Hold Fast Iron

"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17

Hold Fast Iron is dedicated to sharpening the lives of others.  

A Powerful Life Lesson From The Challenges of Obstacle Course Racing

  • There are times in our lives when the best way to get to what you want is to go over, go under, or go around whatever is in your way.


  • However, there are also times in our lives when this just won't cut it. There is no way to go over nor under and good luck trying to go around.


  • It doesn't matter if we're talking literal obstacles in your way or a metaphorical comparison to some seemingly insurmountable challenge in another area of you life.


  • Obstacle Course Races are a good example of this. Sometimes you can go over over an obstacle. Sometimes you'll find yourself going under.


  • Don't even think about going around an obstacle...but the option is there if you need it.


  • Then there are the obstacles where we have to check off the box for "None of the above." It doesn't look like and of the standard options are going to cut it.


  • For instance, consider the Electroshock Therapy Obstacle found at the Tough Mudder events.


  • This final obstacle features about 100 electrically charged wires hanging over a mud pit as the TM crew often sprays a nice mist over you because well, they can.


  • There's no going over, there's no going under, and you've come way too far to go around. What are you to do?


  • Sometimes in life, as in a Tough Mudder, you have to go through whatever stands in your way. Sometimes, going directly through something is the only way you're going to make it.


  • Marcus Aurelius, one of the greatest Stoic minds, said it best
The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.
— Marcus Aurelius

  • The obstacle itself becomes the way.

  • One of the best resources I've read that discusses all of this in detail is Ryan Holiday's book that is aptly titled "The Obstacle is the Way." Good name, right? I highly recommend it (it's great as an audiobook).

  • So the next time you find yourself staring down any one of life's great challenges or are just trying to cross the finish line at an event, don't be afraid to grit your teeth, put your head down, and go right through whatever is standing in your way.

See you out there,


  • Evan T. Cook is a Human Optimization Coach that helps powerful people create an unbreakable body, mind, and life so that once overwhelming challenges become sought after opportunities for growth and exploration. Sign up for the Unbreakable Newsletter at EvanTCook.com/Subscribe and be sure to check him out on Instagram.