But there's a reason that the road is long. It takes some time to make your courage strong. -Hard Love by NEEDTOBREATHE
Through and through, Jason Wood is an athlete at heart. He pushes himself every single day to be a better person, physically and mentally. From growing up playing football to being a current Spartan athlete, he’s always wanted to excel with a next level attitude. But it hasn’t always been that easy, and that’s why it means so much now.
Jason Wood grew up in Virginia with hardworking parents. He played football through high school, looking up to 49ers greats Joe Montana and Jerry Rice. College wasn’t something he thought a lot about until his sophomore year of high school, where his grades improved and so did his confidence as an athlete. After crunching the numbers, a football scholarship just wasn’t going to cut it. So, he applied for an ROTC scholarship and off to Kentucky he went. He attended the University of the Cumberlands in 2000. Sitting in his dorm room on September 11, 2001, Jason knew his service years were going to look different. Upon graduation, he went off to Basic Officer Training in Fort Eustis, VA, and six months later, found himself in Northern Iraq.
Through three tours in Iraq and Kuwait, he drew inspiration from the brave men and women around him. “I take great pride in saying that I led a group of the best people this country will ever know,” says Jason. He escorted convoys during one tour, then became the one on those convoys for his final tour. He was in Mosul the day a suicide bomber blew up a dining facility in Marez. That changes a person. Jason struggled when he came back, struggling to find his identity, like most veterans do. His PTSD, anxiety, and depression was getting the better of him. He was quickly gaining weight and finding fault with the person in the mirror. That’s when he found how transformational obstacle course races are. Through Spartan racing and intense workouts, Jason has transformed himself mentally and physically. He doesn’t push for a cookie cutter type workout and participates in everything from running (25-50 miles in a week), CrossFit style WODs, to bodybuilding workouts. It depends on what distance race he’s training for and he frequently modifies his workouts.