Yesterday and every Monday, Wednesday & Friday for the past few weeks after my usual morning routine, I’ve been heading over to the Toronto’s “Big A$$ Hill” to do some hill sprints.
I do this every year when the weather turns to help me with my conditioning and for some added fat loss support – after all, summer is just around the corner.
The beauty about hill training is that it shortens your stride reducing your chances of pulling a hamstring or quad.
And even though your stride turnover may not be as fast as when you’re on flat ground, the effects on your cardiovascular system are intense.
So intense that I often question whether or not to give up.
It’s daunting looking up 100m of steep dirt and grass, remembering the feeling of your lungs about to explode, the lactic acid built up in your legs, that little voice of self-doubt telling you to go home and just eat a stack of pancakes…
Sometimes, I just want to take the easy way out.
So I don’t look up the hill.
I look at the ground in front of me.
I look at the next step to make sure it’s secure, that there isn’t any mud, wet grass or a pile of dog crap that will cause me to slip.
I look a few feet ahead and assess where I’m going to put my foot.
And then I’ll glance up and the top is a little closer.
I’ll look back down again and make sure there isn’t a divot that I may step in so I don’t sprain my ankle.
And then I’ll look up again and the top is even closer.
And then I’ll push – I mean REALLY PUSH – because I can see the end.
My legs are burning, my arms are pumping to get better stride turnover out of my legs and because of that my abs are starting to burn too and this is all taking place while my lungs are on fire.
But I don’t stop and before I know it, I’m at the top.
Taking that first step, though, is difficult.
You see, I’m inherently lazy… I think we all are as humans. We want to find and take the easy way out… the path of least resistance.
Maybe it’s primal.
But in order for us to be successful we need to constantly drive ourselves and push ourselves out of our comfort zone in order for to improve.
I find this especially with business.
I’m about to reveal something to you that I’ve never told anyone – except for maybe my wife.
There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t think about getting a “real job”…
About giving up my entrepreneurial dream to go work for someone else for a steady paycheque, medical & dental benefits and the ability to just show up and leave at set times everyday. To have someone decide for me what to do, when it needs to be done and how to do it.
But that doesn’t do anyone any good – not me, not my family or my kids or the thousands of other men that I want to inspire and show that you can build a great life and STILL have a great family life.
“You don’t have to sacrifice your dream because of your family. You can have BOTH.”
That you don’t have to sacrifice your dream because of your family – that you can have BOTH.
When I’m sprinting hills, I sometimes feel the same way.
It takes a lot of mental fortitude for me to take that first step after I look up.
It takes a lot of mental fortitude for me to keep on pushing with business even though I may not see the returns initially.
That is real strength, in my eyes… The Inner Game.
Being physically strong and lifting heavy stuff is just an expression what’s going on in our heads.
You have to earn your strength and the only way you can start to earn it is to believe that you can.
It may sound “hokey” but strength starts from inside.
It’s about knowing that where you want to go – no matter how far it is – and taking that first step.
It’s about putting your head down, getting to work and doing what has to be done to get there.
You glance up at the top every now and then to make sure you’re still headed in the right direction, and then you get back to work, putting your head down, calculating what your next step will be and then charging forward.
Before you know it, you’re at the top.
That’s Mental Toughness.
That’s true STRENGTH.
We all want to live a big life and so we look up the hill and it feels so far away that sometimes we think it’s impossible so we don’t try. We just stay comfortable.
But if you just take a look at that first step and where to place your foot, and then look a few feet ahead so you can see what’s next, before you know it – with a strong push and some sweat – you’ll get to the top of the hill.