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When most people think of hot July Sunday afternoons, their mind wanders to a seat near water’s edge, whether it be the ocean, a community pool, or perhaps even the giggle fest that is a backyard slip and slide. Sometimes there’s a drink in hand, sometimes a newspaper, or maybe even the latest best-seller.
The pace is uniformly slow. It’s hot, almost too hot to move. Even time moves slowly, almost as slowly as a toddler moves through the toy aisle.
But if you stop at the Blue Mountain Ski Resort in Palmerton, PA on a July weekend, you will see a pace that is anything but slow. There you will find an obstacle course that is as elaborate as it is extensive. On these weekends, Blue Mountain Resort transforms into Spartan madness.
With the rise of extreme sports like wakeboarding, ice climbing, parkour, and street luge, is it really any surprise that there are athletes out there who train for and pay for runs? These races run the gamut from a local run at a farm with a pumpkin, to the extreme of inflatable obstacles, fire pits and barbed wire.
Andreas is not a company that does things on a small scale. We want to do your repairs right. When we do a job, we want to do it all the way and give our customer the best possible result. If it means renting a bulldozer to do so, we’re going to do it. If it means climbing in your attic on the hottest of days to get your air conditioning running, we’re going to do it.
With a smile.
It should not come as a surprise to anyone then, that the crew from Andreas Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning took on the challenge of running the Spartan Race at Blue Mountain Ski Resort one Sunday this July. The word extreme does not do this race justice. Rather, it borders on insane. You cannot even get to the start of the race without scaling a four foot wall, only to be followed by an extreme trek uphill to the point of vertical crawling at certain spots. Followed by progressively taller walls to scale, sandbags to transport, cargo nets to climb, barbed wire to escape under, and boulders to carry. Wait a minute, we actually pay to do this?!?!?
Yep, we do. And we love every minute of it. There is a reason that the extreme racing industry is so popular. They have capitalized on something that you can’t buy in any store. There is absolutely no price tag on the adrenaline high titled accomplishment. You can’t bottle it, you can’t manufacture it, and you definitely can’t mass produce it.
It comes from within. It’s the feeling of accomplishment that comes with beating your own time, getting over the wall that seemed way too tall, or feeling the second wind kick in on mile 4. Nothing compares to it. You can say to yourself, “I did it.” A week later, you’re still going over the obstacles in your mind, trying to figure out how to make it easier for the next one.
When you do this race as a team, the camaraderie is like the whipped cream and cherry on that sundae of satisfaction. We did this together. We ran a race that pushed our individual limits, but we did it together, so those moments when one of us wasn’t sure how to accomplish something, the others stepped up and made sure we did it. Sometimes literally, by offering a knee or a shoulder, and an open hand on the other side. We’re still talking about it and cheering each other on because we’re proud of ourselves, but prouder still of the team.
We are proof positive that hard work pays off. Every day, not just on Spartan Day. It was fun, it was messy, there were some tears, there was pain, but we all share the memory of this beautiful Sunday, which is how teams build themselves.
I wouldn’t want to work with any other team.