Posted in Life lessons, Musings, Training


After my last post, I was asked an interesting question by one of my friends.

The question:

Do you really need this or are you doing this for Luke?

My answer:

I don’t need to do this; but, it is definitely something that I enjoy and doing it with Luke just makes it even better.

Answering the question caused me to reflect back on the past couple of years and to think of some of the memories that we share as a result of obstacle course racing. I could write a book on all of them, but I won’t.


Going all the way back to the spring of 2014 when I installed the pull-up bar in our old garage, back when Luke was still a scrawny little kid. Pull-ups were king and they were the beginning of what was to come over the next several years. They are still an important part of our workouts.

In addition to pull-ups, we had our original body weight circuits (all three) taped to one of the shelves in the garage. On occasion, we still use updated versions of these these workouts.


Body weight circuits were going to be a way that that Luke prepared for wrestling at DeMatha and I was getting ready for our upcoming move. I didn’t want to be worn out lugging furniture and boxes up the stairs into our new house.  And Luke didn’t want to get tossed around the mat.

At that time, obstacle course racing was never a thought in our minds.

That summer, we spent many hours toiling away in the garage. Through the heat of the summer, sweating through our workouts with only a giant fan to keep us cool. By this time Luke had decided to try crew, so he needed to build up his strength to get through his first crew camp in August 2014. Those were the “Good Old Days” and looking back it is a bit surprising how hard we thought those workouts were. We ran through these workouts for the better part of a year, upping the intensity and adding new things as our strength and conditioning advanced.

During that time a couple of other things happened as well

  • We moved and the workouts made moving easy (or easier);
  • Luke decided he wanted to stick with crew and not wrestle;
  • We got a “fitness center” at the new house to train, no more sweating in the garage;
  • And last but not least, Luke convinced me to sign up for our first Spartan Race, the DC Sprint. We would be running in August ’15.

To prepare for our first race, I guess it was really time to take this training stuff to the next level. We added in kettle bells, running and some other things along the way.

Our first race

You can see that by this time, he wasn’t so scrawny anymore; and he just keeps getting bigger and faster along the way. We even added in a couple more races. We raced at Savage Race later in 2015 and then added Battle Frog and the Spartan Super this year.

Luke PA Super Finish

One of the interesting things that this has given us is time together. Why I say interesting is because that most of the “time” we spend together is without much communication. Whether we are running, lifting or racing the vast majority of time is spent in silence (or grunting and groaning) concentrating on the task at hand, silently enjoying the intensity of the workout. But in the silence, I think we have made a deep connection, one that is hard to explain. But one that I hope he never forgets.

Connecting in the silence

So back to the question. In retrospect, I guess I am doing it for both of us.

Or maybe all three of us since now we even have Kathy as part of team workout!


One thought on “Why?

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