Mental Toughness and Health Issues (Part 2)

high 2(This is part two on my secret confession on my health issue. Like many of you, I have struggled for years to get myself of prescription drugs. For me, it was hypertension medicine. For you all, it could be statins, anti-depressives, or some other kind of pharmaceutical. Whatever drugs are hidden in your cabinet, I’m sure you don’t like digesting in your body and would prefer to be drug-free. However, getting off them is very difficult and a long process. The journey to be healthy and drug-free will test your perseverance skills, but once you find the solution to your issues, it will be worth all the struggles. In my opinion, there is no such thing as a safe pharmaceutical drug. All of them have dangerous side-effects that can kill you.

Here is part 2 to my story.)

When I first diagnosed with HPB and my doctor prescribed drugs for me, I assume I would get of the drugs immediately. I figured I would add some positive changes in my life and i would be off drugs quickly.

I never was so wrong. I had no idea it would take me nearly 20 years to be free of harmful prescription drugs.

That’s how long I stayed in the fight and find a cure for my cardiovascular issues.

Looking back now at my heath crises, I could see how it intersected with my mental toughness development. Both occurred simultaneous during my life when I suffering from bouts of being weak and easily frustrated.

I needed the mental toughness training because it made me mentally stronger and taught me how to overcome the setbacks and constant letdowns in my life.

I needed the meds because it regulated my blood pressure so I wouldn’t stress out and die because of a heart attack.

At the time, both the mental toughness workouts and hypertension medicine saved me. My mind was fragile and even though, I looked healthy and fit, my heart was just as weak as my mind.

During this time, I had a very difficult time dealing with rejection. It seemed to be coming from every direction in my life: woman problems, unfulfilled life goals, and work dissatisfaction. The failures I had in these areas of my life would debilitate me so much, I just couldn’t seem to go forward or make any sort of positive headway. Instead of fighting back, I would retreat back to my world of passivity.

Looking back at this time when my life was unhealthy and my mind was soft, it made sense that I had a fragile heart as well. Literally, I just didn’t have the heart to go.

I never made this connection before, but it all started to make sense to me as I wrote this blog. I still learn about myself when I reflect and think about the past. I may have been in denial about this, but if it wasn’t for my discovery of the power from mental toughness training, I probably might have been dead from a potential stroke. I just kept on piling and piling the negative experiences over my soul and my body was breaking down because of it.

Seriously, that’s how high and dangerous my blood pressure was.

All of this changed when I discovered CrossFit. My journey into CrossFit lit a fire me that I never knew existed or must have been heavily suppressed from all the fear that I let encompassed me. I was able to break away from self-imposed limits, demons and pain that held me back for the majority of my life.

Although CrossFit did not explicitly teach me about mental toughness, it did so indirectly. I took the initiative to learn more and it led me into the direction that would be my life’s purpose and passion.

In doing so, I finally had the schooling to learn how to deal with the hard knocks of life. My life before CrossFit was symbolized by being easily defeated. My life after Cross Fit is embodied by having the relentless will to keep going and to never quit.

My training with CrossFit and mental toughness development was pivotal in my pursuit to find a cure for my heart disease. The grit training enabled me to keep going despite what all the experts and doctors were telling me. Without the perseverance skills that I attained from my mental strength regimen, I never would have handled all the letdowns and failures when I attempted to go off the drugs.

Instead of getting down when all my attempts to get off the meds failed, I was able to remain hopeful and optimistic. In fact, every failure only motivated me even more to find a cure for my heart disease. Before CrossFit, I could never take a punch, but now, not only can I handle a low-blow, I can now absorb the punishment without crying like a bitch like how I used to before. The shit still is gonna hurts and that’s never going to change. But, now instead of whining and crying, I’ve learn to turn the pain into fuel. A tireless form of energy that never dies. This is essential because in life there is no timetable for when a fight is over. An major adversity can go on for years and if you don’t have the stamina to stay focus and relentless, you will never overcome your obstacle.

War is not about who wins. It is about who is left.

This training gave me the extreme endurance that I needed to stay in a long endless battle. It hardened me to be patient and that if I keep on moving forward and throwing tiny jabs, I would eventually wear down my opponent.

I just had to learn how to grind, endure emotional punishment and most importantly, develop my skill to delay satisfaction.

And that’s what I did.

I was able to purse and chase down a health threat without any immediate reward.

The prize came later. Much later than I have ever anticipated.

15 fucken long years. That’s how long it took me to overcome by blood pressure problems.

In the next blog, I will give you the details on how I was finally able solve my blood pressure problems.

(To be continued)

Today’s WOD:

5 rounds

Front squats – 6 reps (Use about 70 percent of your one rep max or enough weight to make you feel uncomfortable when you are done with the set)

Push-ups – 25 reps

400 meter run (approximately)

If you can’t do the run, jump rope for a minute

So with today’s workout, really go into with the sole intention of strengthening your mind. Normally, when you do heavy front squats and your leg muscles are burning, is a sign that your legs will grow. This is a good thing when you can feel your muscles burning because you know it is sign that you are working out hard. However, with today’s WOD begin to shift your emphasis on your mind over your muscles. For example, when your quads start to quiver from the front squats, let your mind take over. Instead of seeing this pain as an association of leg growth, see it as an opportunity for you to become mentally tougher. Focus on your thought patterns instead of the muscle pain. Some example thoughts that I have when I am struggling with front squats are  – I know I can mentally handle this pain…My mind will lead me to overcome this pain…This training is about making me mentally tougher and not about having big legs….I know I can preserve through this pain. 

Bring your thoughts to forefront when doing your push-ups as well. Instead of the conventional goal of feeling “the pump” in the chest, see how your mind can will yourself through the 25 rep, especially when you are tired and want to quit. Some example thought patterns can be – I refuse to give up as I know I can finish this set of push-ups….All this is a test to see how mentally tough I am. I refuse to quit until I get 25 reps…If I quit that means I am mentally weak. I refuse to be mentally weak ever in my life. I will finish the set, no matter what.

Same goes when you begin to hit the wall with the 400 meter run. Let the mind take over when you are in about to give up. Here is the real test of this brutal WOD as you must have aggressive thoughts fuming in your mind to get you to finish. Examples can be – When I finish this 400m, I know I will be mentally tougher…This hurts like hell but there is no way I will not finish this run….All this pain will make me mentally stronger….Not only will I not quit, but I will run harder and faster. 

If all of this sound like a lot of thinking to do, well it is. Mentally toughness is all about your thought process. Your strength is not in your muscles, but in your mind.

Now go put your thoughts into aggressive action.