Overcoming Self Doubt- The Gauntlet (Michael’s story)

Photo credit: The Gauntlet

In February 2015 The Gauntlet held it’s first event in Macon Georgia. Several of my friends attempted their first foray into extreme endurance events. Two of them, Michael Sanford and Liana Rogers were gracious enough to answer a few interview questions that I had about their experience. We will start with Michael’s story.

A little background on Michael- he lost his father to cancer last year. Every race and event that he has completed over the past year have been dedicated to his father. Yesterday was his father’s birthday, so when I asked Michael the three questions I unintentionally triggered an avalanche of emotions in Michael. Given that today marks 6 months since my own father passed away, I am in tears as I type up this interview. I am blessed to know Michael and to call him a friend. He is such an inspiration and I am sure you will see that.

1) What made you decide to compete in the Gauntlet? 
Michael-“As I lay here and can’t sleep, I’m drawn to this message. Because I believe in my heart even though my father wasn’t here in the physical aspect, I’ll always believe he was with me spiritually in those 30 hrs 10 mins 29 secs that it took to complete the Gauntlet. Which brings me to the questions. 1. What made you decide to do the Gauntlet…

Rewind 30 days after finding out about my dad’s cancer, he passed away on July 8. Then Catherine and I were set to attend the Spartan Trifecta Weekend Ohio in Oct and the day before leaving- her dad passes. So I found myself going alone to a Spartan Trifecta Weekend!!! I only completed 2 legs (Beast & Super) and didn’t finish the Sprint….. I felt as I had failed, Not only Me but my dad and Catherine and her dad, the feeling was horrible. Somehow I made it through the holidays and then it hit me…. I should push myself and do The Gauntlet as a way to somehow redeem myself.


See I had felt as if I let my dad and others down by not doing all 3 Spartans in Ohio !!! Even though I was proud to have finished a Beast and Super in under 9 hours.”

Me- Just a side note- the Trifecta weekend was one day of 3 races. The Spartan Beast, Super, and Sprint. In one day. Michael successfully accomplished 2 out of 3. In one day. Let that sink in…

 

Photo Credit: The Gauntlet

2) What are 3 things that you learned about yourself  by competing in The Gauntlet??? 

Michael- “Oh man, it’s funny what didn’t I learn? So many different things come out of that weekend but the Top 3…. 
1. NEVER GIVE UP/NEVER STOP BELIEVING IN YOURSELF…you may hit the wall in the first thirty seconds but it’s what you do afterwards that is really going to matter. You may be alone and at the lowest point and think you’re done but if you want it bad enough, you’ll find it deep within to continue on and push til you’re back in the game/pass the hard times in life and back on track !!! 
2. It’s ok to use/ask for help. Sometimes we don’t have to go it alone, you can form teams or ask for support from friends to accomplish things through our lives. IT’S OK TO LEAN ON OTHERS and show vulnerability !!! It’s not a weakness, it should be valued as an honor, that people are willing to help in you trying to achieve in any kind of greatness, that’s how I see it now. Athletes that were true beast helping/encouraging others… it was an honor !!! 
3. I can ACCOMPLISH anything I put my mind too, nothing is Not Possible !!! If you can believe in it, you can make it happen!!! And that I have the most amazing friends/support system in the entire world!!! Without my Friends/Family/Crew, Compound family AND coaches….. this would have NEVER happen. The bonds are for lifetime!!!”

3)What advice would you give someone who wants to sign up, but has self doubt ??

Michael- “STOP WITH THE SELF DOUBT !!! Please, it’s your enemy within, control it and you can control your destiny. Yes, it’s going to take a lot of training but YOU can do it.Even if you don’t finish, you’ll learn something about yourself that you’ll take away, that will be priceless, I Promise. Do Research on these types of events,( I’ve only done this once but I’ll be glad to talk to anyone to help you prepare). Train some more !!! Talk to people who have done these events. Don’t over think it. Again train some more, lol . And remember. … YOU CAN DO IT…IT’S WITHIN, you’ll be so amazed at what you can bring yourself to accomplish…..its the best/most rewarding feeling you’ll ever get, I promise, it will change you…the way you think, look at views and treat folks and value yourself!!! And then train some more!!! Lol but Just Do It !!!!!!!!

Michael is such an inspiration and a motivator. Thank you for sharing your story!! I hope you all were as inspired and moved as I was. This experience has proved to Michael that he can accomplish anything. From his first marathon that he completed last November, to competing in Spartan Races and other OCRS, to The Gauntlet- Michael puts his heart and soul into all he does. He is a true competitor but will ALWAYS lend a helping hand to others.

Stay tuned for tomorrow to read Liana’s story. If you would like to experience The Gauntlet for yourself, please enter the giveway  for a free race entry. One winner will receive a free entry and two others will receive a code for a discounted entry. Don’t let self doubt hold you back- you can accomplish all things! 

Photo Credit: The Gauntlet

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