Today one of my orientation task was to read an IR blog about Mental Toughness, which made me think about my hill sprints at “Big Red” yesterday.
Honestly, I wanted to give up halfway up my first hill sprint. My lungs were burning, my legs had gone straight past the burn into shaking and I wanted to just start walking.
My mind was convinced my body was saying, “I can’t do anymore. I need to walk.”
But my mind didn’t give in. My mind kept my body moving all the way to the top of the hill.
And then my mind made my body do that two more times even though my legs would have been happy had I sat down and not moved the rest of the day after the first sprint.
I didn’t let my mind give up so my body kept moving.
Mental toughness is what pushes your body past that initial pain and fatigue. Mental toughness is what makes you push through to the finish even when your muscles are screaming. Mental toughness is what makes you successful.
Clients will tell me all the time, “I can’t do anymore.”
But their arms won’t have collapsed. Heck most of the time, their arms won’t even be shaking one little bit.
Based on the physical signs, I KNOW they can do more.
But they feel the burn so their mind is telling them their body can’t do anymore when it actually CAN.
They aren’t mentally tough.
But mental toughness is something that needs to be trained as much as the physical does. You won’t reach your fitness or health goals if you don’t train your mind as well as your body.
And to become mentally tough, you don’t have to push your body to absolute failure. I’m not asking you to go and workout till you barf. Or take on a “Big Red” sprint when you still feel uncomfortable with sprints on a flat.
All I’m asking you to do is push a little further than you did last time.
If you thought you could only hold a wall sit for 30 seconds, next time don’t let yourself move until you’ve done 35 seconds even if your muscles are burning.
Once you’ve done 35 seconds, next time shoot to hold it longer. Even just one or two seconds longer.
Each time push a little further. Test your mental toughness just a little bit more.
Each time you push a little further, you expand your limits and help your mind to realize that you CAN do more.
Keep pushing and testing your limits. Your mind will become tougher and you will find that your goals are more easily within your reach!