I can remember sitting in Spartan HQ, when Joe started talking about doing a race in Fenway Park, I knew at that moment, that no mater what happened I was going to find a way to go to this race. Why would this race be so important to me? Two words… Green Monster… I can remember my beloved Detroit Tiger playing games in Fenway Park, and I fell in love with the Green Monster. So getting the chance to see it in real life, count me in!
When I arrived into Boston, and stopped by to see my good friends over at Inov-8. I had not see them since the Vermont Beast, and I needed some advice on what shoes I should get next, to help me transition into a more natural shoes. After some discussion we agreed on the Road-X Lite 155. They are designed for roads and well maintained trails, they are a lot thinner and lighter then my trail shoes. The other thing we noticed is the size 13 we just to big, so we tried on a pair of 12, and they fit like a glove. This is the second time in my weight loss journey I have had to change my shoe size, I use to ware 14’s when I weight 696 lbs.
When I arrived at Fenway Park, it was like walking into a magical place. I could not stop my self from walking up to the building and putting my hand on the brick wall… I could not believe it, I am really here. I walked around to the back gate and went in, this is where it helps being a staff member for so long. After checking in. I started to walk around the park and I could just feel the energy that the stadium gave off, I have never experienced anything like it before. My heart started to race, and I could not stop my self I headed straight to the stands. That is where I had the biggest omgwtf moments… I am really here.
After sitting there for a bit, I saw that the door to the warning track was open, so I ran back into the corridors and headed over the gate, I could not believe it was open so I walked down and onto the warning track. This was the first time I have ever been on an actual professional baseball field. I can admit, I stood there and took a deep breath, and took it all in. I could not believe I was actually standing on the field, as I looked over to my left, there it was as big as life…. The Green Monster! It is so much larger in real life than on TV. As I started to walk over, I found my self looking at the small details, like the dents from all the baseballs that had hit it over the years. I can not tell you how long I just stood there. It was completely overwhelming.
On Saturday, I got to spend the morning with my friend Leah Hilton, we meet back in August at the New England Spartan Race. Since then, we have become good friends. We spent the morning walking around the stadium cheering people on and just hanging out talking. I am very lucky to have met her, as she has become one of a small group of people, that I turn to when I am having a bad day. People ask me all the time how I have been able to keep going even on the bad days, Its simple, I have great friends that support me, even when I want to go back to the days of hiding behind a keyboard and monitor.
For this race, I decided I was going to try something different. Instead of running the normal spartan race, I was going to help out with The Biggest Looser Run/Walk Off Road Challenge heat their whole purpose is to get people out and to try something new. For most of these racers, this will be there first experience trying an obstacle course. To help these first time racers out, the rules are a little different than a normal heat. First off obstacle are optional, but we encourage everyone to try, especially if you think that it is scary. Second, there are no timing chips, this heat is about completing the course, not how look it took you. So it is a perfect fit for me, because I have fallen in love with helping first time races find a way to get across the finish line. That is what I am really good at. So I meet up with Dan Evans from Season 5 of The Biggest Looser, and we headed off. I stayed towards the back of the group and helped keep everyone motivated, and looking towards the finish line. There were a couple of people that wanted to quit, especially during the sand bag carry, but we were able to get everyone who started across the finish line.
Looking back on this race, It is a real turning point for me. This was the first race where I went out not to race for my self, but to help get others across the finish line. Other than the Vermont Beast, this was one of the most rewarding races, I have ever experienced.