Opinion and Visual
The mantra of the ultra marathon runner: Go Farther So You Can Go Further.
This idea holds little value to most; physical exertion is understood as punishment. It’s painful. Physical training, all of the sweat and blood and early mornings and missed social activities, is viewed as a chore, if it is even done at all. It’s a quick cocktail of cardio and weights to ‘feel good’ and maintain a level of comfort in body image. Physical training is a cure for self-loathing and disappointment.
Culture does not preach the highest priority of exercise, of training.
Instead, culture encourages mediocrity, fitting-in, and inclusion; it wants you to do the bare minimum, to squeeze by and just feel good about yourself.
What is this highest priority of physical training?
Is it not visible muscle growth and efficient fat depletion? My appearance in the mirror? Is it not looking great in the pictures we post on social media? The visual?
I suppose it is. And this must change.
People’s minds have become addicted to opinion of appearance. Our opinion, our friends’ opinions, our families’ opinions, the opinions of strangers. Think about this: opinion.
Why did you buy that? Say that? Drink that?
Why are you doing this physical training? This pushup or this run? Why are you running this ultra marathon?
If you mold activity –physical training– based on the anticipation of another’s opinion, you have fallen into the trap, the trap of visual. The trap of what you have been taught: the highest priority of physical training is opinion.
Your own opinion, your friends’ opinions, your family’s opinion, the opinions of strangers.
I want to look this way and for them to see me like this.
I’ll post a picture of this so they think x, y, or z.
Toxic; you’re in the realm of opinion, cultivated by the culture of the common man.
You want to break free but how can you unlock the cage of opinion and visual?
Reframe “physical training” with an understanding of the relationship between it and your life goals. Every moment of physical training is one that will create a mind capable of pursuing and reaching your goals, even the ones that have nothing to do with ‘working out.’ Goals of finance, of knowledge, of education, of business, of relationships. This preparedness is only forged, however, when physical training is done intentionally with these goals in mind. Anything else, the opinion and the visual, is inadequate and misses an incredible opportunity.
You have to practice physical training with your other goals in mind. Your finance goals, your knowledge goals, your education goals, your business goals, and your relationship goals.
The fatigue and pain experienced in physical training creates crisis in one’s mind. STOP. REST. GO EASY. These are normal and expected thoughts. What is not normal and what the mind does not expect is for a person to push harder when these thoughts arise. Your mind does not expect you to Go Farther…
The mind, so focused on ending the pain, is sent reeling when the pain increases. It must adapt. The pain has gotten worse. WORSE.
But you push forward again. And again.
Go Farther So You Can Go Further
You are now dragging your mind, kicking and screaming, as you push on. Go Farther. Your mind must adapt, change its habits. It must become stronger.
Habitually exposing the mind to discomfort, going farther time and time again when the mind screams to stop, will build a durable mind. Then, when life exposes another goal in the natural excavation of one’s values and belief system, the mind will be ready. It has been dragged through discomfort into pain and more pain. These are familiar. They’re insignificant, just a part of the process. Just a part of the daily grind of physical training.
Despair, rejection, doubt, fear, pain. Each of these will accompany you along the Wicked Trail to any goal you can come up with. They are assumed and expected.
But guess what? You’ve been there.
You know despair well, he joins you on your longest runs.
Rejection is the pullup bar, your grip slipping through the last repetition.
You have doubted with every early morning whether you would make it through a training session.
Fear has stood by during every personal-best lift.
Pain? Every damn day.
Go Farther. Your mind will Go Further. And your goals, across the spectrum of your life, will just be peaks to summit along the journey.