Anthony Bourdain has passed away.
We’d like to take a minute to celebrate the man, his mission, and to let you know we thought he was a Spartan at heart, even if we never had the privilege to have him at one of our events.
Why? We think he shared Spartan values.
How so? Well, first off, he asked people to push their boundaries and question the norms that have always been force fed to them. Secondly, he wanted people to think globally. Finally, he did this all while being a simple, down-to-Earth guy without pretension or condescension, as all Spartans in an expert position should be when teaching a newcomer.
He Pushed Himself (And Us)
Bourdain wasn’t afraid to try new things. He made it his mission. He knew a thing or two about comfort zones and constantly pushed the boundaries of them.
From cobra heart to seal eyes, Boudain was not afraid to try something new. Don’t believe us? Here is a quick list of some of the craziest things he’s eaten.
Here was a man who, if fitness was his thing, wouldn’t be afraid to try a new obstacle or a new race distance. Here was a man who would attempt what was previously unknown to himself.
He went after precisely what makes people uncomfortable and made it his home domain. Just like any Spartan should.
He Thought Globally
It’s a small world, yes, but there is amazing richness and diversity to be found within it. Boudain was a globetrotter as all Spartans should be.
He knew that the human experience wasn’t to be found only in one’s hometown. So he went out to meet new people in new places. He knew there were parts unknown to himself, and to his viewers, so he went there.
We think that is damn Spartan.
Bourdain showed us that food was a global language. In our Food of the Week, we believe this as well. We, in our modest way, hope that we expose you to foods you might never have experienced before. It might not be as crazy as seal eyes, but maybe we can expose you to quinoa from the Andes and mangos from the Indian subcontinent.
Additionally, Spartan, if you don’t know, is a global company. We want our racers to come from every corner of the world. We also want our racers to visit every corner of the world. We are a global community no matter if you come from parts unknown.
We aim to provide races that might lead you into the previously unknown and make it known.
He Was a Good Teacher
In 2013, Boudain won a Peabody Award. The judges honored Bourdain and "Parts Unknown" for "expanding our palates and horizons in equal measure."
"He's irreverent, honest, curious, never condescending, never obsequious," the judges said. "People open up to him and, in doing so, often reveal more about their hometowns or homelands than a traditional reporter could hope to document."
With our mission to rip people off the couch and out of their comfort zones, Spartan aims to do it without pretension. We don’t think of ourselves as gurus leading followers. We hope to inspire peers to come and join us by providing events available to all. We hope to provide fitness and nutrition content that is down-to-earth and easy to apprehend. And, enjoyable. Bourdain was a master of this.
His style was Spartan. He was not the type of person to always be happy and positive and love everything he did. He wasn't all fluff. He could be negative, but he always had a thirst for knowledge. He asked to hear stories based on the simplicity of "who are you, what do you do, what do you like to eat?" He wanted to get to the meat of the issue, not dance around it. We admired that, and hope to do the same when we search for information on fitness and nutrition.
Part of the Spartan Code is to learn continuously. We feel Boudain asked his viewers to do this each week in a way we found inspirational.
And, finally, like Boudain, we know that the community is the best teacher. We hope that we can give the spotlight to our readers and viewers, as that is always the best way for us to tell the Spartan story.
Boudain had never done a Spartan Race. We wish he had. He had the spirit we think would get him to the finish line. He had the personality we think would shine in our community. We’ll miss him.
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