From a Whisper to a Roar- The Story Behind the Gauntlet with Coach Tanya Bickham

Photo Credit: The Compound

On August 14, 2015 in Macon Georgia, The Gauntlet will be hosting their 2nd event. I have partnered with the creators of this event to host a giveaway. It is almost unprecedented for an endurance event such as this to offer an opportunity for a free entry or to offer opportunities for discounted entries. Yet, that is what Tanya Bickham and Matthew Waller wanted to do. They believe so strongly in encouraging others to step outside of their comfort zones and to push themselves farther that they not only have created this event, but are giving you the opportunity to possibly compete for free. They truly want to change lives.

With every interview I have conducted and every word that I type on this blog I have had a whisper in my head. It’s that same whisper that told me that I could complete a marathon. The same whisper that said “sign up and train for a 50K”. The same whisper that said “come out and try roller derby”. Are hearing that same whisper?

If you are still on the fence, maybe the wise words of Tanya Bickham will encourage you. Tanya is a Spartan SGX coach and is known as “Mama T” to the crew at The Compound. As the co-creator of The Gauntlet, she was gracious enough to answer a few questions for me.

1) What impacted your desire to put on The Gauntlet?
Tanya- “The Gauntlet is a culmination of years of collaboration between two people who can have an entire conversation without ever speaking a word. Matthew and I have an uncanny ability to communicate and an even more unbelievable ability to create things in a natural harmony! It was the perfect relationship in which to create an event that will test the athletes in every realm of the human experience. It was for these reasons that I knew we could put together a stellar endurance event.”

2) What advice would you give someone who is on the fence about registering?
Tanya- “Anyone who is on the fence about doing this event needs to take a deep breath and pull the trigger! I have spent the last 20 years of my life as an ER/Critical Care RN… I can tell you from real life experience, your life can be over in an INSTANT!!! Don’t waste a second… Don’t let fear of the unknown rob you of an experience of a lifetime!! When I’m in the nursing home, my story will always start with “you won’t believe what I did when I was 25…35….45 years old!” I definitely won’t be one of those people who sits unhappily pouting about how I regret not doing things like this!

3) What did you learn about yourself as a coach/Race Director after the first event was all said and done?

Tanya- “The most amazing thing about directing an event like this is knowing what hell and fury you have put together for the athletes and yet rallying every bit of motivation and inspiration you can muster in the darkest hours of the challenge to push them to overcome their own demons to actually finish your course! It’s awe inspiring…”

4) Any other wise words that you have?
Tanya- “Wise words… JUST DO IT!! I know that’s Nikes phrase… But for real… Be courageous… Be bold… Be brave… Come and make a memory of a lifetime!”

2 more days to enter the giveaway for a free or discounted entry to The Gauntlet. Enter today and share. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Hopefully the stories from Michael, Liana, Matthew, and Tanya have encouraged that little whisper inside of you. Turn that whisper into a roar and go for it.

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