On August 25th 2013, I hope to become a Spartan. I don’t know what made me decide to sign up for the Super Spartan Race, a 8+ mile obstacle course of epic proportions on par with the kind of training more than likely seen during The Crucible (I’m guessing here). I think I want to challenge myself physically more than anything else. I’ve always been a hearty girl. High pain tolerance, surprisingly strong when necessary, but I want to prove to myself that I can do just about anything and the Spartan Race definitely fits up there on the “anything” list.
My mind has also been on Ares and how he’s one of the Olympians I don’t pay much attention to. I honor all of the gods as is their due, but he’s always been in my peripheral vision, like the Boss you know works at your company but you just stay out of his way. Considering I come from a military family and even considered joining at one point; I found some of his attributes to be things I wasn’t comfortable with, which probably led to a selfish gulf in my worship of him.
I don’t know why, as I finished another set of push-ups at the gym, I got the idea to dedicate my training and completion of this Spartan Race to Him. It was like one of those flash in the pan ideas that seems like a good idea at the time. And I think offering the completion of the race is the most daunting because this thing can take 3 hours if you’re GOOD and 5-7 hours if you’re completely unprepared. People have not finished. People have gotten seriously injured.
Not only have I promised to finish. I’ve promised to actually compete. No “Yay! I made it!” while walking across the finish line 8 hours in. I’m to give my all to get the best placing possible I can for myself and my team.
For one day I will get to be a Spartan and that one day will probably be a memory I’ll carry for the rest of my days.
Ares, exceeding in strength, chariot-rider, golden- helmed, doughty in heart, shield-bearer, Saviour of cities, harnessed in bronze, strong of arm, unwearying, mighty with the spear, O defence of Olympus, father of warlike Victory, ally of Themis, stern governor of the rebellious, leader of righteous men, sceptred King of manliness, who whirl your fiery sphere among the planets in their sevenfold courses through the aether wherein your blazing steeds ever bear you above the third firmament of heaven; hear me, helper of men, giver of dauntless youth! Shed down a kindly ray from above upon my life, and strength of war, that I may be able to drive away bitter cowardice from my head and crush down the deceitful impulses of my soul. Restrain also the keen fury of my heart which provokes me to tread the ways of blood-curdling strife. Rather, O blessed one, give you me boldness to abide within the harmless laws of peace, avoiding strife and hatred and the violent fiends of death.
-Homeric Hymn to Ares