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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Spartan Up!

spartanup-coverRecently, I read an advanced synopsis of Joe De Sena’s book Spartan Up!  (Scheduled for release May 2014.)  I can tell you that after reading this synopsis, I’m jazzed about reading his book – I’m jazzed about training for a Spartan Race.  Yes, I am going to register for a Spartan race.  But first I need some of that mental strength – the kind that says, “I think I can.”  The kind that squashes my abundance of self-doubt.  Spartan Up!  promises to help do that. 

I had no idea who Joe De Sena was before reading this synopsis.  Now I am seriously intrigued.  He is definitely an endurance athlete, an adventure runner and an over all crazy guy, all wrapped into one.  At one point, De Sena completed Bad Water (135 miles), the Lake Placid Ironman (140.6 miles), and a one-hundred mile trail run ALL IN ONE WEEK.  I have a feeling he can give me some tips on my endurance running. 


Self-doubt, the want for instant gratification, these are things that thwart us (especially me) in our personal lives, in endurance running, and according to De Sena, in a Spartan race.  He predicts if you can complete a Spartan race, you can succeed in life.  Spartan Up! pledges to give us guidance over our stumbling blocks.  He writes about the last half of the race, “when your mind can quit on you or will you forward.”

Spartan Up! will bring us through Spartan races many obstacles, with each obstacle a metaphor for life’s obstacles.  There’s the mud that sticks to us and slows us down.  There’s passing through barbed wire on hands and knees.  Just as in many of life’s problems, these  obstacles don’t take merely strength to conquer, but efficiency as well.  There’s all sorts of trials and tribulations similar to climbing the greased wall found in many Spartan races.  It takes great perseverance to conquer the wall.   Sound familiar?  Life’s toughest problems always take perseverance to overcome. 

It seems that De Sena’s book focuses on this:  when it’s all said and done, it’s not our triumphs that teach us how to succeed – it’s the failures.  Climbing that greased wall, only to slide back down to the bottom again and again, that’s what helps learn how get past that obstacle.  

I need me some of that.  (Look out Twin Peaks, here I come!)

Expect a full review when I read Spartan Up! come May.

Happy running!


  1. Looks like really good book. We have similar races and series here. So far I'm not keen until I reach some other goals I'm training for.

    1. I'm hoping to get to one of these as soon as I can -- I need to get in more shape though. :)