CornerStone Blog

Overcoming Life’s Obstacles – With Obstacle Course Training and Endurance Events

Scott Kunkle in Spartan Race

There are plenty of obstacles for each of us in life. The question is – how will you show up in the face of those obstacles? Having overcome some of life’s most arduous moments (and I know there will be more), I now choose endurance events and obstacle courses to test my courage and conviction. You can accomplish anything you set out to. You just have to want it bad enough.

Scott's life challenges from 2011 to 2017

Personal and Health Obstacles

My first major obstacle showed up when I was very young. I had a physically and verbally abusive father until I left home around 18. My next major obstacle was a failing marriage of 11 years. My marriage ended amicably in 2010. The next major obstacle was my health and well being. As recently as 2012, I was 50 lbs overweight, an alcoholic, and on medication for depression, anxiety and high blood pressure. Lastly, in 2014 I decided to take on a complete career change. I left my job as a help desk technician to start a career as personal trainer.

Those are just the big ones. We all face obstacles every day. Obstacle course training, especially the Spartan Race, is about overcoming obstacles and changing your frame of reference. It’s not at all about super-fit people showing off. It’s about taking on something big and finding a way to tackle it.

The Spartan Beast: my first extreme event

My first Spartan Race was in April of 2015. I had spent three years working on my health up to that point. When I entered this first race, I had already lost around 50 pounds and dramatically improved my overall heath.

Thinking I was in better shape than I actually was, I chose the Spartan Beast in Vernon, NJ as my first event and it was horribly difficult.

Spartan race people climbing hill with weight on back.The Beast typically goes 13+ miles (mostly mountain terrain) and 32 obstacles or so. It is one of Spartan Race’s most challenging events. I had previously done some pretty challenging endurance events including two GoRuck challenges (13+ hours, 40-50 miles, a 40 lb backpack and a former Green Beret leading the way). The Spartan Beast was by far the hardest event…ever. After 6.5 hours and the worst muscle cramps I could ever imagine, I finished. When I found my wife at the finish line, she asked me “How was it?” I told her that it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. She promptly asked me, “When are you doing the next one?” She knew me so well at this point. She knew that I loved a challenge.

To date I’ve completed 14 Spartans, 2 Ragnar ultra relays and a handful of road runs. More importantly, I have a healthy relationship with my father, I am happily remarried and I am free from alcohol and medications.

Get out there and overcome: Ask how Scott can help

Personal Trainer Scott Kunkel is Cornerstone’s own Endurance Event Specialist. Scott is an expert in taking fitness to a whole new level with intense endurance training, perfect for extreme events. He has successfully completed a variety of events including GoRuck Challenges, Down & Dirty’s and Warrior Dash. Interested in getting yourself “event ready”?  Contact Scott for more info at 215.862.2200 or Contact Us.

Spartan-Race-Training-flyerInterested in participating in an endurance event but unsure where to start or how to train? Scott can answer your questions about Spartan Race Training, his small group training program that’s perfect for everyone from beginners to experienced race participants: 

Turn the Corner challenge at cornerstone Clubs with Scott KunkleFinally, Scott is looking for a few (a lot!) good people to join team Turn the Corner, a local team comprised of Cornerstone and other community members who are interested in participating in extreme events and mud runs throughout 2018. You can learn more about the team here: