When I first started to CrossFit, I could see that my body was changing and felt my mind was evolving, yet I still wasn’t clear on what I was becoming. Mental toughness was all too new to me that I wasn’t able to put a clear label on it. During this time, I went twice a week to my CrossFit classes and did some other high intensity workouts that I found on the Internet (I’ll discuss this in great detail soon). As much as I love the excitement and positive support from the CrossFit classes, I also enjoy the solitude of training by myself as well and being outdoors when I discovered the Primal Workouts of the Week from Mark’s Daily Apple.
So don’t think that you have to join a CrossFit box to start your mental toughness training. Eventually, you should. But, in the beginning you can do it on your own or in your shitty commercial gym.
I love the autonomy I feel when I work out by myself. Training alone is has different sense of satisfaction as I could work on my weakness without any distractions, but more importantly strengthen my integrity level.
It’s kind of like when I used to teach middle school physical education. When I supervised my students, they usually were working hard, but when they thought I wasn’t watching, they tended to goof off. Most of my middle school students just hadn’t developed their integrity yet. Training alone really challenges your integrity level. Most people can workout hard when there are dozens of people cheering you to go on or a bootcamp drill Sargent yelling at your face, but how you train when nobody is watching you or pushing you is the true sign of your character. I used this integrity facet to strengthen my dedication. I made sure I was training just as hard as when I was in my CrossFit class or when I was by myself. However, I soon discovered how training alone became a huge factor to my mental toughness development. I had to rely on myself and nobody else. It solidified the “if you want something done, you got to do it yourself” attitude as nobody was going to hand mental toughness to me on a silver platter. This shift in personal independence almost immediately had a positive effect on my personal life, as it should. I started to take more initiatives on my own without being preoccupied if I was doing the right thing. I just did them. Sometimes the results were positive other times were unfavorable. It didn’t matter. What did matter was that I was middle age man learning or better yet, relearning how to be accountable and responsible for all my actions. If the outcomes we good or bad, I owned up to them, but what was now different is that if the outcome was bad, I know felt that I could mend them on my own. This freed me immensely from pointing my finger as other as the cause of my problem. Blaming others for my problem, a huge negative attribute that held me back for yours and I’m sure barrier in many of you as well. As I became more dependent on myself, I became less reliant on others and started to care less about what others thought. I started to follow my own instincts without seeking validation from others. The more ambiguous or precarious the situation was, the more decisive I became with my actions. For somebody like me who craved approval, not giving a shit about the opinions of others was a huge step for my growth in self-reliance. This was crucial because the true strength from mental toughness is knowing you have to ability to get over any obstacle on your own without being dependence of others to do it for you. The more I trusted myself, the more I started to trust the training. When this symbiotic relationship began to mesh, I really started to flourish in my life and physical training.
The take away for all of you is quite relying on others to help you get things done. What’s holding you back is the time wasted while you wait for the approval from those around you to tell you what you want to hear. None of you have the luxury to blow off more time while the fit get fitter and rich get richer. I hate to break the bad news to you, but even your closest friends may secretly want you to fail in your fitness and personal goals. Your potential success is a backlash to what they are not currently doing with their lives and a reminder at what they can’t do. Bad advice is how friends can hold friends back.
So think for yourself.
Being an independent thinker is how you can distance yourself even more from the weak followers of the masses.
Today’s mental toughness WOD:
Use about 80 percent of your one rep maxim:
Push press – 10 reps
Deadlifts – 5 reps
One minute jumping rope or one minute as fast as can on a treadmill
Scaled back version:
Do only 5 sets.