Wednesday, May 11, 2011


“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”

T.S. Elliot

Focus your mind on what you CAN and WILL do in the moment...what is in front of you...even if it seems currently out of reach. Focus like a laser beam.

Don't go half-ass.

Go Full-Ass.

WHEN you fail, just keep trying harder. Your body, mind & spirit WILL adapt.

A lesson I have learned from many powerful LEADERS in the military, sport, martial arts & business is that if you never fail, you are kidding yourself and wasting your time. If you never fail, you aren't challenging yourself. Not even close.

Winners fail all the time, not because they become complacent but on the contrary they PUSH THEMSELVES beyond their limits until failure...repeatedly...alone or vs others. Those who remain consistent but in their comfort zone constitute mid-bell curve mediocre folks. Their "mediocre" may be another man's lifetime best, but deep down inside they know they are wimping out and wasting their potential. All to avoid pain, to stay comfortable.

When you lose the WILL to make yourself uncomfortable and enter the "pain cave" you have already consciously or unconsciously begun your slow pathetic regression. This applies to any area of your life. Trace back your last poor result to complacency, procrastination or avoidance of pain.

It is easy to fall into this trap, and it happens to EVERYONE at some point. Even Chuck Norris. Your mind will always beg to quit before your body. Every time you battle your demons and push further than you thought you could, you are recalibrating your limits as well as your perception of what is possible the next time around. Growth!

The choices we make when uncomfortable will determine our destiny and reveal our true character.

It is never too late to break the P A T T E R N...

"We are enriched by life's harshest moments...especially those of our own choosing"

-Mark Allen

Mark, AKA "The Grip of Death" is arguably the greatest triathlete of all time. At his athletic peak he "failed" 6x in a row, then WON the Hawaii Ironman 6x in a row. He dug DEEP in failure, even doing great damage to his body, and you better believe he dug even DEEPER in victory.

Richard "Mack" Machowicz, Navy SEAL and host of Future Weapons will break it down as succinctly as possible...this is someone who took cold showers for two years to 'deepen his toughness groove":

"You have to be unreasonable in that moment"

"Fear is the perception of an UNKNOWN Threshold"


Matt Guenther said...

I've been reading your blog for about a week or so after my cousin suggested I take a look at it. Your posts are motivational and inspiring. I just started Crossfit 10 days ago and your quotes/pics/posts help me push myself every time I visit the dungeon. For that, sir, I thank you!

slate said...

Powerful truth & a needed reminder. I was just telling you about that wisdom thing you yield and there you go. Keep them coming.

Even Chuck Norris huh?

sean clancy said...

STOMP on the snake.

It's a daily war of the angel on one shoulder and the demon on the other that started whenever humans showed up.

The demon offers excuses, rationalizes, justifies quitting, avoiding pain, taking the easy way out. The demon will always be able to out-smart the angel...appealing to inherent human weakness.

The Angel tells you quietly to HTFU and March ON, reminds you of free will and your opportunity in this moment. But the decision is yours.

Pretty simple.

I believe the human mind is naturally wired to avoid discomfort so it is a daily, lifelong battle of good vs. evil.

Evil wants you to waste your time, take the easy way out, avoid pain, sleep in, avoid contributing...

When the alarm rings at 5:00 and it is raining outside. When you and your wife have both worked 12hour days and are exhausted and she asks for an "inconvenient" favor. At mile 20 of an Ironman when you are cramping and bonking and you are running right past your hotel or a shady tree. When your boss asks you to work late on a Friday and you have plans.

You can always rationalize an easy way out, a way to avoid pain, responsibility, greatness. Nothing is easier than slowing down and falling back into the anonymous "pack", mid-bell-curve.

Constant active management of mindset and decision-making patterns will ultimately define our character. "Going a bit harder, faster, longer, more inconvenient, BETTER is what we do".

This analogy makes great sense to endurance athletes, as this is all we do...we're slaying those demons constantly on long training runs/rides/swims/paddles..let alone races where we have every excuse in the world to give less than our best. Who will ever know?

Anyone who has run a business or been in sales knows the analogy resonates equally well.

Drive past the McDonalds when you're hungry, park at the grocery store, get some freaking meat, fruit and vegetables, and a water.

We're all fighting in the same war.

Fortunately I have a posse like the DC who keep pushing the bar higher. Iron sharpens Iron.

This is stuff we all "know", but constant awareness of the ugly demon on the shoulder makes him more fun to slay.

Crush On!

sean.clancy said...

Do you really believe...that one man can bear...

sean.clancy said...

Hey Matt,

I just caught your comment...

Thanks for checking in. There is a lot of negativity and "noise" out there to avoid. All we can do is challenge ourselves to learn more, do better and keep the big picture in mind.

WRT CrossFit, you've found an amazing resource! What I have found is that thinking about the "WHY" fuels the "How". It's amazing what you can accomplish when you have a good enough reason...

Keep Choppin'!