Play Hard #1 Developing Mental Toughness

Hello and welcome to the Living Revolution ūüôā

I’ve found a new focus for this blog. In conjunction with a revamping of my personal training business, I will develop this blog to be a resource for anyone who is pursuing fitness/wellness to improve themselves. I want to keep things simple, and provide information that will help you create¬†a better version of yourself, one day at a time.

There is a phrase on my business cards, and the header of this blog: “Eat Well, Train Safe, Play Hard”. These are metaphors for the gym and for real life, and it is rewarding and fulfilling when I can help a person discover the parallels connecting those contexts.

“Eat Well” can describe what it means to consume the right fuel to accomplish your physical goals, but it can also be a metaphor to describe how you can show discernment regarding anything you consume.

“Train Safe” has obvious applications in a gym setting, but it can also inform how a person practices anything in their life, from a specific skill or hobby, to practicing good communication skills. Training in any context should be sustainable and practical and applicable to other aspects of a person’s life. Think transference. Think carryover.

“Play Hard” can refer to competition, the expression and culmination of a training period, or it can refer to the idea of pursuing life with an unbridled passion, living with a high degree of personal responsibility and accountability, not allowing anyone to control how you choose to live your life.

In keeping with the theme I’m working on here, today’s post is the first installment of the “Play Hard” series. Regardless of the endeavor of your choosing, if you are going to Play Hard, you won’t have any fun at all unless you possess some measure of Mental Toughness.

There are a ton of cliches and pop culture definitions for what “mental toughness” means. To indulge one of my favorites, ¬†here is a quote from the movie, “Boondock Saints”:

“The question is not how far. The question is, do you possess the constitution, the depth of faith, to go as far is as needed?”

It’s that last part there, that for me, defines mental toughness. That you can convince yourself to keep going. That you can convince yourself to NOT quit. That you can bear witness to your fear, your weakness, your insecurity, and continue pushing on in the face of these distractions. No one is born with this characteristic, and everyone who has some measure of mental toughness has earned it, in one way or another.

Going “as far as needed” involves the never-ending process of finding boundaries and consciously pushing beyond previous limitations. This model complements¬†well-organized training programs, because these advancements tend to be linear and follow a progression. ¬†Participating in athletic endeavors provides many opportunities to increase mental toughness, and it should go without saying that mental toughness is absolutely necessary for elite athletic performance.

You may have conjured some image to represent mental toughness in your head as you are reading this. I want you to forget whatever that image was. I want you to put yourself in the starring role of that little movie running through your mind. What does mental toughness look like for you? ¬†It could look like¬†enduring a job you don’t like to provide for your financial responsibilities. It could¬†look like using your willpower to talk yourself through the process of preparing to attend a Crossfit class at 515am. It could look like using courage to be one of the people who navigates life or death scenarios, so someone else doesn’t have to. It could look as simple as exercising some measure of discipline as you plan your meals for the week, making sure you will be adequately fuel to “Play Hard” and the recover appropriately.

Mental toughness will look different to each individual, and will change from context to context. If you are interested in learning more about how to develop mental toughness, please get in touch with me. Drop a comment here, shoot me an email, or stop by Crossfit Primal Energy so we can have a face-to-face conversation. As always, thank you for reading my words and for participating in the Living Revolution! Until next time…



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