The Mind War

This is why I work out… why I train Muay Thai…

On Friday my physical therapist told me if/when I could do 30 minutes on the stair stepper consistently without pain she would release me to begin jogging! (Cue the music and confetti falling from the sky, or at least that’s what it felt like — it could have also been from the high I was on from getting to do some agility drills for the first time too!)

30 minutes is double the amount of time that I have been doing on the stepper, so that number was a little daunting. I got on the stepper this morning and punched in 20 minutes… more than I’ve done since surgery so I felt good about bumping up the time. I figured I’d work my way up to 30 minutes within a week or so.

But then I got going. The sweat started pouring and my lungs started burning and I realized that I live for this — goals, challenges — they are there to be smashed!

So I decided at about the minute 15 mark that I was going to reset the time for another 10 minutes after I completed the first 20 and get to 30! I was fired up. I was going to do this!

The 20-minute mark came and I reset the time for the last 10. I started out with that fire… but about minute 23 my mind started to question if I could make it. It told me I was too ambitious and couldn’t do it.  I had to find some grit and push until I was over the 25-minute hump… from there it was downhill… tick tock, just keep going until finally: goal attained.

The point is — I train to test and push myself; to challenge the limits my mind sets for me. In the span of 30 minutes, my mind waged war on my will and body several times.

My mind decided to initially place a ceiling on my ability by telling me to only go 20, then it led me to believe I could get to 30, then it told me to quit because I was uncomfortable and exhausted and couldn’t make it and then once again, it celebrated in victory.

This is why I train… if you’ve been in my classes you know I describe Muay Thai as a humbling experience. You’ll feel like you can’t get a technique right and then feel like you are killing it… only then to get caught with something that makes you see stars and feel like you are the worst fighter on the planet.

From there you have to summon your courage, squash your ego and pride, and quiet your mind to get up and begin again.

This is what life is all about.