I wake up noticing my busy mind. I often think about life choices, the struggles I have fought through and unforeseen hardships I might face, the life I have lead and the person who I might become, and the goals I have accomplished and how to jump over the obstacles standing in the way of accomplishing my next. With these thoughts, I generally have the urge to slowly chip away life’s lists: otherwise known as the slow perpetual grind, if you catch my drift. After the day is through I lay on the couch, paralyzed by physical exhaustion, and examine weather I have done enough:
“Yes, but there are areas you can improve.”
So then begins the next day and I'm at it again.
On one of these nights I was watching a triathlon video when one of the cycles quotes caught my attention me.
“Why do we do these 140 mile rides? All we do is go back to where we started and gain nothing.”
It made me think. Why do I do what I do? To make a point to people? Yes. To be completive? Yes. Do I have anything material to show for it? No. So if I can’t show anything for the progress I have made, why do it? Most days I ask myself, Why?
There is a YouTube documentary called IronMinds. It features Brian Rose (LondonReal), former wall street broker now turned social media entrepreneur, who has his world wrecked by Ironman John Joseph (lead singer of Cro-Mags). Brain has 90 days to train for a 70.3 Ironman on a 100% plant based diet. There is much to learned about what it takes to become an Ironman in this movie, however one key message stood out to me. While on a skype call with his trainer, Brain shares how he frustrated he has been with training lately and hints that he is on the verge of giving up. As Brian’s trainer gives him some words of encouragement, I noticed this statement:
“John is exceptionally good at his work because he likes to suffer.”
John’s secret, PMA. Positive Mental Attitude.
Jan is an IronMan world champion triathlete. In 2019, he set a new Kona record of 7:51:13. An Ironman race starts with swimming 2.4 miles, then biking a 112 miles, and finishes with a 26.2 mile run . To put this into perspective he was running a 5:57 min/mile pace AFTER a 112 mile bike and 2.4 miles swim. Yeah, I know, amazing. I was watching one of his day in the life video’s on YouTube where his was explaining his routine and what he eats to fuel himself throughout the day. About half way though the video, Jan was explaining how he gets though these long training session and what it takes to win races, one statement took me by surprise:
“I am able to suffer more than others.”
So why do I get up day after day and put the body was I gifted through an intense amount a physical stress? I like to suffer. I find relief in knowing I wore myself out just enough to do it all over again tomorrow. I also learn mental separation from negative thoughts by allow my body to fully let go to embrace the suck. I take these lessons learned in grueling training and apply them to life. When I am struggling with a negative thought loop I relinquished my learning from training and apply them to the task at hand, and, it works. Maybe this is my why. Maybe the training to gain endurance is not meant for me to proliferate into a an aerobic machine. Maybe it’s to teach me that I can flow right through life’s obstacles with a positive mental attitude.
We like to believe that chasing the happy things will make us more happy. Well, it doesn’t. Learning to suffer more will make you more happy and that’s the harsh reality of life. Keep on keeping on and in time all your hard work will pay off. Treat every moment as a learning opportunity and you’ll find yourself richer than the rich. Lastly, smile because when the lights go out and it’s only you in that cold dark room, with no one left toimpress, will you be satisfied?