Friday, August 27, 2010

Mind over Matter , if you don’t mind it don’t matter

We had a few sayings about being uncomfortable.

“Mind over Matter, if you don’t mind it don’t matter”

“You don’t have to like it, you just have to do it.”

“You can suck it up and survive, or quit and die, and dieing is easier.”

“By failing to do (whatever) you have just killed your best friend”

“God forgives, the brotherhood doesn’t”

“The good thing about pain is it reminds you that you are alive.”

I personally like, “ pull up your big girl panties and suck it the fuck up!”

They all come down to doing it when you don’t want to or don’t think you can. The first two and my favorite are the only ones really pertinent to a civilian unless children are involved and then with slight modifications they all apply to you.

There are a bunch of things that cause discomfort when you are training and they suck. Even though they suck they are important. They allow you to get more fit, they allow to see the difference between discomfort and damage. Training increases your pain threshold and allows you to thrive more easily. It moves you from being a princess to human. When people bitch because they have a blister or they cant breathe, or they feel that acidic burn in their chest I am pleased. It means that they are getting mentally stronger. If they complain because, or don’t complain, because their back hurts I care. There is a difference between injury and damage pain compared to awwwww you scraped your knee and you don’t want to do something.

By pushing your comfort zone of what you can handle makes you and your body more resilient. By pushing damage you get less resilient. The line looks blurry but in truth it is pretty obvious. If it feels uncomfortable and you want to cry, shout, scram, bite and or lay down hide and suck your thumb push harder. If it feels like you are ripping apart back off. You intrinsically know the difference.

The long and short of this is push, be uncomfortable and hurt a little. If it hurts because something is ripping then stop or back off.

A friend said when she first started deadlifting she felt as though she would pop. This was because she didn’t know where her pelvic floor was. She found it and the tension needed to use it/protect it and it has helped her move better and more gracefully. Find tension, thrive in that tension. There has to be balance. Our society wants everything to feel good. It is hard to feel good about everything so we get lazy. A glass of cool water is one of the most glorious tasting beverages on the planet after running 40 yds, 10 kettlebell high swings with 1/3 of your bodyweight and 10 chest to ground burpees, for 7 min in 100 degree heat. Since we as a country are so lazy and comfortable we think water is dull and boring. Try drinking something else after that. This laziness has made us stupid, fat, sick, boring and needy.

There has to be balance. Push yourself hard and relax well. The harder you push yourself and the more uncomfortable you get (smartly) the more relaxing and precious is the self pampering.

check this out copy and post this into your browser. This is a woman lifting 370#


  1. "turning a princess into a human" - that's good.

    I would like to be wired to ECG brainwave measurers sometime because I'll be working out (alone) and some tiny thought goes "yuck, this feels bad, why not just stop?" and literally a flash second later my body stops - even though I am nowhere near a threshold. And then I have to use the psychic energy to start over....totally inefficient.

    It would be so cool to do some kind of neuro study on this phenomenon and also retrain the brain to just override those thoughts. (which i guess comes from just doing it - ?) What aspect of the brain is firing most when you push past the discomfort and ignore the little voices - do you know of any neurological studies of this?

    I agree everything in our culture is set up to a) keep us at the surface and not go deep into the truth and b) stay comfortable. Meanwhile, 370#??? holy shit. That lady is definitely 100% human not princess

  2. I dont know what part of the brain it is but some people just dont have it. I have friends that would run until they would pass out. Most of us were and are able to just push and enjoy that uncomfortable pain, relish in it even. The more you do it the more enjoyable it gets, and the easier it is to handle tough things, except LA Traffic. THere is no training that can get you ready for this traffic.

    on another note it comes down to having a reason to do it. If you dont know why or how to do any of this (struggle) you wont. So, if you don't really want to look perform and feel better you wont push yourself. (or eat correctly).

  3. I wonder if it's a testosterone issue - people with more testosterone are more likely to relish The Discomfort Zone (and more likely to be marines).

    2 things help me - 1. having a trainer or workout partner because my pride and competition kick in (releasing testosterone??) 2. kick ass music that creates an emotional/fierce warrior response.

    I have a vision of fusing S.H.I.T workouts with music that is truly the Shit and starting a worldwide phenomenon. thanks for the response. PS Alas there's already a book called The Discomfort Zone but I kind of think it's a good topic ..........don't you?