We asked the mothers in our Spartan Race Brand Ambassador program to explain how they juggle the pressures of Spartan and the duties of parenthood. What they told us made one thing very clear: Spartan moms are amazing! Here’s a sampling.
Jennifer Wade Dufresne
My girls love seeing me train for Spartan. Being an obstacle course racer has helped me adapt to unexpected circumstances both on and off course. In the same manner I approach obstacles on course, I am much more practical and calm when resolving issues at home or with kids.
I need to be flexible, so most of my training equipment is at home. My kids see me hanging, carrying, and running all over. They are inspired to try all kinds of things that I never had the opportunity to try at their age.
Words to describe a Spartan mom? Patient, adaptable, strong!
Vanessa Lynn Campos
My boys are my reason, and have never been an excuse. I train and race and compete to show them that mom can be a badass too! My boys have both been doing Junior Spartans since they were 5 and they love to train. I don’t see it as juggling or a struggle because it’s just our way.
Being a Spartan helps me be a better mom, and being a mom makes me a better Spartan. There are always unknown obstacles I need to navigate with my kids. We know it’s not what happens to us, but how we deal with it that matters most.
Knowing we can do hard things is so empowering. I love having my kids ask if they can exercise with me and then watch them push to do hard things. There’s also nothing like hearing “Go Mom” while running a race!
Jill Bronson Griffiths
I won’t sugarcoat it: Being a Spartan Mom is hard! I train hard. I spend a lot of time in the gym and running. Most of my training is in the early hours before my kids are even awake. But to maintain balance, and make sure I have the energy to be a good mom, I get myself to bed early and eat well.
Balance is super important to me as a mom, and I don’t think there’s anything better then showing my three favorite people that sacrificing to be strong and healthy is worth it!
Being a mom is honestly one of the hardest things I have ever done. But I’m 100 percent invested! And I wouldn’t change it for the world. And, being a Spartan mom gives them some pretty cool bragging rights at school.
Jennifer Yeargain Fisher
I am the mom of three young men. I have:
- Changed more than 21,000 diapers
- Slept in 2- to 3-hour increments for three to four years of my life
- Jumped in clothed to rescue near-drownings on three separate occasions
- Stomached countless roller coasters with a smile despite serious motion sickness
- Camped and slept on the ground when I could have been in a bed with feather duvet
- Cleaned up vomit from beds and cars and off walls
- Attended to injuries when I wanted to faint
- Prepared and served at least 32,000 plates of food
- Endured endless stress and self-inflicted worry in this parental endurance race with no defined finish line
I know, at least secretly, that I’m a role model and I hope that my boys have learned lessons about grit, good sportsmanship, and not giving up. I wouldn’t change a thing about being a Spartan mom, but in comparison, just running the course seems easy. Unless there are burpees. Then it gets real.
Jenna Garbett Dunham
I am a mom of four. For us, Spartan is not a race—it’s a way of life. I cannot race every weekend, but the Spartan state of mind is something that is year-round. It’s hard, and I admit that sometimes I get a little overwhelmed with priorities and balance. But that’s when I Spartan up and figure it out.
I try to include my kids in training—not just because it’s fun quality time, but because they love it! I think it’s good for my boys to see their mom grit and grind through tough workouts, and for my daughter to see that females can be strong and fierce.
When my 10-year-old son tells me “Mom, you are not a normal mom—you are a Spartan Mom” or when my 6-year-old son makes up his own workouts in the backyard with log carries and wall climbs, I realize they are always watching and what I do each day matters! It fuels my fire and reminds me that the struggle is absolutely worth it!
My Spartan journey started when I was 41. As a young girl, I was always very active in gymnastics and track, but after my second child I started putting on a lot of weight and realized I was heading down the road that my own mother took.
At the age of 40, my mother was overweight and always tired. I love her dearly but when I hit that age I wanted my girls to know that a woman in her forties (and older) can be strong and that her body is still capable of many things with proper eating habits and training.
When I signed up for my first Spartan, I had so many doubts. I wondered why I was out there because I was perfectly fine in my little bubble, but I chose to step out of my comfort zone to show my girls that woman can run with the boys.
When my youngest was 7 I asked her to draw a picture of a mom. Not me necessarily, but any mom. She drew a woman with muscles at a Spartan Race.
I know that it’s not selfish taking one hour a day for “me” time when I see my children reaping the benefits that come from my lifestyle choices. Mothers are the health leaders of the family. Lead them on a strong path!
The previous stories have been edited for length and clarity.