By Heathyr Stanics
😏𝐓𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐤𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐝𝐚𝐲 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐡 𝐮𝐬 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐚 𝐒𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐚𝐧 𝐑𝐚𝐜𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐨𝐟 𝐢𝐭’𝐬 𝐝𝐢𝐫𝐭𝐲, 𝐛𝐥𝐨𝐨𝐝𝐲 𝐦𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬. 𝐁𝐮𝐭 𝐥𝐞𝐭𝐬 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐰𝐡𝐨 𝐢𝐬 𝐇𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐡𝐲𝐫 𝐒𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐢𝐜𝐬?🌈
That’s a loaded question. Ha! I am a 30 year old insurance agent, residing in middle Georgia. I am a yogi and an obstacle course racer but I am not your average athlete. My life consists of being fiercely independent with a strong will to succeed in all aspects in life.
🧘𝐘𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐨𝐮𝐬 𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐲 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐠𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐧𝐯𝐨𝐥𝐯𝐞𝐝 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐘𝐨𝐠𝐚 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐭𝐫𝐮𝐥𝐲 𝐢𝐧𝐬𝐩𝐢𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠. 𝐂𝐚𝐧 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐭𝐞𝐥𝐥 𝐮𝐬 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭?☯
I began to get involved with yoga in March 2014. What started as a social curiosity with a friend, wound up turning more into an obsession. I became dedicated to finding daily improvements in my strength and flexibility. Yoga has become a huge part of my life. I feel like I need yoga just as much as I need to breathe fresh oxygen.
😏𝐍𝐨𝐭 𝐛𝐞𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚𝐧 𝐚𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐠𝐞 𝐬𝐢𝐳𝐞 𝐀𝐦𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐰𝐨𝐦𝐚𝐧 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐢𝐭𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝, 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐨𝐛𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐜𝐥𝐞𝐬 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐝 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐘𝐨𝐠𝐚? 𝐀𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤 𝐚𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐝 𝐨𝐫 𝐝𝐨 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐜𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟 𝐭𝐨 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤 𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐨 𝐚𝐜𝐡𝐢𝐞𝐯𝐞 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐧𝐠𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐞𝐬?👑
I probably AM average sized for an American woman. At a size 16, I know I don’t have the ideal looking “yoga body”, but I refused to let that stop me from practicing. There are obvious poses that challenge me; certain twists and binds, for example. My chest and stomach at times can become obstacles of their own when I practice yoga.
I have tools that help me work around those interference’s, like my yoga strap. I try not to ever force myself into positions, but I do strive for perfection. To me, the purpose of yoga is to focus and connect with my body. I pay attention to my breathing and how my muscles react to the stretches, twists, and binds. But don’t let the size of my body fool you. With my daily practice I’ve become extremely flexible, can balance on my head, and it’s even help me become a better runner/obstacle racer.
🧙𝐈𝐟 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐰𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐠𝐚, 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐚𝐝𝐯𝐢𝐜𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐠𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐦?
My best advice would be to seek out a local class and get instruction from a certified yoga teacher. Absolutely nothing beats the hands on training you get with a professional. If that is not an option, then YouTube is your next best bet. You can plug in any type of flow into YouTube’s search engine, and immediately find tons of one-on-one virtual instruction.
👊𝐖𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐚𝐝𝐯𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐂𝐫𝐨𝐬𝐬𝐟𝐢𝐭, 𝐂𝐨𝐥𝐨𝐫 𝐃𝐚𝐬𝐡, 𝐒𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐚𝐧 𝐑𝐚𝐜𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐓𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐌𝐮𝐝𝐝𝐞𝐫, 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐢𝐭 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐒𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐚𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐝𝐫𝐞𝐰 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐭𝐨 𝐢𝐭? 𝐖𝐚𝐬 𝐢𝐭 𝐚 𝐝𝐨𝐮𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐝𝐨𝐠 𝐝𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐟𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐬?🐶
I began my fitness journey with fun runs like Color Dash. I absolutely loved those as my first 5k’s because there was no pressure, as they aren’t timed races. After I completed a few fun runs, a friend suggested we try something more challenging. As soon as she uttered the words “Spartan Race”, I immediately said “No way, you’re crazy” and dismissed her proposal for a more challenging race. I knew very little about Spartan Race, but I didn’t think I was cut out for it. At that time I had only seen the fire jumping photos circulating social media. Naturally, my curiosity got the best of me, and I pulled up YouTube and plugged in Spartan Race. The results pulled up the Atlanta Sprint from 2014, and I watched closely. I’m not even sure I blinked during the 7 minute video. It looked so challenging, but incredibly FUN.
