Recently I’ve been devouring Mud, Sweat and Tears by Bear Grylls.
There are so many gold nuggets in this book on breaking through limits… pushing beyond physical limits… and developing an unstoppable mindset that finds a way — no matter what.
Here’s one example:
Ever since a kid Bear Grylls and his friends admired the toughest, most elite troops on earth: the SAS (the British Special Forces).
In moments of solitude Grylls would imagine what it would be like to be one and think to himself:
Years later, he had just passed his potential officers course and was about to sign-up for the Royal Marines (and follow in his father’s footsteps) when a voice inside said:
‘Should I not at least try Selection for the SAS Reserves, before committing to the marines? Just to see.’
At this point his logical side kicked up a cloud of reasons as to why it wouldn’t work and why he wasn’t cut out to be one of the best of the best:
“I wasn’t a totally natural athlete — I had always had to work at it, and hard. I had many friends who were naturally much stronger and fitter than me (and they didn’t even have to train at all), and deep down, that made me doubt myself.”
It’s the same story when it comes to people starting their fitness journey. Many people will hesitate, compare their journey to someone else’s, and doubt themselves with things like:
And these may be legitimate.
But what are you going to do about them?
And this is when Grylls realized not being a natural athlete was actually an advantage in disguise:
“Yet somehow, because I wasn’t naturally gifted athletically, I had developed this ability to fight, and to push myself hard, physically and mentally.”
He knew it would be tough but part of him knew he could do it. He realized what mattered most was fight and spirit.
When it comes to your fitness journey:
Because you are getting far more out of your journey. You’re developing more inner strength, resilience and an ability to fight.
That’s the downfall for those who are gifted athletically. They may have a head-start but they often don’t go beyond that. They usually rest on their natural athleticism but they don’t test how far they can go.
For those who aren’t naturally gifted, they don’t have a choice. They don’t take their natural abilities for granted — they push themselves to higher and higher levels. Because deep down they’ve learned that’s how they make things happen.
So remember: sometimes the tougher, rugged journey (however unpleasant) is preparing you to emerge to a whole new level. It’s preparing you to exceed expectations in not just fitness but all areas of life.
And more importantly, it’s preparing you to become a person you’re proud of.
‘Those soldiers who, when every bone in their body is screaming for rest, will dig deep, and start moving, again and again and again. That isn’t natural fitness, it is heart.’- Bear Grylls
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