The Spartan community is notorious for unifying the world's toughest, grittiest, most determined individuals. In the Toughest People We Know, we're highlighting warriors from all walks of life who have truly championed what it means to be a Spartan, courageously overcoming harrowing moments of doubt, conquering life's seemingly insurmountable obstacles, and consistently setting a positive example for those around them. These are their stories.
These Are the Toughest People We Know
At a point when she described herself as "extremely, morbidly obese," Heaven Colon tried out for The Biggest Loser, but didn't make the cut. (She also described herself as "paralyzed, homeless, and down on [her] luck" at this incredibly low period.) Determined to change her life, she instead signed up for a 2014 Spartan race at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, which — at the time — occurred in partnership with the popular weight-loss television show, and was a Biggest Loser Run/Walk Challenge. It took her five hours to complete, but that race showed Colon that pushing through Spartan races was truly all that she needed to finally accomplish her goals.
Two years later, at a weight of over 370 pounds, she unfortunately failed one particular course to the point of having to be carried away. A period of hopelessness followed, but bariatric surgery soon became the first step in Colon's extreme weight loss journey, in which she used Spartan to show herself her own strength.
Today, Colon has lost over 200 pounds and continues to not only crush it out on the course several times a year, but to inspire everyone else along the way as well.
Show your support for Colon's transformation and dedication on our Instagram now to encourage her — and others like her — to keep pushing and changing lives.
Founder of Live for a Living, Christian Griffith has always been attracted to things that challenge him. Despite enduring a significant amount of sexual assault as a young child, Griffith has gone on to build one of the most decorated and impressive endurance race resumes that we've ever seen, supported by his statement that "sexual abuse does not define me, it fuels me."
If he looks familiar, you've probably seen this fitness chameleon on TV at some point in the past decade. Not only has Griffith completed over 20 obstacle course races (including Spartan Beasts and earning a 50-miler bib at our 2016 World's Toughest Mudder) and qualified for the 2022 Spartan DEKA World Championship, but he has also made appearances (and been successful) on several endurance- and adventure-based television shows, including NBC's American Ninja Warrior (2017), the History Channel's The Selection: Special Operations Experiment (2017), and Monsters Inside Me (2015) on Discovery's Animal Planet.
Drawing on his own experiences as a survivor and a fighter, this warrior has even completed some of the most insane physical feats of which you've ever heard. In addition to finishing his initiative, Help For Children's Run2Heal, where he ran 3,140 miles from New York to San Francisco in 2018 — the distance of nearly 120 marathons in under 160 days — to raise awareness on behalf of child abuse, here are some of the Herculean feats Griffith has tackled throughout his life:
- Over 100 marathon/ultramarathon races, six 100-mile races, and eight 50-mile races.
- Nicaragua's Fuego Y Agua 100K Trail Race
- Survival Run Australia (2015)
- The 360K Sea 2 Sea (one of Red Bull's top-nine most difficult adventure races)
Show your support for Griffith's determination and activism on our Instagram now to encourage him — and others like him — to keep pushing and changing lives.