This month’s monthly mindset topic came easy this time around. For those of you that did not know, I competed in the Reach the Beach relay race this past weekend running 200ish miles in a team of 12, over 32 hours, from Mount Washington to Hampton Beach, NH. We ran in the day, through the night, through the weather, through fatigue, and through pain to achieve the ultimate goal of crossing the finish line. Now when you are running 22 miles by yourself and your music will not work because you are in the mountains, you have a lot of time to think and reflect. Some of these thoughts came to me as I was running, and some came as a reflection on the event the day after.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone:
We often say do hard things and get outside of your comfort zone. It is the way to get better. Now as you are running at 3am in the pitch black with a headlamp and mist, making it nearly impossible to see, you truly feel like you are in a dream sequence. Your mind starts to take over. It starts seeing things. It starts thinking things. It is responding to something it has never felt before. At that point I thought, are we really doing hard things when we say we are? Even in our day to day it is easy to get complacent when it does not seem we are.
Doing CrossFit day to day we continually put ourselves through challenges that feel difficult. We do it so often that the stimulus of getting the heart rate up and feeling a little discomfort is normal. But I have come to realize that every now and then, it is good to do something that you are completely unsure of. This is where the mental side of doing difficult things gets exercised to its fullest. When your body hurts but your mind is focused, but then starts to think the body may not make it. You ask yourself what am I going to do? Can I make it? I have never felt this before! I will tell you with confidence, getting to this point and overcoming will teach you far more about yourself and change you for the better than anything can, and we need this as humans striving to be better every day. This is a very rare trait to be able to get to this point, but strive for it. Seek out the impossible and make it possible. Find your threshold and don’t just cross it, plow through it with purpose and confidence. Get to the point in your mind that you are ready to give everything and nothing, I mean NOTHING, will stop you from getting to the end. At that point, you will achieve a piece of mind that not many can say they have, and that experience will make you better for the rest of your life.
The Importance of Who You Surround Yourself With:
The other reflection I had was the people you surround yourself with matters. It makes you better with every honorable trait the person next to you possesses. This truly came to light over the weekend, spending 2 days in a van with 6 people working towards a common goal. I met most for the first time, and same for everyone else. We got together to take on a task together, knowing barely anything about each other. The amazing part was it very quickly became so clear, that even though I had just met these people, the mindset they possessed was similar to mine. We all were operating on the same wave length. There was not a shadow of doubt that any person I was with wasn’t ready to give it everything they had to get to the end together. And I don’t mean just get it done. I mean every person around me was ready to give everything they had to succeed together, at all costs. When you have the opportunity to be surrounded by a group like this, you instantly operate at a higher level than you ever have before. You redefine yourself and your ability for the person next to you. It does not become about you anymore, it becomes about being the person you need to be for the rest of the team, because you know they are doing the same exact thing.
This is also very rare and difficult to find in life, but seek these people out. Find people that force you to be better and watch how great you become. It is true that you need others to succeed. Success realized by yourself is minute compared to the success you can achieve with others that strive for greatness around you. There is no task too small that you cannot accomplish with people that fully and truly have your back, ready to go through the same struggles and pain with honor and grace until the task at hand is achieved.
It is difficult to constantly realize these two phenomena. They are rare. But dedicate yourself to constantly seeking them out. You may not find them all the time, but when you do, it is a feeling like no other, and you become a new version of yourself you did not know existed. So I ask you to challenge yourself in ways you didn’t think possible. Make the impossible possible at all costs with people willing to do the same and watch how you grow and reach potential that many will never know. You will not regret it, and you will become a person you never even believed was possible. Become that person, for you, and for others, and see the remarkable places life will take you.
- Coach John