We are on a roll! With such a strong team of Powerful Ambassadors, who are--undoubtedly--very Powerful people, we can only use this space to share their interesting, and exciting, stories, journeys, and helpful advice in fitness. On this week’s edition of the Powerful Blog, we sat with Jake Brosecker-- a competitive OCR Racer who is known for challenging the norms and pushing himself and his team of always further. From a personal background, to his fitness journey and ocr, to his toughest experiences and obstacles, to valued advice on personal growth and resilience, this article will allow you to get to know this Powerful athlete in many of his facets. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where you’re from? What you do? Well, I have an engineering background to begin with; I Invent prototype designs for Cummins Inc. for on and off highway engines, ranging from commercial use to military grade. That’s my day job… but on the weekends I turn into a Vlogging OCR addict that competes across the USA in Spartan, Tough Mudder, and any local OCR I can fit into my schedule. I launched a platform with a couple of my friends for OCR content called BROCR Media. Through it we have been able to tell the story of a lot of OCR athletes like myself and my peers. My travels have taken me to the OCR World Championship 4 times, and the Spartan World Championship Elite wave 4 times. After a rough second half of my 2017 season, I started diving into meditation, cold water immersion therapy, and longer races. In 2018, at the end of my season, I competed in my first World’s Toughest Mudder completing 50 miles. [isn’t this impressive and super Powerful?]. I am eagerly preparing for a new season in 2019 where I am focusing on endurance as a strength, and Ultra distances. How did you get into obstacle racing? Growing up, my father was a brick mason and I worked in the fields in the summer; so, getting dirty was something I was never afraid of. Throughout high school and college, I was a Nationally ranked pole vaulter; and maneuvering by body and moving fluidly was something I was naturally gifted at. When I saw a preview of Spartan I thought to myself, “You know, you could be good at this if you tried.” At the end of that year, I found myself running the first televised NBC Spartan Race World Championship. Just then I knew I wanted this to be a big part of my life onwards. Which was your first obstacle race? If you had to choose a favorite memory from this race, what would it be? My first OCR was the Indiana Haspin Acres Spartan Sprint. I remember signing up and trying to get an early start time because I was going on a pub crawling bike ride later that afternoon. Little did I know it would change my life. My favorite memory from this race would be going up the start line. I had this funny hat on; and had no clue what I was getting into. When I saw people starting to stretch I threw off the hat, stripped down to my running shorts and suddenly knew it was game time. This could be so much more than just a mud run if I let it become that. Your team has been competing for a while now. Any challenging experiences worth sharing from these competitions? Burnout is real; and it can take a million different shapes. We live in a sport, and a time, where anyone can be a critic with the click of a button. From online trolls, to people wanting to start in on you after a race, I have seen so many different stories that can make you question why we keep doing this. After a while, you get to a point where you ask yourself if it’s worth it anymore. Often at this point we bury ourselves in deeper, and start to alienate people. Maybe, you try to find gratification in running more races and risk injury. Maybe, even search for online approval and validation to feel justified in your actions… At the end of the day, you just feel overwhelmed by something that was supposed to be an escape from the real world. This is something my team and I have all seen come and go. I’ve talked to so many different friends about this and its a real thing that plagues tons of us in my team and within the OCR community. [We are glad Jacob felt this as a safe space to raise his voice and teach us about his experience with overcoming obstacles that aren’t part of the race course.] Sounds like a harsh environment to develop in, how did you navigate this? I remembered my roots and where I came from. I remembered this sport is my escape, and the people I do these things with are my friends. The videos I make are mine, and if I am happy with them, that's all that matters. There will always be someone who dislikes your material. Maybe, in some way, they are looking for validation in their actions as well. The fact is, I’ll create another video, or change it. If I say something out of term I can always apologize. [Never shadowing away from challenges, doesn’t get more Powerful than that.] Additionally I try to instill these values with my team so we can foster a culture where we have fun and encourage each other physically in races to do our best; mentally, for our own health; and creatively, to make fun content that brings us joy. If you don’t love what you do then quit. Life is too short to lose sight of your own true north. If you had any recommendations on what is the most important thing to keep in mind when tackling an obstacle race, what would it be? Mental health and preparedness is just as important as physical in these races. If you walk up to the start line in the rain and cold and believe that it will be a bad day you have just created a self fulfilling prophecy. Try to take a step back, breathe and calm yourself. Additionally Don’t gauge yourself by one performance, or one finish, comment, or mistake. Instead look at a bigger picture of the past few months of your life. What themes are reoccuring in this time? What do i like and what do dislike? Can i change these things to make my performance and attitude better? That sounds like a lot to process, especially for people that don’t usually go through those situations...Any last thoughts to give to our readers? I have been running in this sport for the past 7 years. The only constant is change. Things will change faster, get weirder, and change shape by the second. Embrace it. Learn to love it, and adapt with it while maintaining the lessons you have learned in the past. I like to think of the concept of a shortcoming as a lesson. If you learned a lesson from it you didn't fail at all. All you did was set yourself up for the next chance to succeed. Also get into meditation and breathing techniques. It can change your life, just like anything, if you let it. For more recipes, news & stories like these, tune into the Powerful Blog every week!