The Mental Side of Strength
Strength and human spirit have been on my mind a great deal this week. I read an article the other day about Alex Honnold free soloing one of the most challenging climbs in Yosemite Valley, and it made me really think about the mental side of the human spirit.
Here’s a guy just barely in his 30’s who has dedicated his whole life to climbing. He has practiced this route so much that he has memorized 3,000 vertical feet of movement. It’s phenomenal to me that he was able to train his body and his mind to conquer a task that appears utterly impossible. No ropes, no safety net, just climb (you can read about it here).
This same thought of human spirit and mental toughness came to mind the other day mid workout. At Icehouse on Monday we did a CrossFit bench mark workout in honor of those who lost their lives at Pulse Night Club in Orlando last year. The benchmark is called “Filthy 50” and we have designated it as Orlando 50 after the 49 people who have lost their lives. 10 movements 50 reps work your way through to the end.
It was somewhere in the middle of 50 wall ball shots (throwing a 14 lb ball 9 feet in the air) that I had the thought, “I wonder if the people in the gym realize how strong they really are.” 10 movements 50 reps each and each time after a short rest, they all go back and pick up their bar, their kettle bell, or their wall ball. I wonder if they have been able to channel this inner strength, the one that picks up the wall ball and does 50 reps, outside of the gym?
Sometimes life can through some serious challenges our way. Building this amazing mental strength in the gym can really help with these challenges. Being able to focus and complete the task at hand in the gym when all your mind is telling you to do is drop the wall ball and quit is such an incredible feat. The mental toughness it takes to walk back to the ball, pick it up, and keep throwing is part of being an Everyday Athlete.
This translates to your everyday tasks, whether it’s at work or or in your personal life. It helps you take obstacles and approach them like workouts. Instead of seeing something as overwhelming or impossible, it helps you look at it and break it out in a way that you can tackle it “one rep at a time,” as if it were a workout. At Icehouse we are not only training ourselves to be physically strong but mentally strong as well.
How has the mental strength you’ve built in the gym helped you out there in your everyday life?