I love to workout. I love to compete. I truly enjoy pushing myself every day to be the best that I can be. Physically I’m stronger, faster and better skilled than ever before. But that’s only one piece of the puzzle. You also have to be mentally tough. And I’ll be the first to admit that this is something I sometimes lack. What makes one athlete more mentally tough than the next? And how do you get better at it? It certainly doesn’t happen overnight, as much as I wish that were true. You have to build self-confidence, and set clear goals for yourself. You must truly understand and believe in what it is you are doing.
“Mental toughness can be thought of as your ability to remain focused and preserve when faced with extremely stressful and uncomfortable circumstances.” The Invictus Mindset
We all have rough days. I realize I’m not the only one. But that doesn’t always make it easier. And sometimes something happens to us and we get down. This week has been rough for me. An injury has put a damper on my training and I had to withdraw from a lot of events I was really looking forward to. Is it the end of the world? No. Do I have the time to focus on healing right now? Yes. Does that make this easier? Not always. But, I’m so grateful that I have some really awesome people who support and inspire me, and thanks to them I know everything’s going to be okay.
3 people I’m grateful for (always, but this week especially):
If anyone can cheer me up its Chad. No one wants to see me succeed as much as he does. I don’t know how I got so lucky but I did. It’s hard to be down when he’s around and I know I can always count on him to find something for me to do. He challenges me mentally and physically. He knows my breaking point and helps me to push past it daily. Chad has mental toughness like nobody else. He works long hours, through the night sometimes. And even when he gets little to no sleep he shows up at the gym with a smile on his face excited to train. And then he proceeds to beat everyone. It’s incredible. But he knows what he wants, he knows what he enjoys, and he knows he’s one of the best. The sacrifices he makes are more than worth it to him and I’m grateful that I can learn from him. It’s hard to complain about being tired when he’s around or that you lack time, because there’s always time if you want it bad enough.
My little sister (who’s not so little anymore). I’m so lucky to have her by my side. She’s my number one fan and my biggest cheerleader. I think sometimes sisters can be a little bit competitive with each other, but I realized I got pretty lucky with mine. Not only does she support me, but she works her butt of for the things she wants to achieve. And she’s not one to let people walk all over her. She’s got a strong mind and a strong body. She stands up for what she wants, she gets shit done, and she tells it how it is. I love being around her. She teaches me how to be bold and tough. She recently started working as a farmer, 12 hour days, 6 days a week. A few days ago Chad programmed a workout for me, an 800M handstand walk for time. I was supposed to go to a track to do it. Talk about mental toughness! I didn’t want to go alone, so my sister, after her 12 hour work day, went to the track with me (even though it was pitch black out and she had to be up to work again at 6am the next day). She loves the people close to her and she’d doing anything for them. She’s selfless and caring, and I admire her strength so much.
Although I’ve only chatted with her a few times, she’s one of the most genuine and kind people I’ve ever met. It’s hard to complain about pain (physical and mental) when this amazing woman is running 500 miles to raise money and awareness for epilepsy. My problems seem miniscule and I’m inspired daily by her updates. If you’re looking for inspiration you should follow this woman’s journey, labawlife.com. It’s incredible what she’s been able to endure. She’s proof that if you set a goal for yourself, chart out how you plan to achieve that goal, and stay strong mentally, you can achieve anything.
Like I said, mental toughness doesn’t happen overnight, but you’re more than capable of achieving any goal you set out for yourself if you work hard at it. Be honest with yourself about what it is you want to achieve, why you want it so bad, and specifically how you plan to reach your goal. Then work on it. Every day.