I had a drink with Mel and Adam Curry tonight while on the way home to Newcastle. They had just come out of the shower and looked and smelled far better than I. We were chatting about how tough the course was, how many burpees we had to do and the different fantastic people we met for the first time or ran with for a time.
I spent some time with Adam today, shortly after he busted a couple of his ribs sliding down the mud under barbed wire. He had been spitting a little blood…but it stopped later. I couldn’t help but think what a cool, hard, solid couple these two are, what great role models they are, and I got to talking about my original “Inspiration Vortex” article a while ago. I wrote it, but it was never published.
It was to be about some of those who inspired the shit out of me when I first started obstacle racing Not just the Matty Murphy’s and Deanna Blegg’s, but also people like Mick Sparg, Rin Riz Quis and Charmane Wells, who have each had such heinous shit occur in their lives that you question what kind of sadistic higher power could inflict it. But they are still here, still plugging away. And while running the OCRA and NSW OCRL respective for Mick and Rin, or raising an impressive eldest son for Charmane.
Others like Brendan Ashe, who did Operation Blackhawk with a whole bunch of us, he was maybe 20 kegs overweight, and he didn’t whinge once, in fact he got it done with a smile on his face.
Benny Mulley, the most genuine, straight up and down bloke you’re likely to meet, who shed 40 or 50 kilos because his son Tommy inspired him to do so. He just smashed out a few laps at Obstacle Enduro the other weekend and beat me. Damn him.
And then I spent some time chatting with De after the first Spartan Race, and was even more blown away by not only the trials and tribulations she has faced, but by the serenity and wisdom she has gained from it. She is easily the best person I know to ask for training advice . (Sorry De, everyone will ask you now…)
And then there is Josh Axeford, who I’ve only known a short while. Always ready to lend a helping hand, grab some water, encourage you up the rope. This is the shit that people love about Obstacle Racing. Josh and I did almost the same time. I think he might have beat me actually. Damn him.
The Inspiration Vortex, like that off the wing of a plane, is quite a force. Sure, you need the movement of the wing through the air to create the displacement necessary for a vortex, but once it starts, it becomes a power unto itself.
When you put 5,000 Spartan Racers together, they create the displacement in the air around them necessary to create a vortex. You put them on the toughest course they have ever put together in Australia and get them sweating and swearing and helping each other out, and everywhere you turn, there are inspirations.
Like young Liam who I also met at Enduro, who came 11th on the day today. Inspiration.
Thanks Paul, Max, Sean & crew for that amazing, difficult, fun, very Spartan course today. The hills, the rope climbs, the dead ball throw, the whole thing was brutal. Damn you all.
And all the volunteers. Inspirations.
That, my friends, is why it is called the Inspiration Vortex.