How Positivity Overcame Pain, Doubt, and Tears on the OCR Course

By: Alicia Ocasio Cerus Pro Squad Athlete

The 2018 Spartan Breckenridge Super and Sprint Obstacle Course Races (OCR) nearly broke me! By the first few inclines, I was already fatigued, knowing there was still +2,000 feet of elevation gain to go. By mile two, I ran .66 miles off-course, knowing I still had 11 miles left until the finish line. I failed an obstacle that is typically easy for me early on because I rushed and didn’t think through, knowing there were 24 more obstacles to go and much more difficult ones ahead. Like all of the other racers, I was cold, damp, tired, and sore. I cried twice and debated leaving the course. I was just so frustrated and disappointed with one setback after the other. Still, something in me decided to push on.

I began to think positively, and trust me, it was difficult. Failure and hardship often increases my positivity. Sounds crazy huh? What I mean, is that I use my failures positively to lead to success. I told myself, “If I could finish the Vermont Beast and its insane climbs, I could push through the elevation gain at Breckenridge,” and I pushed on. I thought, “If I could finish the Lake Tahoe Beast in rainy 40-degree weather, I could survive Breckenridge’s light rain.” I even thought, “If I completed the Breckenridge Beast last year, I know I could finish it this time!” I didn’t win every battle that weekend, but I won the war!  I finished with integrity!

My battles on the course often remind me to find something to celebrate when things get tough. For example, I DID finish with a better time this year than last! I DID complete most of the obstacles without burpees! I DID push through when it got tough! The weekend prior to Breckenridge, I placed 4th and gained a little confidence. However, on the Breckenridge course, I was nearly last, but gained grit! One of the things I love most about Obstacle Course Racing is that you learn something new from every race- if you choose positivity, that is!