AGOGE: A new chapter of Spartan grit
What is the Agoge, and why is everyone talking about it?
The Agoge is a new Spartan endurance event based in legend and inspired by grit.
In the 7th century BC, the Spartans wanted to produce the strongest and most mentally tough citizens on earth. To do this, they created their “Agoge,” a system of training that became the envy of the known world. While Ancient Spartans took 23 years to complete their Agoge, we do ours in a matter of days.
The Agoge (uh-GO-ghee) is holistic. It tests not only mental and physical strength but also courage, integrity, teamwork, and morals.
For up to 60 hours, participants persevere together in a common struggle, plunge into deeper self-understanding and forge new bonds of friendship that last a lifetime.
Learning during the Agoge training centers around:
- Purpose: Having a clear intention or objective in one’s life.
- Commitment: Being dedicated to a fulfilling, healthy, meaningful life through one’s actions.
- Resilience: Adapting to change and overcoming adversity, repeatedly.
- Knowledge: Gaining information, facts and situational awareness through lived experiences.
As the highest peak in the Spartan ascent, the Agoge is the culmination of everything a person has learned in life. Finishers become innovative thinkers, prudent risk-takers, and expert decision-makers. They will embody the Spartan Code, a code of honor and respect that breeds trust and inspires action. Most importantly, they become masters of themselves.
Has anyone done it before?
This past September, five civilian Spartans and 15 cadets from West Point volunteered to test Agoge 000. The cadets thought it was a piece of cake. Here’s what the civilians thought:
- “Agoge helped me to define myself and what my purpose is.” — Dylan
- “[The Agoge] turned me into a more patient and positive person.” — Scott
- “I realized that I am stronger physically and mentally than I ever thought. It gave me a new level of confidence. Weaknesses don’t have to be failures, just obstacles to overcome.” — Andi
- “When it’s over, you don’t celebrate the conclusion of 60 hours of reality check. Instead, you wish you had more time to discover.” — Nelson
When and where does the Agoge take place?
The Spartan Agoge will start off being held at Amee Farm in Pittsfield, Vermont twice a year — once in summer and once in winter — with special sessions for US military units. After the first few events the Spartan Agoge will travel to international markets including, Singapore, Australia, and beyond.
How long is it?
At registration, participants commit to an Agoge of up to 60 hours with the option to complete their training at 24- and 48-hour marks. Those that make it 24 hours will have completed “The Agoge 24,” and those who complete 48 hours will be credited with “The Agoge 48.” Those who complete the Spartan Agoge in its entirety will achieve “The Agoge 60.”
Read more at Spartan.com