As I gathered my reading material and left the pool, I was ready to go to work. It seems that my life of living the average Joe was short lived. But, more importantly, I have been right all along on my perception of the general population.
The majority is a bunch of lazy, immediate gratification seeking slobs.
In order to distance myself from this world of mediocrity, I had to workout on a day where most don’t train.
Do what others don’t do.
Do the opposite of what the mainstream does.
While getting reading to do all bodyweight WOD of muscle-ups, handstands, ring dips, clapping pushups, the images of those puffy and out-of-shape dudes began to dominate my thinking. Suddenly, it occurred to me why I was so offended and bothered by them.
They remind me of what I used to be.
When I was in my late twenties and my thirties, I was chain smoking, drinking ways too much and addicted to McNuggets. Seeing these young men reminded me of my former weak world.
I could have continued to live in that manner, but I decided to change and dedicate myself to doing the opposite of what others do.
And you must to. If not, you might as well join and become a member of those who are average, weak and timid. I should know. I was a part of that fraternity for most of my life.
Mind you, when I made the commitment and dedication to break away from the life style of conventional wisdom about a decade ago, it was not easy. It was a huge adversity that I faced with no clear answers in front of me. The journey was filled with unknowns and risk as I was doing it all by myself. However, the journey taught me the virtues and power of self-discipline. I had only to depend on myself as I continue my rejection of what the masses were doing.
When I started to become mentally tougher and my physique began to transform, my independent way of training took noticed from my friends and bystanders who watch me train at my shitty global gym.
I was doing things that most people wouldn’t do. When I asked people to join in with me with my workouts, they adamantly shook their head “No.” They were too afraid or stuck in their old ways so they continued with what they have wrongly learned from the status quo.
So in ten years, mental toughness training has taught me that the ultimate statement of doing the opposite of the general population is to have the nerve to do what most people are too chicken to do.
This includes working outside in extreme heat, sprinting in knee high snow, doing high-level bodyweight movements, running in the rain, avoid working out on machines or treadmills, climbing rope (an exercise that most people make tons of excuses not to try), Olympic lift or training heavy relative to your body weight. And of course, the WOD that everybody avoids, the dreadful hill sprints.
Anything that the masses avoid, you must do
This has been my philosophy for the last years and has been the difference maker in my journey to find mental toughness and courage.
Back to my Fourth of July WOD, I was really focused on my bodyweight work. Every movement seemed to flow as I felt myself exploding up to my muscle ups and flying through with my handstand pushups. In my mind, I envisioned the four drunken goofballs peaking over and watching me in awe.
I knew I was doing things that they would be envious of and couldn’t do themselves.
This thought fueled me throughout the WOD.
In reality, these guys probably wouldn’t give a horse’s ass about what I was doing. They were probably too drunk by this time or too dumb to appreciate the skills I was doing. However, a lot of times when I need the extra motivation, I will create this “fake” tension in my mind to further light the fire under my belly. Michael Jordan used to do this technique all time by imagining his opponent insulting him or disrespecting him. Pedro Martinez would take this “imaginary” adversary one step further by telling himself that the batter had abused his mother so he had to strike him out to take out revenge for her.
The point is – always use your environment to motivate you. For me on this day, I used to the situation of the four men to remind me to do what most people can’t do.
Nothing will give you more a sense of accomplishment than knowing how you have taken the extra and riskier steps when others won’t. It will give you the hard edge and confidence in your body language and mental attitude that others around you will sense. This is so essential because you will need this extreme belief in yourself when you leave the gym and have to tackle the real obstacles in your life.
I know this blog may sound a little elitist and pompous, but in a sense it is. There is nothing wrong with having this power attitude in yourself either or looking down at others who are afraid of their own shadow. Being a coward or obese is no way to live. It should not be accepted in society, but it is the norm for the moral majority. On the other hand, this CrossFit-mental toughness training is about making you better in every faucet of your life. It is about having pride in the hard work that you put in and knowing that others can’t do what you do. It’s about having the satisfaction in knowing that only a few percentage of the world can do what you do. Last year on the Fourth of July, my WOD was car pushes in the rain. What percentage of the world do you think were hardcore-insane enough to shove their car while being drenched in rain on that day as well?
