Joe De Sena is in Boston, talking on the phone with 24Life’s editorial staff in California about his book, “The Spartan Way: Eat Better. Train Better. Think Better. Be Better.” (St. Martin’s Griffin, September 2018). There’s a sound on the line—he’s interrupted briefly—and De Sena comments, “Oh, my kettlebell arrived. I carry them everywhere, but I keep losing them in airports.”
We assume that he’s planning to pack this one for a trip, but as the conversation continues, De Sena becomes somewhat breathless. He explains that he is now out on the street, carrying the weight to his next appointment on a boat in Boston Harbor.
Millions of Spartan racers look to De Sena as an incredible example of fortitude, yet carrying a kettlebell across a city seems like an unnecessary extra burden. De Sena has acknowledged the pressures of running a business, inspiring and motivating people, and being a husband and father. But he’s not carrying the weight to prove a point—he’s carrying it because he has the good fortune to be able to do it.
Instead of “I have to do this,” De Sena says he tells himself, “I get to do this.” He points out, “That’s a big difference, right?” When he’s running in the rain and the dark, De Sena reminds himself he has his legs, he’s alive and he gets to run—and if things really get tough, he reminds himself that things could be worse. He laughs and says he sets the bar really low, but it’s clear he appreciates that he has something to be grateful for.