More than Mud - Chelsea Aronica
More than Mud is an article and interview series dedicated to documenting the incredible characters and stories that we come across in the world of OCR and outdoor adventure and endurance racing events. They range from everyday heroes to extreme athletes but all have unique and engaging stories to tell.
How Did You Get Into OCR Racing?
I played basketball my entire life. After my college basketball season and career ended, I wanted something else to keep my fire going and that challenged me. My dad did his first Spartan Race in Staten Island, where we live, and he told me that I would love it. Later that year, we did Tuxedo Spartan together and I instantly got hooked!
How do you describe what you do to people outside of the OCR community? (and why you do it)
When I describe what I do to people who are not familiar with OCR, I show them pictures or videos that my parents have taken. They think I am crazy! I tell them all about the views at the top of mountains and how exhilarating finishing a race feels. I've tried to get some of my friends to do one with me so they can experience that same rush!
What's been your most interesting or memorable moment in your OCR career so far?
My most memorable moment in my OCR career so far was the 2013 Vermont Beast. It was my first beast ever and the first time I ever did a race over 13 miles. It was also my first OCR season. I did not know what to expect. I ran on Sunday, and it was rainy and freezing. This race pushed me to my limits and forced me to overcome all of the challenged I was facing (fatigue, hunger, frost bite). Not to my knowledge, until after the race had ended, I ended up finishing the race in 3rd place female! It was a great experience with or without the podium and made me come to the realization that I can do anything I put my mind to.
What personal challenges has OCR has helped you overcome?
I tore my ACL playing basketball in 2010 and ever since then I have had a totally different mindset. Coaches doubted me to get back to 100% so I wanted to show them that I can get back into even better shape than I was, and I did. I have always used that as fuel to keep going. Now, I am doing things that I have never imagined and accomplishing much more than I ever thought I would.
What inspires you?
I am a Special Education Teacher and children inspire me every day. Things people doubt they can accomplish and then they accomplish them and more inspires me to never give up. Telling my students about my races and the faces they have when I tell them what I am going to do on the weekend, inspire me to do well so I can tell them all about it!
Any race stats you'd like to share? Any goals for this year?
My goal this year is to get stronger in running. I love the obstacles, but I know running is my weakness. I have been working on it all through the off season, so hopefully it pays off in the end!
Photos courtesy of Spartan Race
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seeing my granddaughter talk about her accomplisments make me and my wife busting with pride.Our children and grandchildren are the most imported things in our lifes. I for one was a very good ball player and to see my grandchildren surppressed me makes me more then pround. Keep up the great work and never give up love ya
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