DEKA. For Time. For Life – Not Looks.

As the medal was placed around my neck yesterday I asked what time I had scored. My line judge Helga said 28:03. I smiled and teared up. My goal was 30 minutes or less so anything lower was a victory in my head. It was my first Spartan DEKA event. I have trained for this type of event for years and yesterday I finally had the chance to put what I’ve learned to the test. On the way home I broke down my race deciding on how I could improve my times going forward.

During the race I was being cheered on by my friend Brian and my other Spartan pals who had just finished their heats. Somewhere in the middle I said to myself “I can’t do this and then looked around and said “THIS is what you train for Kiki. Spartan up and finish!!!” And so I did. I thought of my trainer Nicio screaming in my ear at Boot Camp each week to move faster. He was with me during my first few races and has become part of my inner drive that pushes me to finish everything and never give up. He makes me want to be a better me. A better version of me. A stronger me.

Other programs I’ve been involved in focus on looks. Drop weight so you can look hot. Eat right so you can wear a bathing suit. Eat less sugar to look amazing. Well yeah, that works until you stop doing those things. What about training for life? What about training your mind to keep going so that you can wear a bathing suit all year long. Or most importantly – have the discipline to keep going so that you become the best version of you?

This morning I walked into the gym and my trainer asked me to wear yesterday’s medal for the whole class. I felt silly but he retorted that my bff would need to do a full hour of Burpees if I didn’t. I slipped the medal on and began to work. (Btw…The sound of the Spartan medal clanking is one of my fave sounds.) At the end of class we all posed for a picture. I felt invincible but I also felt inspired. Each person in that class surrounds me each week. We push each other. We all have different goals. No one is a superstar. We just push ourselves and each other to be the best versions of ourselves.

Maybe society is too hung up on pushing for the hottest body or to look perfect. That’s not what life is about. Too much emphasis on this is probably a key factor in young girls growing up with poor self esteem. They are bombarded with visuals that force them to compare themselves to what they consider the ideal female. True beauty is built from within not through a filter on Snapchat.

Building the best version of you takes time. Discipline. A lot of hard work has to happen. Trust me when i tell you that I’m hard on myself. I’m too hard that it’s annoying at times. Sometimes I’m still that young girl who compares herself to what is considered the ideal. I am getting better at letting go of the negative thoughts though. I have serious work to do on that.

I’m the meantime I’ll keep pushing…station by station to become stronger inside and out. Building a stronger mind will lead to a stronger sense of self. Cheering others on will help me to share what I’ve learned. I’m grateful to be on this path. I just wish I had started the walk earlier than I did.

Wishing you all the strength to keep going no matter how many things or obstacles life throws at you. Always remember that you are the only person in charge of you. Improving your time left here is far more important than how we look. Be the best version of you that you can be.