02 Oct Spartan Racer Turns Obstacles Into Opportunities
When Adriane Warren embraced the truth of having two life-changing medical diagnoses, she knew that plenty of obstacles were going to lie ahead. However, as a Spartan obstacle course warrior, Adriane was unfazed. Instead of being defeated, she saw an opportunity to change her lifestyle and embark on a journey to become her healthiest self.
Officially diagnosed with facet arthropathy and spinal stenosis at age 33, the Pennsylvania native decided to focus on what she could control – her weight. “I decided it was time to make some major changes,” she said. “I set a goal to drop a huge amount of weight and get healthy. By the end of the year I had lost about 65 pounds, started running, and completed a few 5Ks.”
Adriane’s feats didn’t stop there; after her diagnoses she began competing in challenging Spartan obstacle course races. Spartan races are three miles or longer and feature various obstacles such as barbed wire crawls, wall climbs, and heavy object lifting. By age 35 Adriane had completed four of these obstacle races, a marathon relay, a 10K, a 5-mile trail race, and several 5Ks.
Inspired by professional triathlete and fellow Racing for a Cure teammate, Angela, Adriane has continued to support the Racing For A Cure team by raising money and awareness for arthritis research. “In the world of health and research, even a very small finding can make a huge impact,” she said. She hopes that research findings will be pieced together over time to develop improved medications and then possibly a cure for arthritis.
However, throughout her weight loss and racing journey, Adriane began experiencing new symptoms. The fiercely tough Spartan racer continued to power through her daily life, work, and training until she was eventually diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. And although the diagnosis came as a dose of bad news, it also provided some answers about her health. “[There was] relief in knowing there was finally a reason for the way I felt,” she said.
Despite her RA diagnosis, Adriane tried to remain committed to living an active lifestyle, but her weight loss journey was constantly interrupted by several shoulder surgeries. One procedure in particular required Adriane to use crutches during her recovery. After six weeks of relying on crutches as her main form of transportation, she took her first steps on her own and never looked back. The Couch to 5K program helped to ease Adriane back into running and she also learned how to adapt her training to the way her body was feeling.
Post surgery, Adriane was scheduled to compete in another Spartan obstacle race, but she knew her body needed more time to recover. “Never knowing how you will wake up feeling is very frustrating,” she said. “[I had] to draw back a little and listen to my body.”
Still, she was motivated her to find a new way to get to the finish line. Her training regimen was adjusted according to her body’s needs, and consisted of circuit training, body weight exercises, and cross training on a stationary bike.
Adriane had always been highly independent, but when her work days began feeling like “marathons” she knew she needed assistance. Whether it was her best day or her toughest, her husband was there to support her through it all. And along with Adriane’s training to be a better athlete, she also continues to strive for personal growth. Throughout her obstacles on and off the race course, she refuses to stop moving.
“[The disease] forced me to ask for help and it forced me to change my goals,” Adriane said. “You need to surround yourself with positive people, people that inspire you, and people that are better than you. The worst thing you can do is sit still. Don’t stop putting one foot in front of the other.”
The Racing For a Cure athlete’s incredible weight loss and athletic pursuits have already motivated her family, friends and fans to be active. “My biggest goal is to keep inspiring others, which in turn inspires me to keep going.”
Are you inspired by Adriane’s story? Have you embarked on your own weight loss journey? Tell us in the comments below!
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