5 Reasons You Must Succeed in Obstacle Course Racing

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5 reasons

“Must?” That’s powerful language. Our culture doesn’t respond well to absolutes and social imperatives, however since OCR is God’s favorite sport and his greatest gift to humanity since spiced rum and Southern fried chicken, it behooves us to maximize our potential in the sport. Here are a few reasons why.

1) We Need More Heroes

The world of OCR currently resides in a strange and fascinating place, something akin to a pre-pubescent teen: old enough to spot the potential of greatness, but young enough to remain victim to awkwardness, strange growth patterns, and dubious social practices.

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It is here in the nursery of innovation and excitement that new heroes rise. We are still too young for the major controversies and social disappointments which plague mainstream, legacy sports. Like an indie band with a hit single on a major film, OCR is still cult cool, yet mainstream acceptable, which means we are currently producing the Muhammad Ali’s, Babe Ruth’s, Jim Thorpe’s, and Pele’s of OCR which will inspire generations to come, all before money, drugs, scandals, and abuses sully the game.

We need these heroes. Those little monsters ripping through the “kids’ races” at every weekend event are looking up to you right now. Will you be their hero, someone they’ll trade stories and stats with friends? Who will you inspire?

2) Our Nation is Dying. Be the Resurrection

Obesity, diabetes, heart disease, lethargy. Look around. Nearly 2/3 of Americans are overweight and many of the diseases which plague us stem from or are influenced by poor weight management. We are a virtual walking dead, because we have forgotten our primal roots as a species, roots grounded in exploration, physical and mental prowess, and an indomitable will.

Obstacle Course Racing is attractive because it is an alarm screaming within us to rise again. If you are reading this post then consider this the cock’s crow, the buzzer on the nightstand to wake from the slumber of physical, mental, emotional apathy and create an epic life. Do not take your human birthright for granted. You are a member of the most powerful species on the planet and you’re planning to spend your day playing phone apps, eating cheese puffs, and otherwise dry-humping your way through existence?

Humanity moved on foot across continents, hunted big game with rocks and spears, faced down big predators, survived an Ice Age, and landed on the effing Moon. If you’re making excuses, you’re not the solution. Chose your legacy.

3) Because OCR Makes Better Families

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I’m not saying your family sucks if OCR isn’t part of its dynamic, but if I were to shake a Magic 8-Ball on the issue, the outlook might not be so good. Sounds harsh, but life simply doesn’t care about our feelings toward reality. Truth is, families that share a unique communal passion and/or tradition form tighter bonds and establish healthy social foundations which echo into posterity.

OCR is brilliant because the sport embraces the raw and savage energy of children in the form of kids’ races, while unleashing the latent, pent-up primal urges of adults typically smothered by the daily grind of modern life, all on the same weekend. In other words, mom, dad, and the kids share hours of fighting for inch after inch of glory, all while accumulating scars and stories that will last a lifetime. And speaking of things that last a lifetime…

4) Success at OCR Creates a Fitness Lifestyle

I began Obstacle Course Racing in September of 2014 and now eat, sleep, and train every day, because it’s more satisfying to train for a sport than to exercise for the sake of fitness. Everyone in my family thought I was crazy as I flipped logs, climbed ropes, tossed stones, ran in the rain, heat, and cold, but now my wife and children have all participated in a mud run and have seen the light.

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You want to be successful at OCR regardless of your personal goals, and those personal goals translate into positive influence on the people in your life. They see your passion, your triumphs, your results, your joy. It’s a glorious intoxication of endorphins without the hangover and no age restriction.

Maybe your kid doesn’t like baseball, jazz, or soccer, but every kid loves to climb, jump, crawl, and splash in mud. It’s called being a kid, we just made a sport out of it and called it OCR. Being a success at OCR means awakening your inner child and drawing the people you care about into a healthy lifestyle, because everyone wants the maximum experience of each race, and that means being fit enough to tackle all obstacles on the course whether you’re 5 or 105.

5) Because We Need Worthy Opponents

For many the goal is crossing the finish line, perhaps as an individual or a group, each with their own motives and challenges. The OCR community is a tight group of individuals which support one another in their endeavors, and that’s a great credit to our sport, however for me, our friendship ends where the START line begins.

 

Every exercise I perform, every mile I run, each drop of sweat I offer on my knees in exhaustion, every calorie that enters my body is a meticulous calculation in service of a singular goal: becoming a champion in OCR. That means I have no friends on the course, regardless of who we were before toeing the line, and that’s exactly why OCR needs you to succeed.

Life is a struggle toward ever-higher peaks of improvement, so we must always strive and raise the bar. Success does not necessarily mean “elite.” It means setting goals which challenge you toward greater heights. Your effort and success today raises the bar for others and creates greater champions tomorrow. I’m not the best OCR athlete, but I’m slowly hunting them down. I’m a young lion, hunkered down in the field, watching the alpha, waiting for my chance, and when it arrives I won’t hesitate to deal a fatal blow.

Champions and heroes are only as mighty as the sum of their fallen foes, so whether we supply the bones for our victor’s throne or become the champion, we owe our most valiant efforts in training and performing in the name of OCR. Is it prideful to say that I’m hunting those who sit upon the podium thrones? No, it’s simply the truth, because otherwise what’s the point? I only hope that once I stand triumphant over the ruin of my honored foes, that another might one day rise and challenge me, and with my defeat add my bones to the beautiful, ever-growing scaffolding of OCR glory.

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