It’s crazy that 2021 is already coming to a close. I thought we would never even get through 2020, and here we are nearly two years later. As I look back on this last year, there are so many things I’m proud of. From another killer Spartan Games to the amazing World Championship on the dunes of Abu Dhabi, the team at Spartan has continued to crush it. We were able to get races back up and running, and keep our most dedicated community feeling connected with the new addition of Spartan+.
We have finally found our footing again, and damn, it feels good. And so, we look to next year with eyes wide open. Here are the things that I’m most excited about in 2022.
What Is Spartan's CEO Excited About for 2022?
1. Getting Outside More Often
Even though we slid back into some sort of normal in 2021, it wasn’t 100%. This year was filled with meetings, more meetings, and even more meetings. Getting races back on, building up the brand, and reminding the rest of the world that races are safe took time, energy, and a shitload of indoor meetings. I am desperate for more outside time. I plan to make 2022 an 80:20 year: 80% of my time will be spent outside, and only 20% inside. Think I can do it?
2. A New Spartan Office in Orlando
You didn’t know that Spartan Disney was a thing? Well, that’s because it’s not. But we absolutely are opening an office in Orlando. Boston is great and all, but we need to grow. There are a lot of things that I’m looking to do in 2022. And in order to get shit done, we’ve got to pivot and create space for some new innovators and creators. So watch out Florida — here we come!
3. Watching the Kids Grow
Writing my new book, 10 Rules for Resilience: Mental Toughness for Families, was a huge endeavor. Dr. Lara Pence, Spartan's Chief Mind Doc, and I worked on it for nearly three years and the process was eye-opening. It really made me think about the type of parent that I want to be, and how much longer I have to be hands on and make an impact (which isn’t much). Watching Jack, Charlie, Catherine, and Alex grow each year is incredible, but time flies. I really want to spend this next year dialing in with more intention.
4. Opening up the Spartan Trail World Circuit
Trail races are growing exponentially, and I am so excited that we jumped on that train to ensure that Spartan was creating space for die-hard trail racers. In 2022, we are opening up that circuit all over the world. It’s going to be unbelievable. Now, trail runners from every corner of the globe will be able to experience what Spartan has to offer. You know I’m all about transforming lives, so the more events we can create to do so, the better.
5. Building an Even Stronger and More Fierce Team
It’s true. We lost some incredible members of the Spartan team in 2021. It’s not easy when incredible talent leaves, but I’m all about looking forward. With a new office in Orlando and calls for less remote work, I am super excited to see who comes in and what we will create together. I believe that new minds bring new ideas, and new ideas bring more transformation. So let’s do this!
6. More of the Same
While I am super excited for all of the new things that we’ve got going on, there’s nothing quite like our classic Trifecta of races: Sprint, Super, and Beast. Every time I go to a race and see the enthusiasm for what we’ve already built, I am so inspired. Many of the racers are first-timers, and watching them claw their way through the Barbed Wire Crawl and struggle up the Rope Climb is so awesome. Different is always important, but sometimes the same is still so f****** cool.
7. Helping Others and Changing Lives
The mission: 100 million lives. Each year we get closer and closer, but we haven’t hit that mark yet. I’m determined. I set that as a goal because I knew that it would push me to keep developing races, maintaining momentum, and committing to the brand, even when it got painfully tough. With each and every race that we put on — whether it’s a Sprint, Ultra, or Trail — we have a chance to change a life. That’s the best fuel on the planet.
8. Opening Again in 45 Countries
Even though we were able to open up more races in 2021, we weren’t able to get every single one back up and running. COVID restrictions and fears of transmission still created a massive barrier in some countries. I know that we aren’t completely over the hump yet, but I have tons of hope for the year to come. I want starting lines packed and registrations to sell out. You with me?
9. Growing Spartan+
We launched Spartan+ this past year as a way to keep our most dedicated and loyal community connected. We offered some pretty incredible merchandise discounts, VIP benefits, and a full blown racer stats library. But I want it to be even more. We are drumming up some pretty amazing things for Spartan+, so be on the lookout for even more awesome opportunities.
10. What I Don’t Know
One of the best parts of starting a year is not knowing exactly how it’s all going to go. The truth is, I have my schedule booked out pretty far in advance, but anything can happen and I love that. I have no doubt that there will be things that happen in 2022 that I have no idea are going to happen right now. I know that — for many people — uncertainty is scary, but it’s exciting to me. Because with every possible thing that could go wrong, there is also something that could go so right.