I oftentimes grow weary of social media rants, complaints, and the keyboard-enabled “call-outs” of people. While that may at times play an important role in the development of the sport, I believe we need more public discussions that uplift spirits. So here I am, trying to do my part.
Hobie Call has received his share of accolades for winning races, being fan-friendly, and playing a starring role in in the initial growth spurt of OCR. Yet, what he did one Saturday morning at the Emerald City Open in April sticks in my mind. The first Facebook live stream of a Spartan Race was on air. The biggest names in the sport were there. Money and elite series points were on the line. Hobie was trying to chase down Ryan Atkins and Robert Killian, when the live stream captures him tripping and falling during the bucket brigade – spilling the gravel. Amelia and Rose (no last names needed) who are broadcasting the event, gasp as they know how devastating that can be in a close race. Hobie simply got down on hands and knees, took a minute to scoop the rocks back in, picked up his bucket and carried on.
He was trying to win the race, win money, win bragging rights, and win points, but those plans got tripped up #Punny. His reaction???? He didn’t curse, frown, kick dirt, and behave like a petulant 5 year old. He smiled, laughed, had some fun with the crowd, and continued on with his race. What I appreciate about Hobie Call is that he has a proper perspective on what these races really mean and carries himself accordingly. Too often, elite competitors get so tied up in trying to win that they get angry with themselves or others when things don’t go there way. Many people write emotional displays of frustration off as merely “passion” or a “competitive spirit”, lauding the characteristics as inherent of hardened competitors and winners. Yet anyone accusing Hobie of being soft and non-competitive because he laughed off his misfortune would quickly be dismissed as irrational. He is one of the most competitive athletes the sport has ever known.
The fact that Hobie, given his uber-competitive nature, can smile through a mistake DURING A RACE, in the midst of intense competition, shows me a side of his personality that I can respect more than all of his accomplishments combined.