Four years ago, Julia Becker Collins was recovering from serious illness and major surgery at her Marlboro home.

“I had a lot of time to think,” Becker Collins recalled this week, “and I decided I was just done waiting for things to happen to me, and I was going to take full control of my life, whether that’s professionally or personally, just everything.”

Becker Collins, who grew up in New Jersey and has called Massachusetts home since graduating from UMass-Amherst in 2004, was never athletic, unless you count the one spring during middle school she played softball. “And that’s a stretch,” she said with a laugh. “I was not athletic at all.”

But after her sickness, she sought physical fulfillment.

“Originally, it was just trying to get up off the couch,” she said. “Then, the first year or so I started running and taking some spin classes.”

About two years ago, a close friend mentioned Spartan racing to Becker Collins. She was intrigued by this ultimate challenge of physical and mental endurance, about tackling taxing terrain and conquering Spartan’s signature obstacles like crawling under barbed wire, jumping over fire, climbing walls and throwing a spear.

“It sounded fun,” Becker Collins said, “but also really, really hard. I’ve always been really goal oriented, so I figured, ‘OK, I’ve been working out for a little while now. It will give me a good goal to work toward.’ ”

In 2016, Becker Collins and three friends participated in the Spartan Sprint (3-5 miles, 20-23 obstacles) at Fenway Park.

“It was so difficult and so amazing,” Becker Collins said. “Ever since then, I’m totally hooked.”

This weekend at Carter & Stevens Farm Store in Barre, Becker Collins will compete in the Spartan Super (8-10 miles, 24-29 obstacles) on Saturday and the Spartan Sprint on Sunday as she goes after her second Spartan Trifecta (Sprint, Super, Beast races) of the year.

Becker Collins already has completed the Tri-State New Jersey Beast (12-14 miles, 30-35 obstacles), the Rutland Sprint and the Palmerton (Pennsylvania) Super. She’ll do the Spartan Vermont Beast in Killington in September.

“Last year (after doing three Spartan races), I decided I was going to go even more intensely toward my Spartan goals and do a trifecta this year,” Becker Collins said. “I’m very excited for this weekend. I’m about halfway through my year of racing Spartan, so it’s another weekend. Let’s do this.”

Becker Collins will be joined by her husband, Devin Collins, a Worcester native and marathoner, who will compete in a Spartan Race for the second time this weekend.

This marks the sixth time Spartan has come to Carter & Stevens Farm Store. There will be more than 7,500 racers this weekend, according to race director Ryan Durnan.

Areas of the course are walkable for spectators, Durnan said. Some onlookers like to set up at their favorite obstacle and watch everyone come through.

The sport has grown immensely since the first Spartan Race event was held in 2010. This year, there are 65 races in the United States and more than 200 races in 30 countries.

“Over 5 million people have crossed the finish line across the globe over the last eight years,” Durnan said. “Spartan has really created a lifestyle, a brand encompassing the race itself, training, nutrition and global community.”

Becker Collins, the vice president of marketing and operations at Vision Advertising in Worcester, balances her Spartan training with her very busy career.

She works out at The Fitness Asylum in Boylston. The facility offers Spartan-specific training focusing on grip strength and upper and lower body strength. Her weekends may include five hours of elevation training at Mount Wachusett or Wachusett Dam in Clinton.

“I don’t have any cell service up there,” Becker Collins said. “It’s kind of the gift I give myself. It’s challenging in a way that I like and I never thought I would. It helps to clear my head so I can do a better job for all the clients I work with and my staff, and also so I’m a better human being, a better wife. I’m in my mid-30s; you want to have some goals for yourself. It’s a nice goal for me to try new things and to get there and be able to strive and hit it.”

Becker Collins enjoys the complexity and physical challenges of the obstacles. At the Tri-State New Jersey Beast, she was on the course for 7½ hours. “So it’s also a mental game,” she said. “You have to be able to not just (physically) climb the mountain; you have to be able to mentally handle it.”

In preparation for this weekend, Becker Collins began resting, carb loading, hydrating and extra salt intake Wednesday. Aside from gentle stretching, she would not work out midweek through Saturday’s start line. Then, it will be time to attack the Spartan course and obstacles.

“We’re all on the same race course,” Becker Collins said, “but it’s a different journey for everyone.”

Reaching the finish line is equally intense and gratifying.

“Oh, God,” Becker Collins said, “when I finished Palmerton, and I finished my first trifecta and I was with my entire team, people I was doing elevation training with in January with snow up to our knees, I almost cried at the finish line and I am not an emotional person at all. It was an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment and just the culmination of so much work, that you’re able to do so much with this amazing body that you’ve been gifted. You only know what you’re capable of once you push yourself.”

—Contact Jennifer Toland at jennifer.toland@telegram.com. Follow her on Twitter @JenTandG.