My name is Joel Herrington. I have always been into physical fitness and pushing my limits, but how I became involved with the sport of obstacle course racing is a very interesting story, one that is sure to get some laughs. Often when people undertake a new task in life, there is a pivotal moment that pushes them to do so. Early in 2015, I lost my last grandparent and broke up with my girlfriend all in the same night. This was a very difficult couple of hours, but was one of those moments that reminded me that life is short, and it is better to live than to just exist. I have always liked a challenge, but may have never attempted OCR if it wasn’t for this incredible girl. She is the kind of girl that is hard to find, impossible to replace, and definitely one songs are written about. It’s a bit pathetic, but true, I attempted my first OCR in Dallas with the hope that she would take notice. At the time, she liked to run races and I figured it would get her attention. I may have entered the race for strange reasons, but was overjoyed by the end of the race. Come to think of it, that’s the fastest OCR I have run to date. What seemed like a bad situation turned out to be an incredible experience that led to more of the same! Don’t get me wrong, I still missed her, but if we had never broken up, I may have never attempted OCR. I would have missed out on meeting the extraordinary people that I have come to love! 

This is why I am passionate about the sport. It’s not the physical challenge, but the extraordinary people that make the sport matter. I have always encountered people at every race that are eager to help with advice and are quick to lend a hand at any obstacle.  

In the end, I’ve learned that people come and go, what stays constant in life is you. You have one life, choose to live it to the fullest! You may never know who or what magnificent things you will encounter! What seems like a bad situation at first could be a door closing on you in order to push you through another. I’m excited to see who and what the future holds! You are the author of your story, so make it an incredible one or if nothing else, learn to laugh at what life throws at you. I know I do.

Benjamin DeBell