I recall my high school years of training for hours on end.
I would get dropped off at the gym and literally live there until the gym would almost close.
Endless hours of training seemed "normal" to me. Everyone has a different sense of "normal" and I try my best not to judge but I have a difficult time relating to those who make endless excuses.
I would always have different training partners because I would get frustrated with others and looking back, I was also frustrated with myself, my own life and lack of inner peace. I took out my inner struggles on the iron.
But, THAT is what the iron wants you to do. The iron is always there for you and never judges you. THAT is the beauty of the gym. Strength does NOT discriminate.
I recall loading up the Leg Presses with 10-12 plates per side, then pushing to failure, and doing a drop set 1 plate at a time. My legs would go numb and I loved that feeling.
I'd get over 100 reps by the time that set finally finished. Walking up or down stairs was brutal after leg workouts and I chased this feeling of pushing myself until I couldn't move.
I did this with the bench press as well, using a bunch of 25s on each side. Maxing out heavy, then pushing through on drop sets and forced reps.
I learned LONG ago that the gym is the place to calm the noise in my mind. At least for me it certainly is. I found my place of solace. And I wonder, unless you've pushed your limits, have you experienced the calming effect that tough training can have on your mind and body?
The gym brought me peace. Tough workouts release the bad and bring about the good inside of me. These mental toughness aka Gut Check training sessions become more about the mind then they are about the body.
The gym was and always will be the place I learned to keep pushing through the tough times when I saw others quitting. There's always room for more.
In my early teens, I would notice others leaving the gym before I left and it inspired me to work harder and do more work. I would wonder why they are leaving when they showed up after me.
Of course, as a teenager with few responsibilities, you don't grasp the "real world" responsibilities of adults.
I found myself in the gym since 1989 Pushing my mind and body until I forgot about any emotional pain or struggle. Push yourself hard enough and you get to the point where you lose yourself and find yourself.
If I was doing a barbell or machine or dumbbell lift, I would often do endless drop sets. Arnold inspired me to train with this intensity. The pain wasn't pain for me, it was pleasure.
I actually loved the feeling of struggle and I chased the pain during every workout. I wanted to be drenched in sweat and wanted my muscles to feel like they were going to explode from the pump.
I would continue this intense training into my early college years, especially when 24 hr gyms began opening up. I'd get to these 24 hr gyms at midnight or 1 am and see how long I could push before I felt the need to get to sleep!
The brutal training still goes on, except in a more controlled manner.
Perhaps the many, many years and endless workouts helped bring me some inner peace.
We ALL need a good ol' gut check at least once a week. It could be an extra 5 minutes of a challenge at the end of a "normal" workout or it can be a challenge where there are NO rules. Like going to the state park and hiking or running, picking up stones and carrying until you can no longer grip the stone......
Rules? Most of these rules in training sound great on paper and then you realize that competition brings about the unknown.
It's NOT just about being tough, it's about building your mind and body to greater heights. The journey of climbing higher. Remain the same and you're NOT living.
It's about molding you into an indestructible human BEING. What others view as pain you view as the key to strength in mind, body and spirit.
What hurts others inspires you.
What others view as a struggle, you view as your strength.
It's a tough world out there.
If you don't get tougher then the world will eat you alive.
Today is a day for a good ol' gut check.
On Amazon, I just added my Mental Toughness Workouts HERE.
Yesterday at a restaurant I was served by someone who complained about everything.
All I could think of was wow, this person never struggled in life, hence their lack of graciousness. They complained openly about how busy it was and how everyone they served was an inconvenience to them.
The beauty is IN the challenge!
Hence, their lack of pride in their job came from lack of feeling comfortable under tough times. Again, I hate judging but here I am, trying to change the world through STRENGTH.
How you do anything is how you do everything.
Get stronger and tougher for LIFE. Do it through training and then apply your mental toughness to your life.
It's an ALL the time thing, not just something we do when it is convenient.
Live The Code 365,