Saturday, May 31, 2008

Body versus Mind, Part 3: Body WITH Mind

This is the third in a series of posts inspired by Tony J. For Part One click here. For Part Two, click here. Tony's statement yet again was: The body is capable of way more than the mind is usually willing to accept.

I can sum up Tony's words into this: the mind frequently limits performance. Somehow we as humans have been pre-programmed to believe only so much. We learn to accept a certain level of success, and no more. Is it that we set too hollow of goals? Have we adopted others' views of their own limited potential as our own? Do we listen to our "inner critic?"

I currently have a new goal: 15 pullups without stopping. When I reach it, I'll strive for 20. Now to some of you, that's easy. You may be able to do 20 pullups without any effort. For others, you completely accept that 20 pullups is virtually impossible. Why is it so unattainable? Maybe you tried pullups in 5th grade gym class and could not do very many compared to your classmates. Maybe you don't know enough about gymnastics training. Maybe you're overweight. I can easily be put into all three of those categories. Yet I absolutely refuse to believe my performance in grade school and my 235lb body and my lack of knowledge are going to keep me from reaching a 25-pullup goal.

To reach maximum potential, it takes effort. And with effort comes pain. And with pain comes annoyance, discomfort, and distraction. It does take a strong will and mindset to accept the pain and strain of solid effort, and still push on. But even more than an iron will, it takes education.

Look at long distance running: Preparing to run a marathon takes more than just adding miles each week. There are specifically formulated training schedules developed by professionals. These programs maximize the efficiency of training to get the best results with the least effort. One of our friends has recently committed to a half marathon. For her, running 2 miles was stretching her ability. But after she learned how the programming of the Hal Higdon training model worked, she saw 13.1 miles as attainable. That's how education fosters belief in success!! Our friend is a work in progress: a living example of Body WITH Mind. There's nothing that can stand in her way now.

I look back with laughs at my first reaction upon hearing of the MURPH workout. I thought such a task was not possible. After all, I had all the excuses already lined up. First and foremost...I weigh 235 pounds. Guys that heavy can't possibly do MURPH. But I didn't like hearing that negative voice in my head telling me that I could not do something. So I did MURPH out of spite of those voices! I researched how to properly train for it, and then learned through personal experience.

Every now and then I hear one of those voices telling me I cannot do it. I heard them when I learned of MALTZ. I heard them again when I was invited to do TREVOR. But I ignored them and proved those inner critics wrong. I did them! I have learned to answer those pesty inner voices with a resounding, "I will do it!" And since I have proven those voices wrong time and time again, they don't return as often. And when they do, I laugh in their faces ;)

Body WITH Mind. As we strengthen our minds, we also solidify our bodies. They go hand in hand. Education is a critical step in the process. We must continue to learn and study new ways upon which to build on our physical performance. We must also learn to ignore those inner voices that pester us with comments about failure and inability. You cannot fake knowledge. You cannot fake belief. When you possess them both, enjoy the ride!!!

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