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Tribesports User of the Week: Loren O

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Posted by Loren O under Adventure Racing on 13 August 2014 at 11:00 PM

Loren OWhich Tribesports Challenge has been your toughest and which are you most proud of?

Every challenge has an element of tough to it. Whether it's the exertion required, the duration required or simply the motivation. Tribesports is great because it's sort of my training partner. It won't nag me when I haven't done any challenges but is there to welcome me back and offer new challenges. The toughest challenges, and the ones that I am the most proud of, are the ones that have "stuck," like the no drinking soda for 30 days and drink more water for a month. Those duration based challenges that are designed to create lifestyle changes really work for me - especially when the penalty for a missed day is that I have to start over.

I don't remember exactly how I found Tribesports but I knew right away that it would help me. I was getting divorced, I just reached my highest weight ever (283lbs) and I was fighting depression. Tribesports, with its supportive community and small attainable challenges seemed like just the solution. I jumped into Tribesports head first. It literally changed my life. It changed the way I viewed exercise and the way I ate. I still stumble now and then but the lessons learned from those first few months of Tribesports have stuck with me and are pushing me to continue to do better.

Would it be safe to say you're slightly addicted to mud runs?!

I don't think there's any denying that I'm addicted to mud runs. I did my first mud run in May 2011 - a Warrior Dash - and I was both invigorated and disappointed. Disappointed because I didn't do as well as I imagined I would and invigorated because this was unlike any other thing I had ever done. I do regular running, too, but mud runs, and the challenge they present, are what really get me going.

Mud Run

The reason I do mud runs is because I am a big guy, a Clydesdale, and running doesn't come easy for me. Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) seems to be the solution because there is running but it's broken up at intervals and allows me to use my strength to my advantage.

Spartan pummel gladiators

Mud runs, even though they have a lot in common, also offer a diversity that keeps me interested race after race. The people who run mud runs or OCRs tend to be like a huge family supporting each other, traveling together and getting together before or after the races. I look forward to seeing familiar faces as much as I look forward to the challenge of the run.

Shock Therapy Spartan Race

Which kind of obstacle do you look forward to taking on most?

Obviously, I like the obstacles that work to my strengths: tire flips, dragging things and pulling things. Now that I've seen pretty much everything these races have to throw at me I'm working on strengthening my weaknesses. Right now, that means focusing on the monkey bar type obstacles. Due to my size and weight, I have a difficult time with anything that requires me to bear my own weight. Working on these obstacles will make me stronger and a better competitor.

Rope pull

Do you do much OCR specific training?

This is a common question asked by runners new to OCR. The truth is that there is not any real training specific to OCRs. Training for the obstacles is another story but most of them just require preparation. So, with that in mind I try to prepare for what I think a race has coming by doing functional exercises. Some races will always have the same obstacles and it's easy to prepare for those - especially if they are difficult for you. For someone who wants to try an OCR but may be intimidated by the obstacles I would suggest the following: run hills, do push ups, pull ups, squats, lunges, balance exercises and BURPEES!! I'm a big believer in running your own race. Don't allow anyone or any race to dictate that you do anything you aren't comfortable with. Scope out the obstacle, try it out and if you can't do it this time maybe you'll feel better about it the next time. BE SAFE!

Any other big events on the horizon this year?

Frozen Shamrock RunnerI'm planning on obtaining a triple Spartan Race Trifecta (at least 3 races of each length Sprint, Super & Beast) and I'll be doing my 1st official road 10k this fall.

When you weight train is that in the gym or do you have weights at home?

I prefer body weight training and that is one of the primary reasons I stuck with Tribesports. A person can do body weight training anywhere, without equipment and it's mostly functional training. I do perform some weight training at home but I always do the heavy stuff at the gym. The safety and inherent security of performing barbell squats at the gym make that a no-brainer for me. 

Which piece of Tribesports Performance Wear do you have your eye on?

Men's Performance Thermal Baselayer - Grey Marl

Which Tribesports users make your day? 

@pault040264 - His story is so inspirational. He's a previous TSoW, has overcome major health issues, and is older than me. Despite that, Paul just does it (and well, at that) and by seeing him doing that I know that I can too.

@candidab - Very active in the community and it shows in her ranking.

@irfade - Irfan runs a lot. He's a personal trainer. He's extremely supportive. Irfan is a person to emulate in the TS community and in real life.

@babygirl93086 - Amanda is an example of someone who makes a decision and then follows through. Seeing her activity makes me realize that there is more that I can be doing for myself and the community.

Strong Man Loren

What's your favorite quote?

"Do. Or do not. There is no try." - Yoda 

Finally, to those who might read this and think they can't do a mud run - or anything else for that matter - just do it. As Nelson Mandela said, "It's always impossible until it's done." 

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