Mud Titan's Featured Athlete - Jason Bailey

In this MudTitan Spotlight I reached out to Jason Bailey to find a little more about his story and what makes him enjoy obstacle course races.  In him I found a father who wants to set an example for his 4 year old daughter, a man who won’t take mediocrity, and a warrior who continues to conquer life every day.  Here’s is his interview:

(KDub - AKA Muddy Warrior Chick) Jason let’s start by you telling us your name, age, where you are from and what do you do full time when you’re not racing on weekends.

(Jason Bailey – JB)  I’m Jason Bailey and am 37, I live in Orlando, Florida.  For full time I am an underwriting manager for a large national mortgage company which means I push papers around a desk for 10 hours a day, 5 days a week.

(KDub) Why is fitness and working out important to you?

(JB)  It’s really changed my life.  In my 20’s I had gotten into some unhealthy habits with drinking and smoking. The closest thing to a sport for me was going to the sports bar after work or on weekends.  I started to put on weight, I didn’t feel good about myself, and when I wanted to change I started running.  I hated it the first time and swore I would never do it again.  Little by little I got into running longer distances.  Now, fitness is part of who I am and it makes me feel good about myself physically and emotionally.  I want to set an example for my daughter who is 4 ½ and I want her to be physically active, happy, and healthy.  Fitness is a healthy part of my life in which I’ve replaced a lot of bad habits with.

(KDub)  There is always one moment or key event which led you to the day that you put on your first pair of running shoes, and take the first step out the door.  Describe what the moment was for you?

(JB)  I used to be a smoker for about 7 years from age 21-28 and I used to get sick all the time.  I used to get sinus infections, colds, the flu, and it seemed like all the time.  I had tried to quit smoking for a while by using patches and gum.  One summer I got the most sever sinus infection and cold that I ever had.  I was sick for two weeks.  I finally asked myself “why am I doing this?”  I knew I had to do something different with my life and quit smoking.  When you quit smoking, you also gain a lot of weight.  I immediately put on about 10-15 pounds and didn’t like what I saw in the mirror.  I knew then I was going to change myself and between feeling unhealthy and overweight I began my journey.  My transformation has not nearly been as dramatic as others you may see online, to me, I didn’t like myself and I wanted to change.

(KDub) Why do you enjoy Obstacle Course Racing (OCR)?

(JB)  I enjoy obstacle course racing because I am a very competitive person.  I like the competitive aspect of it and that it is a race.  I also like the challenges of the obstacles and how there is more than just running.  I am an okay runner, but I think I’m better when you involve a total physical competition consisting of strength, agility, technique, and strategy.  It is a sport that is more suited to be well rounded for me and I enjoy the challenge.

(KDub) Do you remember your first OCR and what was it?

(JB)  It was the Savage Race in the fall of 2013.  I signed up for it on a dare with friends thinking we are going to do this crazy thing.  They have very good marketing.  They promote the race is built to kick your (butt) and ask the questions such as, can you survive this, can you conquer that.  So, the marketing got to us and we signed up as a group to run together.  I trained and took it seriously. I began working on upper body for about 6 months prior to the race with the goal to beat the Sawtooth bars on my first attempt.  I’ve never fallen off so the training was successful.  My first experience at an OCR, running with a group, left me wanting to know what I was capable of if I ran by myself.  When you run with a group you run with the team, the pace of the team, you help everyone over everything, and that is a great experience but I wanted more.  I wanted to see from that experience if I ran by myself, how would I do, and how I would place.  The very next day I signed up for the Savage Race in the spring of 2014 which would be my first competitive OCR.  I ended up placing 35th overall and 5 or 6th for my age group.  My first competitive race I qualified for Obstacle Racing World Championships (OCRWC).

(KDub) What is your training routine to prepare for an OCR or an upcoming challenge?

(JB)  I don’t use any organized training routine.  I know a lot of people who are using online coaching and friends who use the Yancy Camp routines.  Mine has been developed over time in terms of what I feel I need on each obstacle.  When I’m training for a race with a platinum rig I do a lot of grip strength training in the gym.  When I’m training for the ones with more running and are considered a speed race I focus on running and cardio conditioning.  I’ve created routines on my own which are pretty easy for others to do which simulate an obstacle course race.  You basically choose to run, elliptical, or cardio for the same amount of length your upcoming race will be.  Every quarter mile you hop off and do some kind of total body exercise such as a burpee or 8 count bodybuilder.  You could also work on kettle bells, heavy weights and farmer carries between quarter miles.  Essentially you’re setting up your own obstacle course race in the gym.

(KDub) Is there a specific piece of clothing, equipment, or good luck charm is essential for you to wear and/or bring to a race?

(JB)  I’m the guy wearing headphones.  I get a waterproof pair of headphones and a non-waterproof iPod shuffle and wrap it in sandwich bags.  It works and I get to listen to my music while I run.  I have songs that pump me up and get me going which helps me do my best.

(KDub) Any special advice for new comers thinking about running a race?

(JB)  Just do it, just sign up for the first race.  That seems to be the biggest hurdle.  People think that this is the crazy sport and they could never do it.  You would be surprised at what you’re capable of because you just don’t know till you try.  The reason I love OCR so much is because for me it’s a way to go back and learn what you can do, what you are made of.  Life spends years telling you what you can’t do and what you aren’t physically capable of. We slowly trade all of our confidence and power inside ourselves for comfort, safety, and convenience.  To get that back, participate in an event like an OCR where you push yourself and your limits.  You find out what you are capable of and some things you never thought you could do.  If you fall off the monkey bars or fall off the highest wall you keep training and you keep coming back.  The races are fun and are group events that provide a reason to work out instead of trying to look like someone from a fitness magazine.  It gives purpose to your training.  You will eventually be able to beat the obstacle just never give up.  Find out what you’re made of.

(KDub) What’s the one thing you can look back at and say to yourself “wow, I did that.”

(JB)  I have to say I have a 4 year old daughter so she is first above everything.  Fitness related would be completing the Lake Tahoe Ultra Beast last year.  The race only had a 41% completion rate.  I was able to do it with a great friend and race buddy Eric Wilcox who was there every step of the way.  That was one heck of an experience.

(KDub) Will we see you at the next MudTitan 6 in Plant City on August 27?

(JB)  Absolutely!

(KDub)  Anything else you want us to know about Jason?

(JB)  I enjoy finding out what I'm capable of, I'm still pushing, and I didn't come this far to only come this far.

Follow Jason on Instagram!

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