Sinclair: What’s your three word bio?
Victoria: Self-doubting Spartan.
Sinclair: What inspired you to do the Spartan Race?
Victoria: I had been thinking about my health for a long while and knew I needed something to aspire to that wasn’t the bodies of models on Instagram. It wasn’t until Hurricane Harvey that I finally made the commitment to complete a Spartan Sprint. There’s nothing like being stuck inside during a relentless hurricane. You get blessed with both fear and time to evaluate what really matters. For me, that was my health and my life experiences.
Sinclair: What was the most challenging aspect of it?
Victoria: All of the mental roadblocks and readiness anxiety.
- “I don’t know anyone.”
- “I don’t belong with all of these fit people.”
- “I struggle carrying a 30-pack of water to the car. How am I supposed to finish a Spartan race?”
Sinclair: Tell us about how you prepared for such an intense event?
Victoria: After picking a race location and date I wanted to do, I knew I had to make some changes to my world:
- Cleaned up my Instagram and Facebook feed. This meant unfollowing all the people and businesses that made me feel uncomfortable in my own body. Foodie Instagrams. Unfollow. Restaurant mailing lists. Unsubscribe. People that only post pics with the intent of making people jealous. Goodbye!
- Followed athletes with incredible stories to tell on social media. The Spartan community is filled with athletes of all ages and races who have a “couch-to-sprint” story – stories of strong individuals bouncing back from adversity and managing their depression, weight, addictions and more!
- Joined online fitness groups. This was the most helpful with my imposter syndrome self-talk management. Early on in my fitness journey, someone had posted about how they were finally able to do 5 push-ups and dozens of women responded with words of support. Even though those comments were for someone else, I was in a similar place in my fitness journey and felt supported by their kind words.
- Changed my intake. It was hard to cut back on my taco and queso consumption (living in Texas) but my energy level improved significantly when I changed what I was putting into my body.
- Exercising regularly. The beauty of a Spartan race is that there is no single way to train. The Spartan race was my excuse to do the active things I’ve wanted to try. I rock climbed, ran 5Ks, tried ball rolling meditation, joined a gym, hiked through parks I’ve wanted to explore, and played on the park jungle gym like I was 7 again.
Sinclair: What is something we often get wrong when talking about women?
Victoria: Women are both fearless and anxious. We are constantly aware of the men around us as well as the dominant culture that we exist in. We fearlessly push through these existing social structures to develop our person, our spirit, and open doors for other women.
When Spartan races first started less than a decade ago, mostly men signed up. Today, over 40% of Spartan racers are women.
Sinclair: Who do you go to when you’re needing support and guidance?
Victoria: My husband for support. My mom for guidance.
Sinclair: When was the last time you practiced self-care? What did you do?
Victoria: Meal planning on Sunday. I will turn the music up and have a blast in the kitchen!
“The Spartan community is filled with athletes of all ages and races who have a “couch-to-sprint” story – stories of strong individuals bouncing back from adversity and managing their depression, weight, addictions and more!” – Victoria Soriano
Sinclair: What’s something that’s been bringing you joy lately?
Victoria: Travel planning. I was 21 years old when I first stepped onto a plane. There’s so much of the US that I have yet to see.
I’ve been planning my 2019 travel wishlist featuring races I want to complete and new places I’d love to see. It’s fun to plan travel my way which usually entails a hike, cultural murals, a baseball game, and foods that are a staple of a culture or region.
Sinclair: What’s something that’s been pissing you off lately?
Victoria: Bug bites: (1) I dislike getting bitten as I’m sure most people do and (2) I dislike that I let the fear of bug bites prevent me from going out to the gym or store.
Sinclair: When was a time that self-doubt was at its worst for you while on your career and life journey?
Victoria: Self-doubt has plagued my entire career and life journey but my self-doubt was definitely at its worst after grad school when I was looking for my first full-time job. Years later, I’m able to draw from that experience and have confidence that yes, it gets better.
Sinclair: What are your unshakable values and when did you become clear on them?
Victoria: Authenticity and self-advocacy. FOMO and imposter syndrome led me for such a long time that I wasn’t bringing my whole self to interviews, family, friends, and ultimately I wasn’t happy.
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Completed my first Spartan Stadium Sprint and can’t wait to sign up for the next one! Early on in the race, I didn’t think I’d finish. I was huffing and puffing a few minutes in and had negative self-talk that I needed to break through. After completing the first few obstacles, I felt unstoppable and the adrenaline high settled in giving me an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world!
Sinclair: Who are a few amazing people that we should follow and why?
Victoria: For me, it was important to follow authentic women. Women who would be vulnerable about their struggles and their journey. Women who have other facets and obligations in their lives like work, school, and family. Women who are committed to themselves and supporting their communities.
Sinclair: What is one piece of advice you’d give to someone struggling with self-doubt and feeling like giving up on their dreams?
Victoria: What would your spirit or favorite animal do? Animals have much more simplistic cognitive abilities yet always manage to give things another shot. Being human means managing intense complex emotions so sometimes we just need to take a step back and embrace our spirit animal.
Sinclair: Imagine that all your life’s work disappeared and you only had 1 minute to tell the world what you truly believe to be true. What would you say?
Victoria: This journey is yours for the taking. Share it, live it, and honor it.
Learn more about Victoria and connect: Instagram
Maybe it’s time for you to sign up for a Spartan Race and join their supportive community.