Spartan Trifecta – 2 down, 1 to go

Good day my fellow bloggers. Hope everyone had a great weekend, mine was very athletic.

On Saturday, the 5 Life Upgrade Spartans woke up bright and early in New Jersey and headed to breakfast to fuel up for the Spartan race ahead of us. Little did we know what we were in for. Upon arriving at the race site, Mountain Creek Resort, New Jersey’s largest ski resort, we knew we were in for a challenge. People were…different…they were…extremely in shape, cut, athletes…we…were not, but we continued on.

The race consisted of 20+ obstacles over an 8.5 mile course that had you walking up and down the mountain. We conquered the first few miles and obstacles, heaving each other over walls and crawling in mud pits avoiding barbed wire. High fives and butt pats followed “ARRROOOOO!!!” The Spartan chant. I loved it. I felt like a warrior.

Our legs were on fire, our hearts were pounding, but Team Life Upgrade finally make it to the 6th mile. This is where the HUGE mind F happened. The problem with mile 6 was that it was directly across from the finish line, however, we were not finished. We had to fill 10 gallon buckets with gravel and climb back up the mountain and down again which would leave us at mile 7.

Seeing the finish line, the exhausted champions with spectators congratulating them, really made this 6th mile seem like the end, but it felt like it was only the beginning. Slowly but surely we all completed yet another obstacle and moved on to mile 7, another vertical hike up a double black diamond trail. The heat exhaustion started to kick in leaving a few of us nauseous, dizzy and ready to quit, but the beauty of our team is that we support and push each other. No one quits on Life Upgrade.

Traversing down a muddy, rocky and steep hill, seeing that last obstacle, the fire pit, only meant one thing. The end. We ran down that mountain and lined up next to each other before jumping over that fire pit together, hands raised, grinning faces. We had done it. This small, 5 man team had completed one of the hardest things they’ve ever done, together. I have never been so proud as I was that moment.

In the words of Coach Taylor from my fav, Friday Night Lights – “Clear eyes, full heart, can’t lose.”

ARRRROOOOOO!!!!!!

AHawkes Signature

Advertisements

NYC adventures

Can anyone else believe it’s already Wednesday??? #TGIW #humpday

This weekend D and I took a little adventure to the Big Apple. We got up bright and early on Sunday morning and drove to New Haven to hop on the train. With a gallon of Bloody Mary in hand, we set up our little personal train cafe bar and relaxed for the 2 hour ride.

When we arrived at Grand Central Station @ 11:30AM it was booming with tourists and NY natives. It was a complete energy rush and it definitely put a skip in my step. I miss city living sometimes! We decided that we’d walk to our Central Park hotel from the station so we could swing by Times Square on the way and man, was I glad that we did that. We stumbled upon 2014 Brazilian Day and got to sample some paella..YUM-O!!!

Finally arriving at our hotel around 12:30, we dropped our bags, freshened up and headed back out in the 90° heat. Next stop, the World Trade Center Memorials. Upon arriving I couldn’t help but tear up. If you haven’t seen the pools, you should.

911-Memorial-Museum

I started to get a little #hangry so we strolled over to Chinatown to get some cheap and authentic food. The little shops were so different and fun to walk around…we ended up getting roast duck and noodles…for $12 = Happy Wallet

Dinner that night brought us to KTCHN in the Hells Kitchen area. It borders on the Theater District so we were not lacking any people watching…I love how NYC residents rock the craziest fashions. They totally own it, especially the group of Furries we saw walking around…if you don’t know what a Furry is… you’re welcome.

dinner

Chicken Tajine

app

Duck Confit, Shrimp Salad w. Avocado and Brie & Fig crostinis

Walking back from dinner we got the urge for something sweet so we asked a local and they directed us to Benash Delicatessen on 7th Ave. We ordered the German Chocolate Cheesecake and were absolutely shocked when a 3lb slab of gloriousness came out…we couldn’t finish it (thank God!)

Monday morning we went to Central Park and met up with my friend Jess, my olde Boston friend. I hadn’t seen her in over a year so this was a great treat! We stumbled upon an open bar brunch which only led to Mimosa shenannigans to which I completely blame my C+ rated Fantasy Football Team.

ajd

Overall, I loved my trip to NYC and think it’s a place where everyone should visit a few times a decade. Everything changes all the time, yet the old school beauty and classic style still remains.

AHawkes Signature