I had a recent philosophical debate with a friend about whether or not life is fair. I told him I thought it wasn’t and that anybody that believes that the world is a fair place is a real sucker. My friend was surprised as he considered me to be one of the most optimistic people he knows. What overrides my optimism is the fact that I am a realist. I’ve seen so much awful shit over the years that has happened to decent people that I not only think life isn’t fair, but downright cruel.
I worked for nearly 17 years in South-Central Los Angeles as an elementary school teacher. During that time, I witnessed many young children mentally broken at such a young age from neglect and such unspeakable abuse that I was convinced there could never be a God. I later worked briefly in law enforcement and witnessed some disturbing acts of crime that still make me sick to this day. But what really cemented my view that the world is unfair is dealing with victims of horrible, random accidents. These people had done nothing wrong, but because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, their families were shattered and many lives were ruined.
All these people had one thing in common: they all had huge adversities to overcome. I think of these people often and I hope they have recovered from their misfortune. Others have been so emotional scarred, I doubt that they will ever get over their hell or have hope ever again. Without hope, their outlook on life will be forever tainted. Everything they view will be affected by the unfairness of what was taken away from them. To me, a life without hope is the greatest tragedy of them all.
So with all I that have seen, how could I not view the world as being anything but cold and sadistic? Avoiding a personal catastrophe is a numbers game and sadly your good luck will eventually run out. When that happens and the powers that be decide that out of all the billions of people on this earth and one shall suffer today and that person will be you, unfortunately you just won the lottery of having something very shitty happen to you. When this happens, there is nothing or nobody to protect you. It is out of your control.
Your life will suddenly change for the worse and there is not a damn thing you can do to prevent it either.
When unfair devastation strikes, we all go into a heavy period of dark mourning with endless hours of asking the “why me” question. Trying to figure out the logic out of something so illogical will drive anybody to point of near insanity. There is no justifiable answer when bad things happen to innocent people. The only obvious statement is that life is just so fucken unfair. During the beginning of this ordeal, you will wallowed up in self-pity which is understandable, but sooner or later, you will need to heal.
Or better yet in the mental toughness bylaw, fight back with vengeance.
This is what this mental toughness site is all about. Working through the pain is how I dealt and finally overcome my moments of unfairness in my life. In time, your pain will heal too as you become mentally and physically stronger.
I found solace and peace in this training. It brought me immense joy to counter the underlying sadness that used to dominate my life. But, more importantly I found the training to be more than fair. If I lifted heavy weights, I built muscle. If I slacked off, my strength plummeted. If I worked hard, I got what I wanted. The training treated me with fair play and equality. As a man, that was all I could ever ask for.
Mental toughness training helped balance my life and ended my warped outlook on the world. The stronger I got my mind and body to be, the more I was able to let go all the injustices that used to eat me up. Oddly enough, I became stronger become of the unfairness. The greater the obstacle, the more mental strength I obtained when I overcame it The fairness of the training brought me back on a even playing field in life. When I discovered, I began to thrive in the training and in my well-being.
Now when I am faced with a life is unfair circumstance, instead of feeling completely hopeless, I now know that I stand a good chance of toppling it. In fact, I’m going to stop with these humble bullshit and say no matter how dire the situation is, I will relentlessly pursue it until I crush the living fuck out of it. This is a far cry of how I use to be before I began my mental toughness training.
No doubt that I am a different person now. Sure, I have a better body to show for it, but the major difference is I have hope again in my life. It all begins with your outlook. I still think life is unfair, but I refuse let it be unfair to me.
When you progress with your mental toughness development, you will feel the same way whenever life back stabs you in the back. As the real skill of those who are mentally tough is having the uncanny ability to do the near impossible task of being the optimist under the most cynical conditions. If this sounds like a contradiction, well it is and something really hard to do too. This is similar to an athlete that has to be cool under the most stressful situation.
In order to get to this higher level of focus, you must practice excelling in the most uncomfortable situations. Nothing will get you to this mind set faster than out dueling the WODs day after day. When finishing these daily tests of physical adversities, you are training your mind to see the possibilities and feel the hope before you begin your attack in any situation that you would normally have failed in. The confidence of knowing that you will always defeat the enemy is coming to you and when it does, you too will refuse to let anybody be unfair to you again.
That, I am very positive about.
Today’s classic CrossFit WOD –
Rest exactly 3 minutes after each total round
I purposely picked “Angie” for this WOD because it makes even the experienced CrossFitter quiver at the thought of having to do 100 pull-ups in a session. That’s a lot of pull-ups to do and you just know your body’s going to be sore as hell the next day. Unless you are bodyweight workout expert, this WOD should arise a “life isn’t fair” reaction out of you.
When facing a challenge that creates much doubt in your ability, you have to make sure you remain as positive as possible. For this WOD, hone in on your positive outlook skills by staying in the moment and avoid thinking too far ahead. In order to finish “Angie,” you have to do 400 reps. That’s a whole lot of reps. If you get hung up on all the work that you must do, it will start to wear on you mentally. When that happens, doubts and excuses will start to encompass your thinking patterns. Dealing with the anxiety that you might get from a high rep WOD like “Angie” is your test today.
One of the best way to stay positive is make the WOD attainable with short term goals. Instead of seeing 100 pull-ups, change your perception to something you can achieve like “I have to do 10 sets of 10 pull-ups” or “Instead of doing 100 squats in a row, I can easily do 5 sets of 20.” Mental toughness is all about how you process information. By breaking down a challenging goal to easier subsets, you ease your mind, stay calm while you aggressively attack your attainable goals.
The key to dealing with any “life isn’t fair” situation or WOD, is to stay in the moment and have a concrete strategy. You have a workable plan that will help prevent you from being overwhelmed.
Now go implement it and show yourself how fair this training is. There is no bullshit in this program. You get what you deserve in this training.
This is the attitude I want you to have throughout your journey to becoming mentally stronger.
I get what I deserve and today I’m going to work my ass off.
Scaled down version of this WOD –
1. Alternative rep schemes – do 50 reps for each movement.
2. Do only 3 sets each
3. Use a Woody band for the assisted pull-ups.
6. Do the push-ups from your knees
5. Omit the squats