
I want to complete my Trifecta. When I heard those nonchalant words come out of my teen’s pizza-eater, the wheels of genius began turning. Such a simple statement, and said so casually, and yet it was one of a series of small statements, little efforts, and tiny decisions that will ultimately shape our family legacy. We won’t just be a homeschooling family. We won’t just be an active family. We will be a Spartan family- nay, we already are a Spartan family! And we are about to take our Spartaness (it’s a word, I Googled it) to the next level.
I am a person of many, many passions. Among two are my love of teaching and of physical activity (of just about any sort). Homeschooling has given me the opportunity to incorporate both into our daily lives. You see, I am not a conventional mom nor learning facilitator. I teach bone and muscle anatomy to the kids primarily via yoga, dance, and strength training. I am always looking for interesting and engaging ways to facilitate learning and so with my children’s growing excitement at participating in Spartan races, I just couldn’t help but think…
How fun and exciting would it be to teach the kids about the world through traveling North America (and who knows, maybe around the world one day) and knocking out Spartan races as a family? That’s a rhetorical question. The answer, of course, is TONS OF FUN!
After a few conversations to nail down everyone’s goals and expectations the planning began… followed by the training and the goal setting and, of course, the budgeting. Alex, our 14-year-old, has been mentioning traveling to Canada so first on his list of possible Spartan race locations was, yes, you guessed it: Canada! If we are able to book it for next year, our first Trifecta will also officially be our first international Spartan experience! Tell me that wouldn’t be so cool…
You know what’s even more exciting?? In going through our planning, which naturally included figuring out next year’s curriculum, I realized I could cover all the core subjects and so much more just with Spartan racing! Let’s see, first there’s History. Yeah, Spartan Race Inc. has that! As do each of the states/countries we will visit on our quest for the coveted Trifecta medals. Then math. Well, if budgeting for and planning no less than three spartan races for a family of seven isn’t math, I really don’t know what is. And the more creative you get, the more complicated the math. Take for example the engineering of Spartan obstacles including angles, size, load bearing, and more. English? Easy peasy! We can journal about our adventures, read books on long car rides and break out the grammar and sentence building sheets to stretch our legs with on pit stops. That’s right, we build sentences with the little ones via running around a bunch of cards on the ground to find all the parts of a sentence. Let’s not forget science. Boy have we got that one in the bag! Physical training and healthy eating are naturally chalk full of essentials such as chemistry, biology, anatomy, physiology, and more!
Beyond just the basics, we have already learned so much from participating in previous races. Spartan races teach hard work throughout the event as well as determination. They teach you about community as you help total strangers over obstacles or accept their help as you struggle at a wall that looms over you. Yes, you learn failure (followed by everyone’s favorite: burpees) and how to persevere in spite of it. And, of course, you learn how to succeed in the long run, through all the mud, sweat, and packs of energy goo. You learn what it means to set a goal and see it through to the end, and when you see people there from various walks of life, including young and old, able bodied and disabled, you learn what it truly means to push beyond limits.
What better way to learn than immersing ourselves into all that it means to be a Spartan?
So here we are on the cusp of our new adventure. We will fall down, and we will pull each other back up. We will fail, and we will start again. We will get it wrong, miss the mark, and make mistakes, but we will learn. There will be pain, there will be tears, there will be gnashing of teeth. Let’s be honest, with 5 children running, climbing, and crawling, there will be blood. But the scrapes will heal and fade and what will be left will be a sense of victory that is indescribable because we will not just have triumphed, we will have triumphed together.
The purpose of this blog is to capture our adventures. We will write blog posts about our training and our trips: the good times and the bad, the highs and the lows. We will share our workouts that we will develop to bridge the gap between the kids, the teens, and the adults. We’ll share our meal plans designed to accommodate picky pallets and varied dietary needs. If we come up with any handy budgeting techniques, and fun curriculum that we use along the way we’ll throw those up here as well. When we fail, we will talk about what happened, what we learned from it, and what we plan to do from there. When we succeed, we will share our successes and share what worked best for us to get us there. We hope you will workout with us, kick bad eating habits and develop healthy ones with us, and who knows, maybe we will see you at a Spartan race or three! It will be no easy feat, but there is no doubt in my mind that it will be worth it!
May the Magee family’s first Spartan [Family] Trifecta be only the beginning!
AROO! AROO! AROO!