Spartan Up!: A Take-No-Prisoners Guide to Overcoming Obstacles and Achieving Peak Performance in Life (Anglais) Broché – 22 mai 2014
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With that experience in mind, De Sena set up Spartan Races, a series of extreme obstacle events. Whether over three miles or marathon distances, competitors are faced with a series of challenges, from crawling through mud under barbed wire to carrying a heavy sandbag, to push them beyond their limits. De Sena shows how with a simple philosophy - commit to a goal, put in the work, and get it done - people can achieve remarkable things. Whether you are up for the challenge yourself, or just want to learn more about life at the extremes, this book is for you.
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Oddly enough, as I write this, my wife is watching the New York Housewives on TV, and two of them are running a Spartan Race. Quite a coincidence, given that these races are the backdrop for the book. One of the women did not enjoy the experience. Her husband tried to explain the point of what they did, but she didn't get it.
I had never heard of Spartan races before reading this book. Think a race through an obstacle course from hell, and you'll get the picture. Big, unexpected challenges.
The point of these races seems to be to push the runners hard and teach them something about life in the process - in a word, how to overcome. Or maybe, it's better to say that they teach people something about how life really is/should be, as opposed to the "fake" one that today's society has created/imposed upon us (or most of us). Doing the seeming impossible is possible if one applies the Spartan "way".
The book is critical of how children are coddled today, even to the point of being given prizes for showing up to a competition, whether they win of lose. I'm in my 50's, and this is certainly not how it was when I was a kid - what happened? Is there any wonder why kids grow up so "entitled" now? A rude awakening is the result. Bad all around.
There is also criticism of many aspects of modern life. Too much electronics, too much bad food, not enough exercise, etc. No argument here. I made some changes in my life regarding all this recently and am happy with the results.
As an aside, I have to say that the 3-D effect on the cover was very cool. Not sure how they did it.
Overall, I liked the book very much. It made many great points. The writing was very good and kept me interested. Better than many books I've read lately.
I didn't like that the book seemed a bit too much about the Spartan Races/the physical and not enough about what to do with the lessons learned. It might have been a bit more balanced if the book went into other difficult challenges that might teach the same lessons, and that spiritual challenges might get you there as well. Did I miss any of this in the book? Maybe it was there, but didn't seem to be very directly there if so. To me, the real point of pushing yourself so hard physically with a Spartan Race is to have a transforming "spiritual" experience or put yourself on the road to having one - in fairness, the book did seem to go there indirectly, but I didn't see it go there directly, which I think it should have.
In any case, I think this book provides a path for "shock therapy" for what ails us as a society today. Might not work for everyone without a lot of preparation - you do have to be pretty tough to take this path - but I think it would get results.
Would I try it? Hmm... I guess we'll have to wait and see. :)
Read the book and see if this path is for you.
Other than the book being an obvious marketing ploy to sell his events, the editing is shocking. There is no flow to the book nor substance.
If the title is something that interests you I would suggest just going on his Spartan events and saving the time and financial investment on this book. I'm sure that people who've ran his races would enjoy this book more but personally, I'm thoroughly disappointed.
Despite the constant sense of urgency, the blatant self-aggrandizement and behavior attributed to the author, by his own hand, that borders in the masochistic, I found this book to be enjoyable. The races are described in gory detail and, despite the reason centers in my brain threatening to quit in protest, I found myself actually considering one of the easier races offered by Joe De Sena.
This book will be appreciated by the usual cast of characters - Cross Fit junkies, triathloners looking for something edgier, fraternity brothers, college athletes and the more fit among desk jockeys. It gives a fairly coherent and complete explanation of why some people choose this lifestyle, how it adds to their lives, and the price they sometimes pay for their devotion. Moreover Mr. De Sena draws connections between Spartan athletes behavior on and off the battlefield. Some may find these stretched but it's not unreasonable to conclude grit is something that applies to many of life's arenas.
I did my first Spartan Sprint last January and while I did NOT break any records, I found that I still have it in me to reach deep and get it done. I plan on doing more events and may even move up to the longer ones as I get healthier and more fit. This book will help me whenever I start to lag and I need a kick in the butt. On most any page I can find something to keep the fire burning and know that so many others are out there that have done much more with much less than I have. So it's time to Spartan Up. See you soon on the hill or the mud...........all tuckered out.............but with a big smile on my face. AROO
"Spartan Up" lays out the groundwork not only for Spartan Race from the past, present and future, but gets us into the head of what makes Joe DeSena the man he is. From humble beginnings, to desk jobs and then finally getting fed up with it all. Joe tells stories of how he broke and realized there was more to life than the rat race. I had no idea the extent of what Joe has accomplished in his short time on the planet. From running Badwater to doing other ultra-marathons and endurance hikes, he's done it all.
His wit and wisdom (did I just call Joe witty?) is expounded by the page and parallels are drawn from every possible angle. His advice is not medical advice, and should not be taken as such, but is practical and could save your life. You've heard it before, simple things like changing your diet, making time for movement of any sort. Joe basically talks about our roots as animalistic beings. We used to have to scavenge for our food, now it's in a machine tucked neatly inside of cellophane and a box. We used to scavenge for our foods, which were fresh and free of preservatives. We have become so lazy that the most effort we put into our food, for the most part, is to tear open the package and shove it into our mouths.
He also talk about dealing with pain and prioritizing that pain. For instance, and I am not typing this verbatim, he mentions marathon running. Instead of focusing on the pain the whole lump sum of 26.2 miles may bring, prioritize it to each telephone pole. Deal with it bit by bit, it's easier to cope with and is less daunting. It won't control your mindset the whole run and maybe, just maybe you might enjoy it.
I have a new respect for this guy, nothing was handed to him on a silver platter, he made himself into the man he is today. One word you will read throughout the book, and that describes Joe the best, is grit. He has it, it's been a driving force for him. Without it, he would be nothing. Spartan Up can very well provide you with a path toward building that grit of your own.
One thing I respect the hell out of Joe for is the fact he is what he is. There is no sugar-coating, there is no filter at all on this man. He will tell you like it is whether you want to hear it or not. Call it tough love, because I honestly believe he wants to see you become the best YOU that you can be!!
Highly recommend you read this!