SISU IRON: “It’s About the Journey”


The SISU Iron is quickly approaching. The annual 30-hour event takes place outside of Los Angeles in Monrovia, California. The event gets people to the core of who they are through a series of tasks and challenges to tax them both physically and mentally. This year the mother/daughter team of Amber Lukes and her daughter Kayla are taking on the challenge together. Lukes shared her thoughts about the event as a previous finisher as well as what it means to run SISU Iron with her daughter this year.


“It’s not about the finish, it’s about the journey!”

A quote that was inspired by the SISU Iron, a 30+ hour endurance event, that challenges the mind, body, and soul, in which I will be participating in for the 4th time. Every year I participate in the Iron, it adds something different to this incredible journey I’m on and it feeds my soul in a way that motivates me to be better than I was yesterday. This year, I will not only be competing for the 4th time, I will also be competing with my daughter, Kayla, which adds an even more special addition to my journey.

10173702_10100374664571067_2043362510943201941_nI enjoy doing this event because from the first moment I stepped out of my comfort zone and into the Iron I learned more about myself than I ever imagined. Life is not an easy venture, yet when you seek to improve yourself every day the opportunities, to make life memorable, are endless. Throughout the last four years, I have taken on things that have scared me, yet they strengthened me and have shown me a path that I used to think, “no way, I can’t do that!” Even if I fall time and time again, as long as I get back up and keep moving forward, I can make it through anything life throws at me. I also pull inspiration from watching those, whom I surround myself with and my children, through the challenges they face which helps to motivate me and remind me that anything is possible. I have proven to myself that I am strong enough to take on something I once thought I couldn’t and the SISU Iron, being one of the first challenges I participated in, holds a special place in my heart because of what it has taught me and what it has done for the growth of my soul.

With this being my fourth trip to the Iron it still excites and intrigues me because there is always something new which allows me to race next to incredible people and add even more incredible memories to my unique journey and I also get to show my kids, in a unique way, that whatever challenges they face in life they are strong enough to overcome. What is even more exciting is that I get to race next to my daughter, well behind her, since she will probably be ahead of me most of the time. I am proud to see my daughter step out of her comfort zone and see where her journey takes her, by taking on the SISU Iron. Kayla, is one that, when faced with a challenge, she takes it head on and conquers it no matter what it takes and as her mother and biggest fan, I know without a doubt that no matter what happens on her journey through the Iron she will come out stronger than she already is.


When I asked my daughter to write down her reason for wanting to take on this challenge and this is what she wrote:

“Three years ago I watched my mom go through her first Sisu Iron and she truly inspired me to take on a challenge and do as amazing as she did. Never would I have thought that I would ever be capable of having this opportunity to race with my role model, my best friend, and my mom. The Iron truly means a lot to me. Not only is it a place I was able to see my mom meet her goals during the race, but it is a place one of my biggest challenges will take place and I am excited to see what I am capable of doing on my own. Even though I am young and it is my first Iron, I am still going to try my best to finish and add to my own journey.”

While I am honored to be Kayla’s role model, I am so excited to see her take something on that will challenge her and help her grow. She is a very capable, strong and beautiful young lady and this will mark the first of many adventures together.

Margaret Schlachter

About Margaret Schlachter

Margaret Schlachter is Founder of She has been part of the OCR Community since 2010. When not working on the next article she can be found running from race-to-race. She is Editor-in-Chief of She authored the book Obstacle Race Training.
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