Could you agree that life gets a little crazy sometimes? How about fitness? That can get pretty crazy too…So how do we avoid going crazy, when things get crazy?
- Your heart is pounding, you’re out of breath and everything says quit…things are crazy.
- Your stress level are high, you’re completely overwhelmed and everything says quit…things are crazy.
What are you going to do? You know you can’t quit. So what’s next?
Part of the reason I love fitness so much is because any ounce of mental fortitude you obtain through pushing yourself at high intensity under tension will directly relate to how you can, and will, handle life. Become an expert at one and you have already started to master the other.
My life has been a little bit crazy this year. I’m sure you can relate in some way, shape or form. Due to my job, I haven’t lived with my wife or son for the last three months. I have been living in a small hotel room with just enough room for a bed, mini fridge and a microwave.
Once I picked up William and Emily (and dog) we had a 1,000+ mile drive to accomplish along the east coast. If you are not familiar, 1,000+ miles with a 9 month old, a dog and a fully packed car is a little stressful. To make matters worse, our dog was bitten by a poisonous spider and just got out of surgery…
I am not a complainer, just trying to paint you a picture of “my current crazy”. But I feel one of the most important traits in any person is not losing your cool…ever.
Like I said, mastering your mind in fitness will help you master your mind in life…or the other way around. I haven’t mastered anything yet, but I consider myself a mental toughness practitioner.
Things get crazy in fitness too. Things just seem too difficult or too overwhelming. Generally, when things get to this point most people don’t necessarily quit, but rather, they do nothing. Doing nothing is just as bad as quitting…
But let’s avoid all this craziness, when things get crazy, and work on a few small steps that helps us avoid crazy and thrive!
Avoid Crazy, Step 1: Chunking
Any task worth doing will seem a bit daunting when you are at the start and have yet to dive in. That’s where chunking comes in.
Chunking is a memorization technique referring to the process of taking individual units of information (chunks) and grouping them into larger units.
Take a phone number for example, if someone said my phone number is 1234567890, it may be a little harder to take in as opposed to them saying, 123 – 456 – 7890.
Well, we aren’t memorizing anything, but we are going to chunk things. Call it mini-goal setting or whatever you like, but I like “chunking”. You have to get absolute tunnel vision in the short-term to make the long-term work.
- It’s not I have 2 miles to go…It’s I am going to run these next 100m hard.
- It’s not I have 50 reps left…It’s I will do the next 10 reps as fast as possible then set the weight down.
- It’s not I have 898 miles left on this road trip…It’s we will stop and have a good break in 20 miles.
- It’s not I have SOO much work to do…It’s I’ll work as hard as I can for 30 minutes and see where I’m at.
Avoid Crazy, Step 2: Get Your Mind Right
Setting the proper mental expectation is half the battle in challenging situations. I find this fascinating, because I see it all the time in everyday life. One thing I have noticed time and time again is how much people change when they have a particular mental expectation.
- If I was your boss and I told you that everyday this week you will be getting off at noon as opposed to 5 p.m., you would be happy…at first. But then say, on the fourth day of letting you off early, I wouldn’t let you go till 5:05 p.m., only 5 minutes later than your normal schedule, but 5 hours and 5 minutes past your new expectation, you would be very upset.
- On a similar note, If I were training you and said today’s workout is only 10 minutes long, so push it hard, but then at minute 9 I told you…actually it is a 30 minute workout…What would you do??
Setting your metal expectations for a worse case, not THE worst case, scenario will help in a lot of situations. I am not saying be a pessimist and always assume things will be awful, but be prepared for things tho change and to not always fit your plans.
Avoid Crazy, Step 3: Know Your End State
Keeping you end goal in sight, with aggressive tunnel vision on the way there, is the only thing that can really keep anyone going for a prolonged period of time.
If there was not reward…why would we do it?
- Is everything you are doing worthwhile?
- Would it be worth doing again?
- Where would you like to be when this is all over?
Do what you have to, to keep your eye on the prize!
- Write your goals on your mirror.
- Make an inspirational video your homepage in your web browser.
- Set weekly reminders telling yourself WHY you are doing this.
- As for life, I don’t know what you are doing, why you are doing it or what you hope to achieve…but make sure it means something to you. Live a life worth living. Because, in most cases, it isn’t your job title that will go on your tombstone…Think about it…
I have been out of my element for a little while and now it is time to get things rolling again.
I am currently avoiding crazy and getting back to life!!
How about you?