Yesterday I signed up for the North Face Endurance Challenge held at Wachusett Mountain in Massachusetts. I opted for the 50 Mile race.
Why would I do such a thing? 50 miles in one day up and down a ski mountain?
I do not label myself as a "runner". I literally do not run if I am not signed up for a race. I'm more interested in bench pressing and back squats. I weigh over 200lb, far from ideal running weight. So why would I sign up to run a 50 mile race?
First, I'm a huge proponent of doing things that are outside of your comfort zone. We as a society tend to define success by the level of comfort in which we live. Comfort, as nice as it is, is a trap. It is a trap into laziness, mediocrity, and decrepitude. Preparing for, and executing on the actual race, creates stark reminders that comfort must be earned. It reminds us that hard work pays off. It reminds us that the early bird gets the worm. It reminds us that struggle breads success. It reminds us that the only easy day was yesterday. There is no way to fake your way to the finish line of a 50 mile race. The only finishers are the ones that prepared mentally and physically, the ones that put in the work. Comfort is appreciated more when you get out of your comfort zone.
Second, I crave the challenge. By now nobody tells me that I cannot do anything, but that was not always the case. When I was in college and told people (friends and family) that I was going to drop out and become a Navy SEAL, very few supported that decision, many said I could not do it. After six years as a SEAL I told people (friends and family) that I was going to get out of the Navy to open a gym, very few supported that decision, many said it was a bad idea. Naysayers and negativity are everywhere. If people learned to listen to themselves and their dreams, productivity and happiness would skyrocket. If you want to do something, go do it! Ignore what others say. As bad as it is to say, many do not want to see you succeed because it will make them feel bad about themselves. Surround yourself with positive people that support you. Positivity is a learned behavior and must be practiced. Running for 50 miles, well, that demands positivity. My positive self talk when I run is "I got this" and "Just keep running". Next time you do something challenging, listen to the voice in your head, is it helping you towards your goal or hurting you?
Last but not least, I simply enjoy being outside. Signing up for this race is going to get me running outside more every week. The actual race is held at a beautiful ski mountain with incredible views. If I did not sign up for this, I would never get to experience that, and I am a firm believer in that life is meant to be lived to its fullest, which to me includes travelling and seeing the world.
How can this relate to you?
I challenge you to do something outside of your comfort zone.
Sign up for that 5k.
Sign up for that triathlon.
Go to that CrossFit class with the scary workout.
Prove to yourself that you CAN do it.
Once you prove it to yourself that you are capable, that mental attitude will translate to many other aspects of your life. Soon you will find yourself crushing one challenge after another, happier and more successful in life than ever. (not to mention healthier!)