What’s your hard?

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What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done in your life? For our purposes, I’m talking about physical feats. Was it your first Murph? Maybe it was the first workout you ever did at Tradewinds. Or maybe it was the 10k for Women we did in October, or the Spartan we raced in November. Heck, maybe it was yesterday’s 3 Rep Clean Benchmark. 


Whatever it means to you, hard is ultimately a relative term. Your definition of hard is different from your fellow athlete’s definition of it. We can’t put our definition of the term up against anyone else’s, because ultimately it is always going to be you vs. you, day in and day out for the long haul. Which is something we have to keep in mind when we approach things in the gym, and even in everyday life. Theodore Rosevelt said, “comparison is the thief of joy”, and man was he right. Let’s celebrate each other’s hard things, and embrace that we are all different in that respect. 


So, what you are thinking of is significant and meaningful to you. It’s also an extremely powerful tool. Let’s say the hardest thing you’ve ever done was a 5k race. Now think about all that went into that. The training you did, the planning, the times you didn’t want to run but did it anyway because you knew you had to. Most likely the race itself was challenging in its own way, whether you were well prepared or not, it probably pushed you towards your limits. But it was all for the sake of crossing that finish line and achieving something you didn’t know you could. 


After you do something like that, no matter what it is, you have just raised the bar for “your hard”. This can be powerful, if used correctly. Think about it, if you just did a 5k, running any distance equal to or less than that is suddenly not as scary or intimidating, because you have that accomplishment to fall back on. 


Now take that and apply it to your everyday life. 


“I ran a 5k so _____ isn’t as hard for me.”


“I ran a 5k so pushing myself on today’s workout isn’t as hard for me.”


“I ran a 5k so doing something outside of my comfort zone isn’t as hard for me.” 


If you use your accomplishments as a way to frame things, suddenly a lot of things in life become a lot less intimidating. I know for a fact every single athlete in our gym has done at least one challenging physical feat or workout in their time with us. We can all use it as a sort of secret weapon when we need that extra push. 


Take the upcoming open for example. It can be an anxious time, there’s a ton of uncertainty and a little bit of intimidation, especially if you’ve never done it before. It would be easy to psych yourself out, or hold back from participating. But think about it in terms of all you have already achieved in your life, all the hard things you have tried and conquered, all the times you thought you couldn’t but did anyway… Now all of a sudden it’s a different story. 


So take “your hard” and channel it in a positive way. Use it, like a super power, to tap into that extra little bit you know you have in the tank but maybe hold back from using. Use it to keep yourself upbeat on days where things feel harder than usual. Because you know from experience, we can do hard things, and it could always be harder! 

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