Review: Spartan Up

spartanuporiginally posted on nespahtens.com

I was lucky to receive an advance reader copy of the book from Houghton Mifflin. And while I am breaking a golden rule of advance reading reviews, I’ve seen a ton of them posted already so I figured what can another one hurt? If anything, it could help drum up some interest in our community, not that a ton of you haven’t already pre-ordered it right? And if you haven’t, click the cover right over there —>

We all know and love Joe DeSena, well some of us do at least, all those damned burpees he’s doled out has a few too many people hatin’ on him. That said, we know him as one of the founders of one of the most successful OCR companies, Spartan Race! You can search the history, but nuts and bolts of it is, Spartan had their first Spartan Race event in 2010. Since then they have exploded and are currently one of the largest international OCR racing companies. They push the limits and are driving the industry.

“Spartan Up” lays out the groundwork not only for Spartan Race from the past, present and future, but gets us into the head of what makes Joe DeSena the man he is. From humble beginnings, to desk jobs and then finally getting fed up with it all. Joe tells stories of how he broke and realized there was more to life than the rat race. I had no idea the extent of what Joe has accomplished in his short time on the planet. From running Badwater to doing other ultra-marathons and endurance hikes, he’s done it all.

desena1His wit and wisdom (did I just call Joe witty?) is expounded by the page and parallels are drawn from every possible angle. His advice is not medical advice, and should not be taken as such, but is practical and could save your life. You’ve heard it before, simple things like changing your diet, making time for movement of any sort. Joe basically talks about our roots as animalistic beings. We used to have to scavenge for our food, now it’s in a machine tucked neatly inside of cellophane and a box. We used to scavenge for our foods, which were fresh and free of preservatives. We have become so lazy that the most effort we put into our food, for the most part, is to tear open the package and shove it into our mouths.

He also talk about dealing with pain and prioritizing that pain. For instance, and I am not typing this verbatim, he mentions marathon running. Instead of focusing on the pain the whole lump sum of 26.2 miles may bring, prioritize it to each telephone pole. Deal with it bit by bit, it’s easier to cope with and is less daunting. It won’t control your mindset the whole run and maybe, just maybe you might enjoy it.

I have a new respect for this guy, nothing was handed to him on a silver platter, he made himself into the man he is today. One word you will read throughout the book, and that describes Joe the best, is grit. He has it, it’s been a driving force for him. Without it, he would be nothing. Spartan Up can very well provide you with a path toward building that grit of your own.

One thing I respect the hell out of Joe for is the fact he is what he is. There is no sugar-coating, there is no filter at all on this man. He will tell you like it is whether you want to hear it or not. Call it tough love, because I honestly believe he wants to see you become the best YOU that you can be!!

Highly recommend you read this!

Order the book by clicking the cover up above or CLICK HERE!!

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