What Drives You?

What Drives You?
Presented by Spartan Training®

This past weekend, superstar Serena Williams — winner 39 Grand Slam titles — competed in the Spartan SoCal Sprint, the 2018 season opening event. We had to wonder: What would inspire one of the greatest and most accomplished professional athletes of our time to spend a spare weekend doing an obstacle course race? Not to mention, she gave birth to a baby girl, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., just this past September.

Considering the inspiration that Serena has been to women, and her significant role in redefining the image and message of strength and femininity, we reached out to ask women in the Spartan Race community what inspires them to train for and race OCR events — and ultimately do their own share of inspiring others.

Here's what you've had to say:

I race because it helps me to remember that I can do it! That even though I've always been told I can't, I know I can! Spartan means to me that no matter the feat in front of you it can be overcome as long as you put your heart and soul into it. No feat is unachievable as long as you always tell yourself, "I can and I will!" And remember to always strive for better! ---Jessica Blackburn

I race and train Spartan to set a good example for my kids, to show them if you want something bad enough, the only thing in your way is you, and you can achieve your goals and dreams because anything is possible if you put your mind to it. — Jillian Black-Wiggington

I race and train to prove to myself that any goal I set is attainable. The training might be tough but accomplishing a goal on race day makes every minute of training worth it. Racing also allows me to see how strong I am and to trust the process of every training day I put in to get to race day. — Kelsey Shields

I race because I like to challenge myself and be uncomfortable. Because with every step I take I gain more confidence in myself. And with every failure comes a learning experience which creates a drive to do better the next time. A big part of racing for me, especially Spartan, is the desire to see others succeed. I want to help motivate and inspire them to keep going and not give up. Knowing that I am helping others pushes me to do better! — Molly Bond

I race to feel alive! I don't feel more alive than when I am pushing myself to my limit in training and when crossing that finish line after a challenging race. — Millie James

I race to make sure I’m always pushing myself to be my best. When you see how capable you are on the course it translates into your life. I have gained so much confidence and discipline from racing and it’s made me a better person. That’s also why I love getting other women involved in it; because if they even gain a small amount of what I did it will change their lives as well and that’s a win for me. It’s so empowering for everyone. — Carina Wright

In 2007, my doctor recommended bilateral lower leg amputations due to severe compartment syndrome, yet I dangerously opted instead to have 4 corrective surgeries in effort to save my legs. I was told “you’ll never be an athlete ever again” by doctors, yet I couldn’t accept those words. The mind is such a powerful tool that we have, thus I decided that this wasn’t going to be my ultimate fate. I fought tooth and nail to relearn how to walk, how to run, and in the midst of it all, I found myself. Racing for me is far beyond the physical challenge. The physical obstacles are analogous to the challenges I’ve had to conquer in my life to be able to stand where I am today. My motivation to reach my fitness goals are essentially to see how far I can push myself beyond my limits and defy the mere opinions of others. I feel as though the tribulations in which I've endured allow me the ability to help others tap into the potential within themselves to be the best that they can be, too. No matter what your situation may be, with the right mindset you can overcome it —. Nikki Justice

Spartan Race, nutrition, race day nutrition, what to eat, how to eat

I’m a mother of two children on the autism spectrum. I have also struggled with depression, anxiety, and my weight nearly my entire life. I race to be an example to my children that no matter what they are struggling with, they should never give up. In becoming a more confident and stronger mother, I can be a better advocate for them for what they need. I race for the community I have found through Spartan, I’m always being encouraged and have formed more positive friendships. I race because out there on the course and while I am training, it’s all about continually progressing...I’m constantly discovering new things about myself and creating bigger goals. I race because I can do things at 45 that I didn’t do at 25. And finally I race because all of these things I struggle with, will never get the best of me and I am always finding more reasons to have smile on my face. — Jessica Calhoun

I have two sons and work really hard in every aspect of my life to show them that women are men’s equals and are capable of anything. Growing up I was told woman had a place in the Home, should be thin and soft. I had my boys and discovered Spartan and weight lifting and love being strong, getting dirty, showing my boys anyone can do anything. — Meaghan Kennedy Philip

