#DearJoe 0001

Sonia Gonzalez and her awesome team. :)

In the process of writing back on an email I get about 30 more…so it can be hard to keep up. But so many of them inspire me…I have to share. So I am starting this series called “DearJoe” (because that is how the emails start).

The emails I get from people inspire me. People all over the world are doing amazing things — like this mom and teacher who brought an enormous team from her school to do a race.

This woman needs an award because she is a mom, special ed teacher and Spartan and is killing it in all 3. Here is what this hero wrote me:

Dear Joe,
I have written to you before about my love of Spartan racing. I am a 39-year-old mother of two, special education teacher, and Spartan.
This year, I began working in a new school. Right from the start, I shared my love and passion for Spartan racing with my colleagues. My motivation must have been contagious because it resulted in 26 teachers and my principal agreeing to take part in the Sprint this past weekend in Tuxedo. Only one of these teachers had done a Spartan Race before and trained daily for the race. As a school, we held a Spartan training class (led by me) in the gymnasium of the school. We have a rope climb and a cargo net, and we practiced bear crawling, running up the stairs, and lots and lots of burpees.
Coincidentally, I saw a post on FB from a certain William Hawthorne inquiring about corporate teams. I wrote to him that a team of teachers from White Plains, NY would be competing, and Bill immediately contacted me for more information. He gave the teachers a discount code to apply to their race — and we were in!
On June 12th, I brought 26 teachers so I could share my love and passion for Spartan racing with them. It certainly wasn’t easy, and they were all tested to their limits, but everyone completed the race.
On Monday, we wore our medals proudly to work with our finisher t-shirts to show our students that all things are possible with a growth mindset. Some teachers may not have been fit enough YET to complete a Spartan in a competitive time, but each one pushed past their fears and allowed themselves to get “uncomfortable.” I never anticipated the number of thankyous I would receive. That day built immeasurable pride and camaraderie. Spartan will now become an annual tradition at my school.
I write all this to say THANK YOU. Thank you for creating this “thing” that makes us all feel so unstoppable!
As for me, I completed races #12 and #13 this past weekend. I was able to get over all the walls unassisted and even do the rig. This Spartan is getting stronger and stronger.
Sonia Gonzalez

My goal with Spartan has been the same from the beginning: get people off the couch. Somehow Sonia convinced 26 teachers to get out of their comfort zones in a way that most people would call INSANE. :)

It’s people like Sonia who are the true leaders in this world…the people who drag their friends and coworkers to events because they know those events will change them for the better.

Let’s follow her example.

If you liked this story, recommend it (❤ ) so other people can see it. Help me get 1,000,000 people off the couch!