When I walked into Club Fit in February and saw the Spartan training poster, I was intrigued. I had heard about Spartan races from my daughter and loved the idea. I went home and pulled up the Spartan race website to see what it was all about. The videos were inspiring, but also intimidating: The participants looked to be in their 20s and 30s. I thought, Am I crazy? I’m 59 years old. Would I get injured? Injuries come so easily at my age. Would I be able to keep up with my team? I didn’t want to hold them back. Not to mention my bad knees, bad thumbs, bad neck and temperamental feet.
I knew that if there was any hope of accomplishing this, I needed training, so I signed up for Club Fit’s Spartan training class with trainer Jane Balter. ( to view Jane’s profile). What an amazing person!! She was encouraging and inspiring. She made the workouts challenging but paid close attention to our condition and adjusted the workout appropriately to meet our individual needs. I remember those first two weeks so well, timidly positioning myself at the end of the line or the back of the class, unsure of what I could do. Pushups? Barely two. Plank? Almost 10 seconds before my arms would start shaking, then collapse. This “old lady” had her work cut out for her. During that first class, after what seemed to be an eternity, Jane said, “OK, that completes our ‘warm-up.’” I thought, “Whaaaaatt? There’s more???” I came home moving like Frankenstein those first few weeks, having worked ligaments and muscles that had been neglected for years.
But Jane kept me going. She was calm, friendly, and a wonderful teacher. She explained her training program and what it would accomplish. She educated us in the value of each exercise, the correct positioning to avoid injuries and in nutrition to accompany our training regime. Every class, she handed out workout sheets with an exercise plan for the week, as well as handouts with nutritional guidelines. I learned a lot. And I loved what I learned. Over time, my number of pushups increased and I could hold the “plank position” for longer periods. I stuck with the program, knowing that I would have to follow her instructions no matter what to get in shape. Jane sent us frequent emails, asked for our input on our team name, ordered our shirts and hosted a wonderful team dinner before the event. She was always available if you needed her. We worked out together and she could see how we all improved. What a special feeling to be part of a team whose leader and members were so supportive and encouraging.
Oh yes, there were times during the three-month training that I wanted to quit. I screwed up my feet by wearing improper sneakers…to the point I could barely walk and DEFINITELY not run. Other times, I felt that I wasn’t getting stronger after several weeks in training. But Jane always listened and provided guidance. And she was right. My feet healed. I became less tired and I could do more. Those aches and pains almost disappeared.
One day, our training class was to meet at Turkey Mountain to run at 7:30am. That morning, I woke up to rain and 40 degrees. I was sure training would be switched to Club Fit. When I called Jane to confirm, she said, “I’m sorry, but we are still meeting at Turkey Mountain.” I had visions of slipping on the rocks or getting sick from the cold weather, but after completing that run, I was the first to say how awesome it was! Such a sense of accomplishment!
When race day came, it was thrilling. Our Club Fit team all finished the course. We were so excited for each other. I met my goals, which were to complete the course and not do any burpees (race rules state if you cannot complete the obstacle, you must do 30 burpees…which to me are the most UNfun exercise ever!). Throughout the entire course, I could hear Jane’s voice in my head telling me how to position myself to accomplish the task. I made it without having to do any burpees (yippee!) and I didn’t feel tired at the end, which I attribute to the nutritional counseling Jane had provided us. As an added bonus, I somehow placed 1st in my age group!
Training and participating in the Spartan event was truly an amazing experience!!!! I attribute 100% of this accomplishment to Jane and her training class at Club Fit. THANK YOU!
What’s next? Many of us have signed up for the Super Spartan on September 7. An eight-week training session begins July 17, for program information . Can’t wait!!!