Issue 22
September 2019

By Kim Collings


1. Beast Profiles

2. Seven Pillars

3. Nutrition

4. Looking Ahead

1. Beast Profiles

Articles and interviews dedicated to reporting on the amazing people and stories of Your Beast Team!

Meet one of your Beast Pro Team members, Toni Hessen!

What was your first OCR race and what made you decide to try it?

Rugged Maniac I decided to try it because I had been about a year into my fitness journey abs was a little stagnant, so I was looking for new challenges and adventures. I had a niece who was doing this race and she invited me to jump in with her so I did. 

How has OCR helped you overcome challenges?

It has helped me overcome anxiety, fear, and slowly conquering self consciousness.  

What do you love most about the OCR Community?

They tolerate me!! Lol.  My family is always growing. I have found a strong supportive tribe, I’m never alone……. uggg. Just kidding I am when I want to be. 

Who inspires you?

No one specific? I think everyone inspires me. We all have had  are own struggles and life stories, we all have overcome our own obstacles,  in which somehow have led us all here to the Beasts, and or OCRs were all looking and working towards something. Whatever it may be.  So screw the saying ” be inspirational” because we all are inspirational. 

What is your favorite OCR memory?

Well so many of them!!!!  I think if I had to pick it was my first time meeting members of Beasts OCR, it’s been a little over a year and who knew? That it would all lead to this. I say this as I am riding home from the Utah Spartan Super  where I spent the weekend with my beast family wouldn’t trade these times for a race just kidding… maybe. 

Tell us something about yourself that few people know, whether OCR related or not.

1.  I’m s self conscious especially with pictures 2. No matter how well I do I think I could have done better. 3. I have an anxiety disorder.  4. I’m not a trainer I am a meat cutter.  Lol

What are your goals for 2019?

I have met a few of my goals already …1. I got my first podium 2. I qualified for Tahoe in the top 10. But more future goals? The first one would be to find a job that gives me weekends off. 2. Heavy to light GoRuck challenge to push towards harder events. I could continually go on.  After I complete one I already have 3 more!!

Photo credit: Spartan Race, Warrior Dash

2. Seven Pillars

Endurance Strength   Athleticism   Recovery Nutrition   Mind  Code

We work hard to improve our physical selves which is important in racing and a healthy life. I wanted to also focus on other aspects that can help us be well rounded in our racing and personal lives. Each month I’d like to choose a topic from the Spartan Seven Pillars above and then offer a challenge to you. You have an entire month to work on it. Research shows that lasting changes often occur when you take things slow and do one step at a time.

This month we are going to look at Mind. I’ve been listening to an audio book called Mind Gym, an Athlete’s Guide to Inner Excellence by Gary Mack. There is a little nugget in here that stuck with me that I wanted to share. It’s about visualization and positivity. So, not the type of positivity that’s looking through rose colored glasses. This is more about a positive framework and visualization to advance your athletic goals. For example, Gary Mack talks about working with major league baseball teams to help when one or more team members get in a slump. He talked with one pitcher and asked what he thought about when he envisioned the upcoming game. He started listing off the other players and how he wanted to pitch to them, “I don’t want to pitch a fast ball to Joe Smith or he will hit it out of the park.” Gary said, when you think of it that way, your mind hears pitch a fast ball and will try to follow through with that. The way to adjust that is to think of your optimal outcome such as, “I’m going to pitch a slider to Joe Smith and strike him out.” This example is intentional and says exactly what you WANT to do so there is no room for confusion when your mind interprets it.

I’ve been guilty of this without realizing it. I frame what I want to do by saying what I don’t want to do and then end up doing it. I really don’t like cold water which makes the dunk wall hard for me. I find myself thinking, “don’t hesitate when you get to the dunk wall. There’s no reason to stare it down.” What happens….I hesitate and stare it down. Reframing it would sound like, “you are going to go through that dunkwall as fast and efficiently as possible and then start running again immediately after exiting.”

It sounds so easy and like this type of reframing wouldn’t do very much, but it does and it will for you too. Focus on what you want and never think of it in terms of avoiding what you don’t want. You will get laser focused and conquer your mission.

Photo credit:

3. Beast Nutrition


Here are some facts and benefits of spirulina you might not know!

Fast Facts About Spirulina

It really is an algae

Technically, spirulina is a cyanobacteria. It’s a type of blue-green algae that naturally grows in ponds or freshwater lakes, relying on sunshine, pure water and tropical conditions to bloom.

It can be a source of protein

While the exact amount of protein depends on the variety of spirulina, by dry weight, it has the highest concentration of protein in any food. And good news for vegans and vegetarians — spirulina is classed as a vegetable protein.

Spirulina can give your immune system a boost

A source of magnesium, potassium, calcium and a number of other vitamins, spirulina has a bunch of nutrients that are good for our health. Early research indicates spirulina might assist with the creation of antibodies, helping your body to defend against infections.

Spirulina is also a source of tryptophan, which the body converts to serotonin, a feel-good chemical in our body. This chemical may help improve sleep and stabilize moods.

Spirulina may help with recovery

Spirulina can help to reduce inflammation and muscle fatigue, which may make it easier for your body to recover during and after a workout. The high protein can also help your body to rebuild muscle after a workout. It’s packed with chlorophyll, which can help to increase the oxygen levels in the body and may reduce any impurities in the blood.

Spirulina has anti-ageing properties

As a natural antioxidant, spirulina may help protect our bodies against cell damage. It has approximately four times the antioxidant ability of blueberries and also contains more beta-carotene than carrots. This not only provides antioxidant properties, but these benefits have also been linked to decreases in cardiovascular disease.

Spirulina can be a great pick-me-up

Feeling burnt out after a tough HIIT session? Spirulina has a stack of vitamins and nutrients that may help increase energy. It contains both vitamin B1 and B2, which can help your body draw energy from carbohydrates.

Spirulina is high in iron, which may help your body to produce energy and to use the oxygen your body takes in when you’re breathing. Iron also contributes to muscle repair and can reduce inflammation, so it is great for endurance.

If you’re not excited by the smell (or the look) of spirulina and water, try adding spirulina powder to post workout smoothies. Spirulina capsules may also be available in some areas.

A little bit of spirulina goes a long way, so don’t be surprised when your smoothies turn a deep green color! 1

Photo Credit:


Spirulina Smoothie

This is easy as can be. Just add 1 tsp of Spirulina to any smoothie and you’re in business. This one was made with:

1/2 banana
1.5 C almond milk
1 tsp maca
1 tsp know gelatin
1 tsp Spirulina
1 cup spinach
1 serving protein powder

Photo credit: Kim Collings

4. Looking Ahead

The Beast Report: September 2019
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