I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to finish, but I knew I had to try. After doing some research on Obstacle Course Racing (OCR), I took note that Spartan Race was the most difficult due to the different race lengths and penalties (if you fail to complete an obstacle you must complete 30 burpees). The Spartan Race offers three race lengths:
– Spartan Sprint (3+ miles of obstacle racing, 20+ obstacles)
– Spartan Super (8+ miles, 25+ obstacles)
– Spartan Beast (13+ miles, 30+ obstacles)
Upon completing all three races within one calendar year, you earn a special Trifecta medal. I needed this. Knowing there was a special medal for doing something extraordinary motivated me to sign up for a race.
🔎𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐝𝐢𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐟𝐢𝐫𝐬𝐭 𝐠𝐞𝐭 𝐢𝐧𝐯𝐨𝐥𝐯𝐞𝐝 𝐨𝐫 𝐛𝐞𝐠𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐢𝐭?
Within hours of mentally deciding I was going to do this on that cold November day, my friend and I researched the Spartan Workout Of the Day (WOD), and began training that night after work. We started jogging, doing burpees, and attempting pull-ups. It wasn’t easy. It downright sucked. Running outside in the freezing cold temperatures made my lungs feel like they’d explode and my nose would fall right off my face. But after we finished our WOD, we felt amazing! During our 15 weeks of training, we worked hard on our endurance and upper body strength, as we knew we had to get through these distances while climbing over walls, crawling under barbed wire, and swinging across monkey bars.
🤔𝐎𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐝𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐞𝐭𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐟𝐢𝐫𝐬𝐭 𝐒𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐚𝐧 𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐞, 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞?
After a few nights of trying out the Spartan Workouts that we received daily in our email, I bit the bullet and officially signed up to race the Spartan Sprint in Atlanta, which took place in early March 2015. Anxiety set in. I actually paid money to sign a death waiver! Seriously, I couldn’t believe it. I was training to compete in a race where I could actually be seriously injured…or die. Or I could flourish. It was like a battle of fear and excitement within myself. Ultimately, excitement won.
⏰𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐚𝐧 𝐚𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐠𝐞 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐚 𝐦𝐚𝐧 𝐨𝐫 𝐚 𝐰𝐨𝐦𝐚𝐧 𝐭𝐨 𝐟𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐬𝐡 𝐚 𝐭𝐲𝐩𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐥 𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐞?
The time it takes to finish a race greatly varies. The elite racers can finish a Sprint in 40 minutes, or a Beast in 3 hours. There are so many variables to consider when talking about completion times. The terrain, your start time, and how crowded the course is, will play a huge role in the length of time it takes someone to complete a race. For example, I completed the Spartan Super in Atlanta this past October. I had a start time of 12:15 pm, and didn’t cross the finish line until almost 8 hours later.
✊𝐒𝐨 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐫𝐚𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐢𝐬 𝐚 𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐲 𝐥𝐚𝐫𝐠𝐞 𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐒𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐚𝐧? 𝐅𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐬 𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐚𝐠𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐟𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐥𝐞𝐭𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐫𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐬𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐜𝐡𝐨𝐬𝐞?
Absolutely. The terrain was extremely muddy thanks to a week long storm that seemed to hover over the venue, and one of my fellow Spartans was experiencing serious leg cramps after the 3rd mile (we still had 6 miles and 15+ obstacles to go). We made sure we did everything in our power to ensure she finished her race, as well as ours. For me, racing for time was not high up on my list of priorities. Crossing the finish line was my number one priority.
🥇𝐇𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐛𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐟𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐬𝐡 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐨𝐟 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐞𝐬 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐬𝐞𝐭 𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐓𝐫𝐢𝐟𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐚 𝐦𝐞𝐝𝐚𝐥 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚𝐥𝐨𝐧𝐠?
