Our minds are incredible things.
They can create wonder and wreak havoc only moments apart.
I find few things allow me to play with my mind like intense exercise.
In psychology the term “flow” is used to describe when an athlete or artist achieves an “optimal experience” or a state of such pure attention and focus that they transcend awareness into an auto pilot like state in which they can practice their craft with enjoyment and ease.
There are certain criteria which must be met in order to achieve the fabled flow state and as an athlete, and even creatively I can say with certainty that have experienced this on numerous occasions.
However not every session nor competition can ‘flow’ with such ease.
This is where the mind games begin.
When I am dialed into a workout my mind is so focused on the task at hand I have no thoughts beyond my current movement. Its meditative.
However today my mind was anywhere but on the task at hand and so I took the opportunity to put my mindset to the test.
What do you do when your mind begins to wander, or when negative thoughts start to creep in?
The opportunity to overcome the mental hurdles that anxious voice in my head throws at me as I take myself beyond what my conscience try’s to convince me are my limits is what I live for.
Sadly I don’t always win out, I’m only human. However today I did and I wanted to share that experience with you guys.
Today I had the pleasure of training with John Singleton of The Progrm and to finish our session we did the following:
Min 1: 5 kettlebell swings 32kg+ 10 push ups + 15 squats
Min 2: 20cal ski
10 minutes in I was telling myself I would go to 20min and then drop the calories back on the ski.
At 20, I decided to push that to 30min
By 30min I was hurting. Bad.
Minute by minute I had to find a means of switching off the voices in my head, which were desperately trying to justify why I should slow down or stop.
It is these kinds of internal exchanges that I believe forge a strength far more powerful than physical fitness.
A strength which can be applied to all facets of life in which adversity presents itself.