When Your Mind is Screaming and You Still Have 13 miles to Run …
“I’ve learned a LOT about myself in the last year!”
First, a personal disclosure: I go to a Pilates class once a week.
Judge me if you like, but I’ve been going for the last 6 years.
There’s only one other male in my class — he’s also called Chris. I confess, I don’t know his surname, so let’s call him Pilates Chris … and I’ll duck out of the story at this stage ;-)
A few of us were chatting after a recent class, and Pilates Chris told us he’d just completed a half Ironman triathlon in France.
That’s a pretty awesome achievement in itself, but he then told us HOW he’d done it.
I’ve only known him since he joined our class, about 8 months ago. At that point he was already lean and fit.
But the other night he told us that only two years ago he was overweight, out of condition … and diagnosed with depression.
I’m not sure why he decided to aim for the half Ironman (I’m guessing it was to have a target to aim for), but whatever the reason was, he trained for it.
In case you don’t know, a half Ironman race is a 1.9km swim, a 92km bike ride, followed by a half-marathon.
Oh, and HIS choice of venue included mountains … I guess cycling and running on the flat wasn’t enough of a challenge!
He trained for over 18 months.
Swimming multiple times a week.
Cycling hundreds of miles every week.
Running dozens of miles every week.
This is not a simple undertaking … it requires commitment.
And Pilates Chris started that training when out of condition, and in a bad mental place.
It was a MASSIVE commitment.
As you might expect, there were countless times when he REALLY didn’t feel like going out an training.
(I know THAT feeling very well!)
I dare say there were times when he did take the easier option and stay in.
But 18 months later, you know what happened?
He FINISHED the half Ironman! He did it 6 1/2 hours.
And best of all … he’s STILL buzzing about it, over two weeks after he crossed that line.
He told us about the times he felt like giving up. The times when training was just too hard. The times when his mental demons were trying to convince him he was a loser and there was no point in doing more of this stupid running.
And yet … he didn’t quit. He now has — quite literally — “done that, got the t-shirt”.
As he told us about that amazing effort, we were in no doubt how MENTALLY tough it was.
Yes, it’s no easy physical feat … but he kept saying it was the MENTAL part that was the hardest. As he put it “when you manage a full time job, being a husband and a father, and still have the energy to do the training … it’s clear that your BODY can keep going well beyond when your mind expects.”
It’s managing the MIND that makes the difference.
When Pilates Chris crossed that finish line 6 1/2 hours after diving into the sea, it was his MENTAL strength that kept him going.
Which got me thinking …
Isn’t that true of EVERYTHING we do when there’s an uncertain outcome?
Isn’t that true in business too?
Are your business results CERTAIN? Of course not.
Is it tempting to “miss one training session” (or not make that call, not write that email, not get back to that client?) by taking the easier option some days?
It’s not REALLY difficult. It’s not REALLY uncomfortable.
It’s just your mind trying to protect you.
And curiously, there’s a “reward” with EITHER option!
Don’t make that call? — reward is “I’m my own boss and I can do what I like! I’m relaxed, and am ready to do it tomorrow!”
Do make that call? — reward is “I just won some business / strengthened a relationship … and feel GREAT!”
Yes, a mentor, coach, partner or someone who’s got your back can help … but you know it’s YOU who gets to choose in each moment … don’t you?
Anyway … kudos to Pilates Chris!
He did the work. He committed.
And he got the reward.
As he said: “I’ve learned a LOT about myself in the last year.”
Do YOU have a target, purpose or objective?
Are YOU committed to it?
Is YOUR mind making it tricky?
If so, it’s worth finding support and make the most of it. Yes, I might be able to help … but so will others in your life.
How about it?