(Editor's note: Rhett Pyrdum was born and raised in Douglas County. He graduated from and is employed with the Manheim auto group as a BMW representative. He is a student at the University of West Georgia, studying accounting.)
Several years ago, I made a personal decision to pursue physical fitness as an ongoing personal goal in life and as a means to better myself and to continue the physical fitness I had achieved by participation in sports while in high school. As a result of my long term interest in fitness and my goal to always strive to challenge myself, I have decided to test myself by competing in major endurance events both locally and nationally. I have competed in body building competitions and placed well and most recently I competed in the Spartan Race held at the Olympic Horse Park in Conyers last March.
Over the past few years more and more Americans are becoming health conscientious and many of them are taking their interest in personal health a step further. They are raising their own personal bar and competing in many of the national fitness competitions that are being staged to address the growing interest in ultimate fitness and endurance racing. These endurance competitions range from simple marathons, to buckle races and they include a growing number of obstacle course races and everything in between. Examples of the competitions are the Spartan races. Tough Mudder and the ultimate, the Death Race.
Many people choose competitions and courses that they reasonably believe they can complete and finish. Some choose competition courses where they have little or no preparation or dedication to the test other than to simply compete and say that they did it. I personally want to challenge myself at the higher levels of physical competition. I want to do more than just compete or say I was there and got the T-shirt. Personally, I want to engage in competitions where the potential for failure is always present but it is something that can be overcome with perseverance and a sincere commitment to the goal of succeeding and proving to yourself that you can meet the challenge when you are prepared. That is why I am preparing myself for the ultimate physical challenge this summer.
In June I will travel to Vermont to compete in the Death Race. On June 15 in the mountains and wilderness of Vermont the ultimate fitness challenge will be held. This challenge is one that should not be taken lightly by any who intend to enter it and seriously compete. This competition is called the DEATH RACE for a good reason. As can be judged from the title, this is not a competition designed for those that are weak willed, or lack the mental and physical determination required to compete at extreme levels. This competition will draw upon every ounce of mental perseverance and physical ability the competitors can muster. The competition is a 48-hour endurance challenge that covers 40 plus miles of the Vermont wilderness and the course is designed to test competitors on levels that most who engage in endurance competitions never knew existed. Running for miles, swimming streams and lakes, climbing over rocky terrain, overcoming natural and man made obstacles and doing all of it while you are wet, tired, exhausted and your body and other competitors are constantly encouraging you to quit. This the previous death races have had a failure rate approaching 90 percent. Which means that only 10 percent of those who enter actually finish. The death race is not for the feint of heart and it delivers on what is promised.
I have chosen to accept the challenge of this competition for many reasons, the main one being the sense of accomplishment one feels when setting a "challenging" goal and achieving it. The word challenging is the key, because let's be honest, telling yourself your going to walk up three flights of stairs versus taking the elevator isn't really an achievement or a challenge. So for other fitness buffs out there who truly want to be included in the upper echelons of the fitness community nationally, sign up for the DEATH RACE and truly test yourself. Find out what you are made of and what you are capable of. My goal is to not only participate, but to make it through and complete the Death Race. Many have tried and failed at the death race, I don't intend to fail.