February 22, 2013
I. Spartan Training: The Commencement
I have never been incredibly fit in my life. I’ve never seen a six-pack of abs on me. In fact, for more than half of my life, I’ve been overweight (the ‘Glory Days’). In high school, I joined sports, but even then I never managed to reach a very remarkable level of fitness. Since being in college, I have not had any external motivation to get fit…until two weeks ago, when I, along with brothers and friends, made the decision to register for the Spartan Race in Pennsylvania on July 13, 2013. Accordingly, I established a ten-week training schedule, as well as a diet plan that I will be following. This article will be the first of a series of 5 romanticized articles that follow my progress.
I. The Pact with Ares
It was a fortnight ago that I decided to seal my fate. A practicing scholar my whole life (I do take my studies seriously, I have Asian parents), I was seeking the thrills of adventure; it was then that Ares, the god of war (and apparently the god of being smooth), called upon me to join the ranks of the Spartans. However, he would not simply accept me; I had to prove myself worthy first by accomplishing a series of tasks. To this challenge, I accepted.
(Squats, Shoulder Press, Leg Press, Shoulder Raises).
My first challenge was to lift heavy rocks high above me. By the gods, I was sent to the Underworld, where I was met with Sisyphus, the ex-king of Ephyra who bore the eternal punishment of rolling an immense boulder up a hill until it reached the top, at which point it would roll back to the bottom and he would have to repeat. I too had to take up my boulder, and bring it to the top. This challenge was difficult but certainly one I was capable of doing; after all, I had not angered Zeus, and I only had to do this once.
(3:1 Sprints – 3 parts sprint, 1 part jog)
Following the visit to the underworld, I received a visit from Hermes, the winged messenger of the gods. As Ares requires his soldiers to be fleet of foot, he coerced Hermes to train me. Thus, Hermes took me with him to deliver messages, running from one destination to the other, only to return back to the original destination. We did this many times before Hermes had no more messages left and I was finally able to rest. Mount Olympus, at its high altitude, exhibits a cold temperature at which the air is difficult to breathe and my muscles tightened easily; as such, my lungs were straining and my heart was pumping quickly by the time I was done. I’m certain Hermes’ winged sandals were the reason behind his foot-speed.
(Bench Press, Dips, Guillotine Press, Triceps Extensions a.k.a Skull-Crushers)
Days later, I was amazed to be greeted by Theseus, the legendary hero who had slain the great beast of the Labyrinth at Minos (as is cutely described in this rendition). He told me that he was sent by Ares with a task for me; I was to lift the same boulder that he so easily lifted to retrieve King Aegeus of Athens’ sword and sandals. When we arrived at the site, I was astounded by the size of the earthly mass; no mortal certainly could have lifted it! And in fact, I could not, although I pushed with all of my might. This was a task to which I would have to return later.
This is only a romanticized account of some of the workouts I did during these past two weeks. Below are charts displaying my workouts for the past 2 weeks.