Not many. That’s the point I wanted to get across. I”m not seeking attention to be “unique” or different for the same of being different, I’m searching of ways to advanced my training by always putting myself in uncomfortable challenges that few have the guts to do or even consider.
If this is being elitist so be it. I rather have a sense of superiority in knowing that I have the unstoppable skill of grinding and fighting instead of my old habitual ways of hiding and cowering.
I’ve lived in both worlds and I know from first hand experience the power of having mentally fortitude and the humiliations from being mentally weak.
For me, toughness training is my main priority because my life has been and continues to be so fucken unfair and cruel, I better have the utmost belief in my abilities to grind it to the very end of a battle, if not, I can regressed back to my weak ways of being constantly crushed and stomped on by others.
You always have choices in life. You can either be out of shape, afraid your whole life and be a human doormat or you can choose to be a warrior that never quits and be relentless when the odds are heavily stacked against you.
If you choose the latter, the solution is simple.
Do the opposite of what others are doing.
Thrusters – 10 reps (use a weight that makes you feel uncomfortable, but not to the point that you are struggling with the final reps)
Burpees – 10 reps
This is a wicked combination that will challenge you to the final rep. The focus today is honing in on your dark side to help you steamroll through the last and most difficult set. So before you begin today’s WOD, use some self-confronting questions to help you explore some painful times of your life. Examples are: how will getting mentally tough help me destroy my past pain? How will mental toughness training teach me to overcome this hurt? How can finishing this WOD in an aggressive manner help me kill off this pain?
Here are some examples that my clients have used: “How can I use my pain to motivate me to train?….What has happen to me in my past that has lead me to a weak life?….Who in my past have done me wrong? What would I say to this person if I ran into him? These are just some examples of self-confronting questions that you can use to stir up your emotions and memories. If not of these resonate with you, make up your own. The more personal, the more effective.
You may not like reliving this period of your life and may not be over the hurt. However, instead of letting the pain fester away at you, harness it so you can use it at your advantage. By working with it and through it, is one the best way you can heal yourself.
By persevering over your biggest personal demons is how you can get mental strength. Nothing is more empowering than know that overcame your worst nightmare. The goal of this site is to teach you to defeat these fears. So let today’s WOD guide you to gaining fortitude and taking back your dignity.
I want you to murder the fuck out of this WOD today.
When you gear yourself for the last set, let the memories of the bad experience simmer inside of you. At first, nothing may happen. For others, you may be overwhelmed by your memories. Work with what comes up. Even if nothing seems to come up, believe me it is there. You psyche is protecting you from feeling further pain. This may be a sign that you are repressing the emotions because of the deep hurt. If so, just work off the memories even if you don’t feel your blood boiling yet.
As you begin your final set, have the frame of mind of tearing up the thrusters with as much force as you possible can without sacrificing your form. By doing so, you are slowly and little by little, “tearing up” your past horrors as well. With each thruster done, you are killing off more of you past tormentors. Feel the power of finishing your final rep while metaphorically feeling like you have destroyed a huge part of your pain. You should feel a rush of adrenaline from winning the battle between you and the thrusters.
However, the battle is not over. You must delve again from your darkness and summon up more power to help you overcome the final 10 burpees that stand in your way of redemption. Attack each burpee as if you are attacking your past demons. Do each rep with explosive power so you wipe out that pain that has haunted you.
When you are done with this WOD, you should feel beyond elated. The sense of accomplishment will be more than just doing a silly workout, but knowing that you are ever closer to overcome your horrid past. You are not there yet, but you know with this mental toughness training you will soon wipe out the pain from your life for good.
And when you do, you’ll be stronger than ever.
Nothing is more empowering than knowing that your past tormentors will never, ever hurt you again.
This is what this training is all about.
- Do 6 reps of thrusters and 6 reps of burpees.
- If you can’t do the pushup part of the burpees, skip it. Just do the leg thrust back without going into a pushup and jump back up. Here’s a good video of what I’m talking about – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4Dio-FdqWg