Mental Toughness Life Skill #2 – Making a Strong Connection with your Will (Part 7)

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(This is part 7 in this in-depth look on how to activate your will in your personal life. In a short recap, I talked about how you must learn to hone in on your will during your must trying times. Having a strong and determined will is the key factor when you feeling most hopeless and want to give up on life. This whole series is about teaching you that you can endure unspeakable levels of suffering if you have a strong will. I don’t want to teach you how to just survive a major disappointment, but to thrive and become a stronger person because of it. With a will that refuses to ever break down, you will have the capacity to triumph over any personal challenge in your life)

Getting over a personal obstacle can be tricky and sometimes deceiving. With the WODs, it’s usually over in a half an hour. If you finish it, it is a clear cut sign that you have overcame the physical hardship. However, in life it is not so black and white. Even if you think you topple a challenge, a sub-section of the problem may lay dormant for while, but it’s growing, festering and waiting for the right time to strike you without notice. Sometimes a dangerous rival can play dead for awhile and sneak up behind you when you least expected with bricks in both hands waiting to bash your head in. You got to be alert and cautious and always look over your shoulder because life is very untrustworthy and the enemy never fights fair.

Moreover, you got to be very suspect when a problem is ended quickly or an opponent is easily defeated. It comes down to never letting your guard down as adversities have no time limit or logic on when they will attempt to redo damage to you. Cancer survivors know this better than anybody. One is never safe, even in remission. Even if the odds are high of the cancer not coming back, that chance are still a possibility and is always in the back of survivors minds. I’m asking all of you to have the same mentality of those who have battled and think they have defeated this horrible disease. You can never, ever assume any adversity is completely over.

You must always keep your hands up and prepared to fight again.

I know I may sound a little paranoid, but this is the reality of war. Most enemies are hard to kill and even when you have destroyed them, there are always more and stronger opponents just waiting to take a cheap shot at you. And when they strike you when you least expect it, you will be blindsided. Nothing is shittier than thinking you have beaten a major hardship and then have the obstacle come back and beat you all over again. When this happens, it can be devastating. Think again back to those who have to rebattle cancer again.

When adversity strikes back as second time, the worst thing you can do is do think you must be fully recovered in order to enter the battle field again. You may not be at 100 percent, but you must hit the enemy back even if you are not at full force or scared to death of losing it all.

The mistake most people make is that they think they must fight back on an inspiration day when they are feeling unusually courageous or when they have their confidence back. The problem with this is that this perfect frame of mind may take days, weeks and even month to happen. By the time you are ready to fight, the adversity has gotten worse and you are in deeper whole and swimming in debt.

So you must learn to attack under the worse circumstances. There is no perfect scenario when to fight back. The best time is now. You will recover during the struggle. As frighten as you are to take the first step, learning to battle while being scared is how you become brave.

Instead of running away like a coward like you have in the past, you must dive headfirst back into the fire. What the WODs have been teaching you is that you can physically go on even though, you are out of breath or muscles are burning. Same as with life. You may be down or even fearful that the adversity has come back to attack you, but you don’t run. You may not feel ready to do battle, but the truth is you are more than ready. The whole point of this training is to teach you that you must fight back despite being psychologically wounded and unsure of yourself.

Again, you recover and gain strength during the fight. This is the bylaw for those who know how to persevere in life.

No matter how bad your life may be, a strong will can always get you out of the dire situation. It alive and kicking whenever you finish a WOD and with you when all hope is lost.

If you have been doing the mental toughness program for awhile, trust your will. It is there and is waiting to defend you.

Now take the first steps to defeating the obstacles that is trying to ruin your life. The battle will be messy and full of emotional suffering, but with a will that refuses to give up, you will overcome the ordeal and become better because of it.

(To be continued)

Today’s strength WOD –

5 sets of 5 reps


Front squat

Push press

Good morning

Bent over rows

One of my readers sent me a video of her doing some of the compounds movements during a strength WOD. While her intent was right, her form wasn’t. She started off right, but rushed through the movements. If she continues to train in this frantic motion, she will be hurt soon and out of training for long while. Remember people – never sacrifice your form during the WODs. If you are tired, you must rest and recovery during the minutes in between sets. This is particularly important on strength day when you are picking up heavy iron.

This is one of the major problems with CrossFit. We all have seen those CrossFit bloopers on youtube where people are working out like they have just drunk a six pack of Redbull. I cringe more than I laugh when I see these videos. It’s always about safety first people and not about going as fast as you can to the point that the WOD becomes dangerous.

So I recommend all of you, especially those new to heavy training to hire a strength coach to help you with the proper form. If you can’t afford to do that or do not belong to a CrossFit box, please send me videos of your movements.

I’ll do the best that I can.

In the meantime, on strength days everybody SLOW THE FUCK DOWN. These WODs are not a race. It is more about full range of motions and the integrity of the movement. If you can’t do the movements with proper form, take some weight off the barbell. I have to do this all the time because I have a huge ego and I always want to lift heavy. But, on some days I can’t go heavy so I have to train lighter. So instead of risking an injury, I listen to my body and become smarter.

I hope all of you become smarter and more cautious when picking up big weights.

Good luck today and please don’t hesitate to send me videos if you have any questions on any of your lifts.

Acceptable alternatives:

  1. You can use dumbbells or a barbell for the push presses and bent over rows.