The Marriage of Physical Strength and Mental Fortitude

Anyone that actively elects physical challenge as means to enlightenment will tell you the positive effects those activities have on the rest of their personal lives.  Frankly, it’s undeniable.  I take my physical training seriously for the very simple reason that I know it improves my ability to deal with life.

Today I urge you to do the same.

As a gym owner and fitness enthusiast, naturally I take my training pretty seriously.  I’m not completely naive.  I fully realize I rank training with greater priority than the average person but I will not apologize or feel any less confident about the thoughts in this entry if it comes off as a little over the top to some readers.

What I take seriously about my training are not the tangible success-based numbers.  Honestly, I don’t really care about those at the end of the day and I don’t want others to get caught up in them, either.  Rather, the self-challenge and both mental and physical struggle in training your mind to dictate orders to your body and to sharpen the power of my thinking. That’s the power that I seek.

There is no more in-your-face failure than the inability to do something physically.  It hits you square in the face, doesn’t wipe the blood and then dares you to do something about.  You either respond to that, swallow your pride and attack it in round two or you slouch your shoulders, tuck your tail and think, “That’s too hard, I’ll never be able to do that.”

“If you’re going through hell…keep going.” – Winston Churchill

I firmly believe that setting a high-end health goal creates positivity in the rest of your life.   If you think that accomplishing something physically grueling when you were previously incapable doesn’t effect to the rest of your life in a positive way, then you’re crazy.

You give up in the gym, you give up in life.  You push hard in the gym and you’ll push hard in real life.  As much of a law as gravity and I am yet to see a human example of this to make me think otherwise.  The majority of our most successful members at P360 are also successful in life.  I don’t mean they are wealthy.  I mean they live a well rounded, happy life that is fulfilling in many areas.  And that, my friends, is not a coincidence.

The simple fact is that we have limited time on this Earth so you better have an answer for that important question.

What drives you?

This is a question only you alone can answer for yourself, the ultimate rhetorical question shared by only you and the little man inside you.  It’s not something you necessarily need to make public or put to visual, nor fabricate if it doesn’t wholly resonate with you down to the very last muscle fiber, bead of sweat and in pride your soul.

The goal itself is unimportant, it’s the existence of it that matters.  It could be a deadlift of 500 pounds or learning how to bake better fucking cookies.  The point is that you create a goal and then hold yourself accountable as hell for it, at absolutely all costs.

Otherwise, what’s the point?  Where’s the drive to exist?  You either know what you want and seize it by the throat or walk through life aimlessly, from A to B to C with no real drive, desire or passion, always following and never leading.

“It is only through work and strife that an individual moves on to greatness. The great man is always the man of mighty effort.”- Theodore Roosevelt

Are you putting forth that mighty effort for your goal or just moderate effort? Are you busting your ass, half assing it or sitting on your ass?

What drives you?

Do you think about it on your way to work, on your way to the gym, before you go to sleep, when you awake in the middle of the night and during your morning commute as you sip your coffee.

“How bad do I really want this?”

Do I want this a little?  Do I want it because my friends want it?  Is this a bullshit resolution only to be one and done by February or a permanent tattoo you can’t wash, a life commitment.  Do I want it only bad enough to work for it when it’s convenient, when my friends are doing it, when I’m not hungover and when there’s nothing better on TV?  When I don’t have to be somewhere else?  Anywhere else?

When Oscar Pistorius is busy beating able bodied athletes do you think he’s thinking about how he lacks both legs? Because I say, damn straight he is.

Editor’s Note: Yeah, turns out Oscar Pistorious wasn’t that great of a guy.

Or.

Do I want it so damn bad that I would put my head through a brick fucking wall to get it?

For some it’s the motivation to avoid family health problems, become an elite weightlifter or athlete, getting past a troubling break-up or divorce, the ritualistic start or end to a day, a means of survival for military, the use of training as a vehicle to release from the world and create outlet for personal loss, the desire for a woman to become stronger than her male counterpart or colleagues, the ability to simply walk on a treadmill for the first time in life.

For others, is it the enlightenment that pushing yourself to the dark place only to return with greater strength and fortitude creates a positive butterfly effect in the rest of your life.

Master the physical struggle to dominate the mental mundane.

“I believe that one defines oneself by reinvention.” – Henry Rollins

What motivates me, what puts the absolute fear of God in me is the acceptance of the complacent life.  Settling for average hapiness.  Mediocrity.  The resignation to a routine in which I am not challenged, pushed, stimulated and tested on a daily basis.  The life sentence to boredom.  The fear of not living up to the self-expectations I’ve set forth to make my late grandfather proud.  The insecurities and unknowns of being a completely independent business with no backing other than our faithful members.  A black sheep gym full of black sheep people rattling the cages. The full length scar of my brother taking his own life and the straight up refusal I have felt towards the notion of giving in to life’s valleys as the come up.  The fear of the assembly line existence leading to a shorter shelf life and early grave.

Sure there are physical goals.  Tangible goals can measure and work towards.

But what I think about every time I go to work, every time I pick up the barbell and every time a hurdle is put in front of me in life and business are the intangible goals, the ones you can only feel within that no one else knows you accomplished.

So ask yourself what it is you actually want out of training.  Maybe it’s to just stay healthy, maybe it’s a 500 pound deadlift, to lose five to fifty pounds or maybe it’s that carryover butterfly effect in life.

Who gives a shit.

What matters is that you are putting in that mighty effort to reach it, embracing the difficult and taking yourself back to ancestral roots where these challenges were mere survival.  That you are putting forth your very best effort to get yourself promoted, get that weight off, that strength to freak levels, get you to outrun your family’s history of heart disease or get you to that point where your body tells your mind, “no mas” and your mind responds, “fuck off”.

If you’re not after excellence, that marriage of applied physical capacity and the mental fortitude required along the journey that leads to the achievement of your own genetic potential…then just what the hell are you after?

I understand this post will only resonate with small percentage of folks.

Which percentage are you?

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