My name is Christine. I’ve always lived in Arkansas, but my life has been quite a long journey. In the last four years, I have come so far in becoming who I am and who I want to be, and I honestly have Conquer The Gauntlet to thank for jump-starting the new me! Four years ago I was a pregnant single mother of one, soon to be two. I was overweight, depressed, and knew something had to change. I had always wanted to be healthy, in shape, and active, but I never seemed to have the time or the motivation. I would see advertisements online for different running events in my community, but I always got busy or forgot about them.

When I saw that Conquer The Gauntlet was coming to Arkansas in 2012, it sparked something inside me. I started working out and running for fun, something I always thought people were crazy for doing! Not too much later, I wrote in to CTG asking how this whole thing works, wondering, “could I really do this?” They encouraged me to sign up and believed in me. So I did, I signed up! I didn’t know anyone else doing the race. I was scared, but I was determined. As I trained for the event, I began to notice that not only was I changing physically, but mentally also, I finally started to think I was worth more, I began to push myself by facing all my fears and doubts head on!

Finally, the big day came, I showed up to my first CTG alone, I knew I wasn’t the strongest or the fastest, but I immediately felt I had the support of everyone else doing the race that day! As we lined up, my heart was pounding; I was scared, excited, and lost in emotion. Off we went! I ran, jogged, climbed, crawled, and pushed myself to do things I never imagined I could do. I met some amazing people, and realized I WASNT ALONE!! So many people were there with support and help, people I had never even met. I CROSSED THE FINISH LINE!! I Conquered The Gauntlet! Yes, I had bruises and bumps; I was exhausted, yet exhilarated with my accomplishment! From that point on, I knew I could do anything I set my mind to doing. Running my first CTG was just what I needed to realize I was stronger mentally and physically than I ever gave myself credit for and it made me hungry for more! It’s crazy to think that a race with a bunch of strangers could have such an impact on someone’s life, but it’s true. It changed my life; it made me believe in me again! I could never thank the people at CTG and all the amazing friends I’ve made running CTG for the support, love, and strength I have gained.

I am now so happy with where I am in life, a single mom of two amazing kids, with a good job. I’ve gone back to school to earn my degree, and last year I even bought a house. All these huge changes in my life began when I stepped outside my comfort zone and went and climbed over some walls and ran around in the mud. If you’re looking for a change in your life, sign up to Conquer The Gauntlet. The #ctgfamily will change your life and you’ll have so much fun along the way!

Benjamin DeBell