Each year, thousands of teams join together to participate in Savage Race events around the country. We’d like to share some of their stories with you in this new series on the teams of Savage Race.
Team Blacksheep, who recently participated in our inaugural TrainSavage event, is a group of athletes who participate in obstacle course races, road races, and weekly team cross-training workouts. Currently 22 members strong, Team Blacksheep was founded in Winter Haven, Florida, but also has members in Orlando, Auburndale, and Lakeland, and as far away as the states of Maine and Michigan.
Founded by Josh Andrews and his fiancé Amber, the team initially started as a bit of a joke – they felt like the “black sheep” of athletic teams because they aren’t all competing at an elite level. Although only some members are highly competitive racers, all members share a common goal: to improve themselves through fitness and inspire others to do the same. Their team members range from age 6 to age 71. They include teachers, stay-at-home parents, administrative assistants, company managers, college students, pharmacy technicians, military veterans, retirees, and more. Team Blacksheep welcomes people of all ages and all athletic abilities with open arms.
Josh and Amber coordinate weekly team workouts and as many members as possible get together to train each weekend. For those who are unable to meet up, Josh sends out a newsletter with an at-home workout that can be done with no equipment. The members share photos and thoughts on the workouts, and the support system they provide for one another is more important than anything else.
“We push people to compete against themselves, because that is the only competitor that matters,” says co-founder Josh, who used to be a competitive bodybuilder. Josh earned his bodybuilding pro card in 2004 and quickly rose through the ranks to the national level. He earned sponsorships and began representing companies at fitness expos, including the iconic Arnold Classic in Ohio. Over time, however, Josh noticed that the bodybuilding lifestyle was tough on his body, causing a bunch of lingering aches and pains. When that realization hit, Josh decided to switch from bodybuilding to cross-training and endurance workouts, which, “are harder than anything I did in bodybuilding, but also more satisfying and healthier!” He competed in Savage Race Florida last October, and will be leading Team Blacksheep in the upcoming March event.
Josh’s favorite part about Savage Race? The diversity of obstacles and the distance of the course. He says, “The 6+ miles is a great and challenging distance alone – then throw in obstacles. That makes the 6+ miles just that much more challenging, but more fun too!” Many of Team Blacksheep’s members are new to cross training and obstacle course racing. Josh’s team workouts incorporate many skills needed for obstacle course racing. Workouts may include trail running, body weight movements, stadium training elements, and anything else that can be done outside, rain or shine.
“Life isn’t easy or nice all the time, so I make the workouts mean and hard. [My teammates] come in with an ‘I am not going to lose’ attitude and destroy the workouts! I see them improving every workout, getting stronger or faster and more confident. These workouts last anywhere from one to two hours and they pull their strength up and push through! It’s so amazing and inspirational to see the members go through the workouts! It really makes Amber and me proud to have started and be a part of such a driven team.”
Team Blacksheep’s goal is to expand to multiple branches in other states and get more people involved with their group who always celebrates progress and provides encouragement. They are also looking forward to supporting good causes and gaining sponsors who can help them spread their message. If you’re interested in learning more about Team Blacksheep, connect with them on Facebook or Instagram, and look for them this March at Savage Race Florida!
Team Blacksheep’s Modo:
Compete against yourself. Look at yesterday… smile more, eat healthier, get stronger, help someone, give compliments, train harder, make smarter decisions today. Make the best of yourself today, be better than you were yesterday, everyday. That’s strength, that’s dedication, that’s a winner.
If your team would like to be featured on our blog, send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org with a short description and an interesting fact or two about your team! Featured teams will receive one free entry to Savage Race.
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