After class this morning morning one of our regulars said to me that I have either a fertile imagination or a large playbook. I think this was in response to the new protocol that was unleashed upon the unsuspecting group. After all, as I have admitted on many an occasion, there is only so much you can legitimately do on a stationary bike. Before it becomes drudgery, boring and stagnant. There needs to be change. We need to adapt. We must move away from the zone of comfort if we are to improve and use our valuable time wisely. Specifically the reasons why we mix it up. To keep it fresh, exciting and challenging. And please let be be perfectly clear one this point as well, THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH MUSIC. Matter of fact, the worse the tunage, the more ridiculous the beat, rhythm, groove (or lack thereof), the more obnoxious, grating, earsplittenloudenboomer the better because that forces you into focus mode. Eliminate the distractions. The song you hate will end. Just like the wind or rain outside. These too shall pass.
What remains is a better, stronger, more tolerant, healthier, more complex you. You made it through. We are on the other side, the tunnel is now in the past. We have transcended. We rose to the occasion and rode through the valley of death. Every little victory, every battle successfully executed, every session adds to your acumen. Gets you closer to winning the war. Gives you another chance at survival. Another day. Another opportunity. Another hill.
The mental toughness aspect of all that we do if more often than not, overlooked. Because, I suspect, it is so hard to quantify. We spoke of the three pain and suffering stories this morning and how they all shared a commonality. The common thread was that of awareness. I feel pain as a result of hard effort. That was the hardest thing I have ever done. I realize now that I don't like to suffer long. All come from introspection and awareness. From focus and our dedication to the art of the measurement of a complex system in need of continual assessment, management and adjustment. When all these dynamics come together it is one of the most beautiful sensations known to man. Fluid and efficient production of power. Sustainable and teachable. Rewarding in a myriad of real and metaphoric ways.
In Joe Friel's article he talks about the elements that comprise mental toughness. One must have: Motivation, discipline, confidence and patience. For starters. One must also be a servant to routine. This is the basis. You have to show up and do the work. Then your positive habits shape your persona. You are what you repeatedly do. We want to make our efforts, sessions, and training so filled with quality that the only outcome possible is, well, whatever you want it to be. We can create new habits.
You can be a champion.
You can be a winner.
You can be a hero.
A role model, a guide, a mentor.
You can be happy now.
You can inspire others.
You can do anything.
Just add a reason, a routine, a dash of ego and some patience. Of course it helps also to dream in technicolor and have an extra-large playbook (Volume One is shown above)