Mental Toughness Life Skill #2 – Making a Strong Connection with your Will (Part 3)

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(This is part three of this life skill series on how to use your will in your personal life. Many of you have discovered the power of an indomitable will when you finish a rough CrossFit WOD. Pushing yourself to the end of the WOD when you have nothing left in your tank is the result of a hard-to-kill will. Discovering and strengthening your will during the WODs is the first step towards your mental toughness growth. Now you must transform your will to how you live your life.)

With this mental toughness-CrossFit program, you will learn to have command of your will when needed the most. The majority of you will learn to solidify your relationship with your will from the physical training of this program first. This is the logical continuum of your mental toughness progress. Now you must add to what your are learning about your will during the WODs by honing in on it in your daily life as much as possible. With the ups and downs of life, you will have more than your share of chances to develop a relationship with your will outside of the gym.

To strengthen your will, you not only have to use it often, but be deliberate and totally be conscious of calling upon it to work for you. To do this, you got to get used to putting yourself in uncomfortable situations in your daily life. I’m talking about those scenarios that you used to routinely dodge before beginning this mental toughness program. Avoidance and procrastination will inhibit the growth of your will. You got to get used to retrieving it and putting it into action in those situations that make you cringe or fearful of. It doesn’t always have to be something drastic, but even those mundane situation like paying a bill that you have been skipping to do or working on your new job application that you should have done last week will help you improve your ability on activating your will.

By putting your will into daily practice, you are training your will to not only to be available at all times, but become more courageous instead of the cowardly bad habit of running away from your problems. Let me remind you all, especially for you new readers to, this training is all about preparing you for life’s worse case scenarios. When tragedy strikes, you must have a strong will to help you deal with negative life changing events that unfortunate have the potential to take away everything you love instantaneously without any fore warning. This world can be a very ugly place. You can be delirious with joy in one moment and then in a matter of a split second of bad luck, you can be devastated with inconsolable grief if you are in the wrong spot in the wrong time.t

If or better yet when your world is fallen apart, it is crucial for you to have a strong will to help you survive those cruel moments in life that are unfortunately inevitable to us all. It is not my intent to depress you all with my gloomy prediction of your life, but to prepare you and give you the greatest gift to combating a potential disaster – a will that is relentless when are are feeling at your lowest. It is only with a will that can continue the fight is how you discover hope. When facing the most powerful adversities, nothing is more stronger than the combination of a relentless will and a strong sense of hope. The two go hand and hand and is a must if you want to remain sane in this crazy world.

My goal it to help you develop your will with unstoppable optimism. Once you do, nothing or nobody can ever hurt you again because you will have the uncanny ability to fight back, endure high levels of suffering until you finally overcome and beat the living shit out of the adversity.

Sometimes it may take days, weeks or even years for you to get over the worst thing that has ever happened to you, but there is no time restriction when it comes to destroying your past pain and reclaiming your dignity again. This relentless pursuit for your psychological recovery is all predicated on a will that refuses to die.

So let today’s WOD be the gateway for you and your soon to be ass kicking will. Find the heartbeat of your will today.

It is in you and waiting to be unleashed.

(To be continued)

Today’s WOD –

12 sprints (approximately 50 yards)

Rest exactly one minute between each sprint

The lesson today is engaging your will as much as possible during the WOD. After each sprint, your heart rate will be jacked up and your legs will feel rubberized. If not, you are not going all out with the sprints. Remember, it’s not the actual speed of the sprints that’s important, but your intent of giving it all you got without holding anything back. If you are not hunched over and struggling for air after each run, it doesn’t count. Rest a minute and repeat the rep. This time, run as hard as you possible can while pumping your arms as fast as you can in rhythm with your legs. Most people think sprints are a lower body movement, but it’s actually one of the best full-body explosive movements in the athletic world when you get your arms involved.

For your first couple of sprints, a minute rest will feel more than enough. However, as you go up the rep ladder, the minute will seem like a few seconds. Depending on your conditioning level, you probably won’t be 100% recovered when you minute is up, which is the whole point of this drill. If you are now on one knee or even on your back, while trying your best to calm down your breath, this is your new start position. When the 60 seconds are up, you won’t have any time to waste. You must impose your will and take off running, regardless of how heavily you’re still breathing. This is how you teach your will to be defiant against the wishes of your tired body.

When you get to this miserable point in the WOD, each sprint should feel worse than the previous one as you desperately and hopefully unsuccessfully try to catch your breath and stop the muscle burning in your legs. You’ll do your best to try, but mostly likely your heart will still be pounding like a jack-hammer and your legs still wobbly when its time for you to take off again. Most newbies will try to sneak in an extra couple of seconds of break time, by getting another sip of water or force in a stretch, but the extended rest will defeat the whole purpose of this WOD which is to make you gasping for air and then sprinting while gasping for even more air. Getting through each beat down from the sprint and you’ll train your will to be even more defiant.

If you have no problems with your breathing or standing up straight during this WOD, there will be no need for you to engage your will. The concept is simple – the shittier you feel from the sprints, the more you must impose your will to continue with the WOD. So for today’s goal, aim for working so hard that you will feel awful. It will be a sign that you ran hard and applied maxim force. I know that feeling shitty never sounds pleasing, but when you are done with 12 all-out sprints with a minimum recovery rate, your muscle building and fat slashing hormones will be released throughout your body. This optimal hormonal response plus the accomplishment of getting through the WOD should be an instant happy mood lifter no matter how wiped you will be.

For mental toughness development effort means everything. You must make the commitment to go full blast with every sprint. Remind yourself often during the WOD that the literal speed of each sprint is meaningless. It doesn’t matter how slow or ugly your sprints are. As long as you give it all you got, that’s all you can ever ask out of yourself today and every day.

Strive to make an all-out effort a habit in everything you do in the gym and with your personal life.

Now go run like hell.

Scaled down version of this WOD –

1. Do ten sets only.

2. Rest for 90 seconds or as as much time as needed.

3. Speed walk the fifty yards.

4. Run in place for 30 seconds.

Acceptable alternatives –

1. Run for 30 seconds on the treadmill.