As of this date, I have completed three Spartan races. I earned my Trifecta on November 14, 2015! The Spartan Sprint took me 3 hours and 47 minutes. The Spartan Super took me 7 hours and 53 minutes. I completed the Spartan Beast in 7 hours and 11 minutes.
👑𝐖𝐨𝐰! 𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐚𝐧 𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐝𝐢𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐚𝐜𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐡𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐬! 𝐓𝐚𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚 𝐥𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐛𝐚𝐜𝐤, 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐭𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐚𝐰𝐚𝐲 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐝𝐚𝐲?
It’s impossible to limit my takeaways to only one thing from these races. But, if I had to pick the most meaningful lesson, it would be that I am capable of absolutely anything; no matter my size or physical ability. While competing in the Spartan Race series you’re forced to dig deep in moments of struggle. Whether you run, walk, or crawl, crossing the finish line and receiving your medal is always the goal.
Quitting is NEVER an option. The greatest thing about these races, and discovering my own strengths, is that I was never alone. I was fortunate to race with an incredible group of athletes. And while out on each course, I was surrounded by literally thousands of racers willing to lend a hand to stabilize me, a shoulder to step on, or an encouraging word that gave me an extra boost of motivation. These racers genuinely become family.
😳😘𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐝𝐢𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐟𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐟𝐚𝐦𝐢𝐥𝐲 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐚𝐲 𝐚𝐟𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐟𝐢𝐫𝐬𝐭 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐨𝐮𝐭?
If I recall correctly, my parents were a little apprehensive when I told them what I had signed up for. My friends thought I was absolutely crazy. But once they saw how dedicated I was to my training, and that I wasn’t backing down from this race, their views shifted and they all became excited for me to conquer these obstacle races. Now that I’ve successfully earned my Trifecta upon the completion of the Sprint, Super, and Beast, my family and friends now want to give these races a try.
☀️𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭’𝐬 𝐧𝐞𝐱𝐭 𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐇𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐡𝐲𝐫 𝐓𝐨-𝐃𝐨 𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐭?☀️
Well, with 2016 right around the corner, I’m starting to map out my race calendar. I would like to earn a double Trifecta with Spartan Race. I’m also starting to train harder for this season. My goal is to one day race elite; with the big dogs. Racing elite means that you don’t need any assistance with any of the obstacles on the course. I may not race elite in 2016, but I will train hard and use each race as added practice to reach my goal.
🙆𝐈𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐲𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐰𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐤 𝐨𝐫 𝐠𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐚 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐨?
Cher Miller (mom), Rick Stanics (dad), and Robyn Borich (sister) – They have been my biggest supporters throughout this journey.
Taylor Jenkins – She is my yoga buddy and race partner. She is the one who piqued my curiosity about yoga, and the one who suggested we give Spartan a try. She has been there with me throughout this entire process; training hard and having fun on the course.
Adam Johnson – He has motivated me to become a better athlete. He pushes me during our workouts and doesn’t go easy onme just because he’s my boyfriend. In fact, he pushes me harder in spite of that. He also keeps my nutrition in check and constantly reminds me that I have goals to meet when I want to drink my sweet coffee.
Team Compound – Every coach and athlete at Team Compound in Macon, GA has inspired me to break through my own perceived walls. They are incredibly motivating and make the BEST racing team anyone could ask for!
Thank you so much for sharing with HerSUPPZ your incredible journey to #FindYourStrength! We look forward to watching all your successes and are honored to watch you soar!
For more on Spartan, their schedule and how to get started:
HEATHYR MARIE STANICS
Heathyr began her fitness journey in August of 2013 by going to the gym by herself, walking the treadmill or slowly easing along on the elliptical. Soon after, she decided to set a goal and give herself something to look forward to. Heathyr signed up for a colorful 5k and also started dabbling in yoga because she was so fascinated with inversions. Heathyr is now 3 sizes down from when she began, and continues to work on her physical fitness. She practice yoga every day, and is also a Spartan Race finisher. She loves to post fitness and yoga videos on her Instagram page , along with healthy food ideas.
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