I race for those who can't. My cousin passed of cancer at the young age of 46 and she introduced me to Spartan in 2013 when we raced in Malibu a cold, muddy, hard one. Ever since I've decided to continue to race and haven't stopped. For those who can't race anymore, for those who are going thru struggles such as cancer, for those who wish to run but can't, I run with my smile on, for them. — Carmencita Crumb

I race and train alongside my husband, and doing so has strengthened our bond and relationship. For every wall he has boosted me over, for every burpee we do together, we realize it really is true what they say, "when you first meet your hearts race, when its meant to be, your hearts race together.”Julie Abbott

Since I started racing in 2014 my training has changed, my lifestyle, my body and specially my mental strength. I love the way Spartan is constantly pushing me to get stronger, keep moving and settling new goals. Even injured, the mental strength has helped me get through tough moments and believe I can overcome this. I’m still on my way to recover from ACL surgery, and my Spartan spirit gets me through every physical therapy session, every painful workout and gives me the confidence that I will get back stronger. Racing Spartan is more than just completing the race for a medal, is a way of living and seeing obstacles in life with a resilient attitude!  — Sol Pastor-Cabrera

I race because I can, after many years of being a spectator thinking i could never do something like this, one day I got the courage with a friend to sign up. It turns out all that time i was wrong. — Elisha Villanueva

I race for my health. To show my seven kids that even at 40 you can do anything. I approach life with a renewed sense of drive . I shed a piece of the old me each time I tackle an obstacle . Spartan has given me back my drive and will to be the best version of me . I have found myself again. — Janelle Richardson

I race and train because it gives me confidence in ways that day to day life can't give me. — Samantha Wishner

I try to train harder than the race to mentally prepare me for anything. I pick races that I might not accomplish. I do this for me to become a better person in all facets in life. Soon, no challenge will be too big. I like to challenge stereotypes about what it means to be a woman - and especially a woman over 40. To me, femininity is power - and that as a woman, my body, mind and soul are capable of truly amazing things. Spartan Race helps me explore my power and push my boundaries. I get to prove to myself and others around me that a woman can be strong, powerful, fast, graceful, and unstoppable. And as a woman over 40, my age is only a barrier if I let it be one...which I don't. I race not only to challenge myself, but help other women of all ages and backgrounds realize that they all have athletic potential that they should explore and see where it takes them! — Robin Legat

Push your body to mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual limits that you never thought were possible. — Kristen Bko

I race and train Spartan because when I was 19, I got really sick and even an everyday task like going to the grocery store would knock me out for the day.  Training is something that not only helps me reach long term goals, but also helps me make better choices on a day to day basis. I have to put my health first if I want to train later - whether it is a month from now or ten years from now! As a fairly small woman, I also find strength and confidence in training and racing, as I have the knowledge that I am strong and capable enough to protect myself, even if I seem little on the outside. I race because the feeling of a strong, healthy body is something I know to be a true blessing, and each medal earned is a signal that not only do you not have to be a victim of a chronic illness, but also a reminder that you must be the one to put in the hard work to achieve more, no one else is going to do it for you. — Taylor Kimiko

I race and train to not only strengthen my body but to also strengthen my mind. Spartan racing not only requires body strength but also a great deal of mental strength as well. No one can ever take back the feeling you achieve after conquering your fears, overcoming your negative thoughts and believing in yourself. — Nan Allen

I race because I can. I race because there was a time when I didn’t know if I’d even live long enough to see today, & who knows what tomorrow brings. I feel so grateful to be pursuing healthy goals surrounded by positive people who want to live their best life, & challenge themselves to see what they’re really made of.  I race because I’ve been given a second chance at a healthy life...I’m not taking that for granted, & I’m never looking back. — Katie Purcell

My age inspires me to do more, be more, give more, love more, race more. Racing keeps me focused on staying active & showing the world that it’s not time to slow down but instead, to get stronger in every way.Alisson Rosales

I race because i want to inspire others. There’s nothing more rewarding than completing something so mentally and physically challenging . I want more individuals to push their mind, body, and spirit to accomplish the glory i have while racing for Spartan. — Kiley Koenig

Commit in 2018. Download The Spartan 2018 Race Schedule. as your blueprint. #noexcuses