One’s own mind is a dangerous place to spend a great deal of time. You see, our minds are powerful beyond measure., so much so that we’re able to understand fake things as completely real and convince ourselves that very real things aren’t there at all.
The trouble with this and training is that we don’t really know what we’re capable of. Surely, more experienced athletes have a better understanding of what their capable of than novice athletes, which allows them to make more precise decisions about pace, load, etc, but even still I’d ague that very few truly understand their potential. That being said, when we perceive exhaustion, pain, or discomfort, is that real?
Surely, it can be. But, considering fringe exposures to exhaustion, pain, and discomfort like BUD/S, adventure races, and meditation show us time and time again that our perceptions often lie to us, we may be less accurate than we think when we swear that we’re “spent,” “hurt,” or unbearably struggling.
The scariest part of this is that considering our capacity, the answer may be “No, this thing I’m feeling isn’t real.” If I’ve lost you because you can’t focus on anything other than “Coach is telling me not to listen to my body,” snap out of it for two seconds and listen up.
I’m asking you to simply wonder with me. When you (and myself included) think you’re doing everything you can, you’re not. When you’re uncomfortable, your body’s warning system is often interrupting your ability to perform the task at hand. And, specifically when it comes to pain, there are two kinds; chronic and acute. When you step on a nail, it hurts. Message sent, message received. That’s acute and it’s great information. When you associate pain (chronically) with certain movement and situations, you’ve got an opportunity to break a pain cycle in your mind and change your reality.
If you are convinced you understand your experiences, that’s probably the first sign that your mind might be tricking you.
1 Thruster (185/130)
1, 2, 3, 4.. Box Jump (30/24)