Profiles In Badassry - Justin Anderson November 24 2016, 0 Comments
MudGear Profiles in Badassary is an article and interview series dedicated to documenting the incredible characters and stories that we come across in the world of OCR and outdoor adventure and endurance racing events. They range from everyday heroes to extreme athletes but all have unique and engaging stories to tell.
How Did You Get Into OCR Racing?
I was about 70 pounds overweight and had just gone through a very bad break up from a 10 year relationship. I saw an ad for a spartan race and decided that it would give me something to train for and a goal to set my sights on.
How do you describe what you do to people outside of the OCR community? (and why you do it)
My initial response is that OCRs are a way to feel like a kid again and also to overcome fears and anxieties that permeate everyday life. I explain to them that, while it may seem crazy or extreme, it is a lifestyle that continues to show me who I am and what I am capable of.
What's been your most interesting or memorable moment in your OCR career so far?
My most memorable moment will always be finishing the 2014 Vermont Ultra Beast. This was a race that made me extremely nervous and was way outside of my comfort zone and athletic ability (my longest run at that point was about 12 miles...most of it walking!). It was such an amazing sense of accomplishment that I will never forget that moment...or the amount of food i ate afterwards!
What's the best training or racing advice you've ever received?
Take care of and listen to your body. The idea of "beast mode" or crushing yourself everyday in the gym is only going to hurt you and is never going to make you better.
What personal challenges has OCR has helped you overcome?
OCR has helped me overcome severe depression and anxiety. Also, I was a very heavy drinker before racing, and OCR has been a huge part of my commitment to a sober lifestyle. All around it has just made me a better person.
What inspires you?
My biggest inspiration is seeing people every weekend toe the line with doubts, fears, or physical limitations and watching them face those obstacles and come out and give it their all. To me, those people are the true elites, the true role models.
Any race stats you'd like to share? Any goals for this year?
I have set some pretty lofty goals for myself this year, including a top 25 finish in the spartan points and a top 5 finish at WTM. I am putting in the work now, so if I race hard and believe in myself, there is no telling what I can accomplish.
What's something about you that others might find surprising?
Maybe a couple of things. First, that I am a lawyer in DC. Second, that I have absolutely no running background, and 3 years ago i couldn't even run 1 mile!
What are your thoughts on the current state and future of OCR?
I think OCR is at a cross roads. The sport has grown so rapidly over the past few years, but it still seems a ways away from being really taken seriously. I think the industry really needs to be united and move in one direction for this sport to continue to gain legitimacy. I am really excited about the potential for this sport, but its going to take everyone to help it reach its full potential.
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