Rucksgiving and the New England Spahtens
Over the past year, I made a commitment to myself that I was going to run 50 Obstacle Races by age 50…which then morphed into 46 Races in 2016 for my 46 years…which has again morphed into getting as many done this year as I can. As part of this evolution, I’ve connected with some wonderful people along the way, see here Joel Chavez the man representing Day 3 of the 28 Days.
One group which which I’ve connected is the New England Spahtens, a local obstacle course racing (OCR) enthusiasts team that has over time morphed (not unlike my race list, nor would that be coincidental to my own list) into other races, fitness activities, and social events. After all, it’s a team, right?
OCR is an interesting community. It’s designed as an individual challenge, but we’re social animals and want to engage these pursuits with other similarly minded folk. I’ve noticed several “teams” of this kind in various places: joining is optional, there are no membership fees, no one gets cut, be as active or passive as you want. If you want to register for a race, but the team hasn’t been formed, form it. You can confidentially register for a race, join/create the team and you’ll have the support of others even if you don’t know them. They’re there to support you, perhaps help you over an obstacle with the sole purpose of sharing the sport and making it accessible to as many as who want to join.
For the past two years, on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the Spahtens marshal as many volunteers as they can, loaded with donations and carry ruck sacks stuffed with the gear around a route through Boston to carry donations to the less fortunate. This isn’t an administratively heavy endeavor (read the blog post, linked to here – this is a general call to arms, some pre-planning, and general strategy on the fly). There are no news crews covering the story, no administrative costs. Just teams of people caring for others, while living the purpose of the group – health and fitness. It’s a marriage of the mission and vision of healthy activity, and supporting others. And it’s ridiculously inspirational.