Endurance Athletes everywhere are seeking performance gain and have set goals for themselves that demand they push themselves to new heights.
But is performance gain merely a series of workouts and metrics that must be tracked, monitored, and exploited for physical gain?
Of course not!
As Athletes, our minds are the pilots of our bodies and enable us to push our boundaries.
Which is why we believe developing mental toughness and understanding sports psychology are as valuable to an Athletes’ training program as physical training and proper nutrition.
And if you are looking for resources, or an example, of how powerful our minds are in regards to performance, look no further than David Goggins.
Besides being a Navy SEAL and Special Forces warrior, Goggins has achieved incredible feats in ultra-marathon running events as well earning the world pull-up record.
In his book, Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind & Defy The Odds, Mr. Goggins shares his story about how he developed his “Can’t Hurt Me” mentality which is characterized by extreme mental toughness.
Although the book is focused on mental toughness and “callusing the mind”, as Mr. Goggins puts it, he does so by sharing his personal struggles, his demons, and the abusive upbringing he faced to become a warrior.
"Can't Hurt Me" by David Goggins is a hardcore book full of straight-talk and some dark stories, but the lessons are priceless. Photo Credit: DavidGoggins.com
In the book Mr. Goggins shares a quote to outline his “can’t hurt me” mentality as well as his personal quest to become the “one” warrior:
“Out of every one-hundred men, ten shouldn't even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back.” Heraclitus
Among the other stand-out quotes and concepts, here are a few of the topics that we think are the most applicable to Endurance Athletics and your pursuit of a wildly successful 2019:
You Have To Do The Reps
Mr Goggins was not always a stud, and on a path to be the toughest man alive, there was a time in his life that he would take the easy path in every situation.
In order to create better habits and to overcome the desire for comfort, Goggins says, “you have to do the repetitions”.
By that he means that there are no hacks and no short-cuts to success.
Yes there are ‘best practices’ and better ways of doing things, but to be strong an Athlete must put in the work!
Triple Down On Your Weaknesses:
If you spend any time researching personal development there is a notion that suggests that you should master your strengths and delegate the tasks you are weak at.
Although that might be a solid business strategy, it is not the best way forward for a cyclist or Endurance Athlete.
In order to be a well-rounded cyclist, an Athlete must ‘triple-down’ on their weaknesses and work to make these limiters become strengths.
David Goggins wants you to callous your mind and become extremely mentally tough!Photo Credit: Reddit.com
The 40% Rule:
David Goggins is known for doing Herculean things like winning ultra-marathon races and smashing the world pull-up record, but he has also had many failures including two failed attempts at the pull-up world record.
In all of this he learned that when an Athlete thinks they are “done”, “cooked”, “smoked”, or “smashed” they have only used 40% of their capacities.
By that he means that you are capable of so much more and have significant reserves even when you are “at the limit”.
The only way to test this theory is to push yourself farther and go-deeper…
But having coached many Athletes over the years, we can confidently say that your potential is immense and that Mr. Goggins is onto something with the 40% rule!
Callous The Mind Like A Weight-Lifter Calluses Their Hands
Weight-Lifters are known for having thick callous’ on their hands from all of the weights they have lifted.
These callouses protect their hands and are the result of a lot of work as well as many repetitions in the gym.
Mr. Goggins suggests that just as weight-lifters seek to callous their hands, every Athlete should callous their mind in order to be strong and resilient in the face of adversity.
To be “uncommon” is to be out of the ordinary.
For David Goggins, his goal was to be uncommon amongst uncommon men. He wanted to be the alpha amongst all the other “alphas”.
The idea at play here is that being uncommon by seeking continuous improvement in all areas of your life is uncommon as our world is built around convenience and comfort.
In practice, we would say that if you have read this far in our article you are definitely “uncommon”!
To Mr Goggins, being uncommon is a matter of holding yourself to a high standard.
Pain Is Temporary
Although this notion is not new to the Endurance Sporting community, Mr. Goggins echos the notion that pain is temporary.
Where his perspective differs is that this notion should breed confidence and help an Athlete push themselves beyond their limits because they know any discomfort will not last.
David Goggins was not always an incredible Athlete, before he become one of the toughest men alive he was nearly 300lbs and craved milkshakes or donuts while working the graveyard-shift for an exterminating company. Photo Credit: U.S. Veterans Magazine
We hope that you have enjoyed this brief overview of “Can’t Hurt Me”, by David Goggins and that it has sparked an interest to read his book.
Although some of his story is very dark and his tone can be confronting, the book is written from a perspective to help you be your best. To illustrate that point Mr. Goggins opens his book with this quote:
“I did not write this book to be your hero, this book is about realizing you are the hero of your own story.”
And as Coaches that believe your potential is immense, we want to spread that message!
Until Next Time, Be Safe, Train Hard, & Have Fun!
-Brian and Joy McCulloch
Big Wheel Coaching
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