Shortly after my first, official Spartan Race WOD, I decided I needed to get up to speed on training. Big time. I had fewer than 5 weeks left until my first race. Fortunately, while at the aforementioned Spartan Training, I met John “Hate” Sales. John’s an ISSA-certified Personal Trainer, Army soldier, nutritionist, sponsored OCR racer, and an all-around bad@$$. He’s a pretty cool dude, too. I hooked up with John about two weeks after the Spartan Training, and attended as many sessions as I could possibly squeeze in — sometimes as much as 3 times a week.

He would have me run, carry pales full of sand a hundred meters, drag concrete blocks on a chain, sprint 4-cone drills, sledgehammer a tire, flip said tire, and push the dreaded Prowler around the building several times. All in 85-90ยบ weather. In the sun.

Can’t recommend his training enough.

Each hour working out under John’s direction built a stronger, faster, better Charlie, and brought out more determination, more vigor, and more passion for obstacle course racing, fitness, and general health. I started running more. I began to work out harder. I lifted more weight than before. I was gonna CRUSH this upcoming Spartan Sprint at Blue Mountain Ski Resort in Pennsylvania!

Too bad no one told me that there was about a 1000ft elevation change from start to finish…