100 pushups. 100 sit-ups. 100 squats. 100 burpees.
Today’s GPP workout was a rendition of Hit The Deck. I just did this workout a little over a week ago at Blend 2013, so I knew what I was in for and I knew it was hard. I felt a little like crying when I saw this go up on GPP’s website last night. But then, I got over it. I can do the hard stuff.
Until the last few years, I’ve considered myself a mental weakling. Being diagnosed with clinical depression as a teenager made me feel fragile and like I could break at any moment. Learning to live with clinical depression is extremely trying—even as an adult the hard moments can feel impossible. As a teenager and young adult I quit anything that felt hard: relationships, sports teams, diets, and the list goes on and on. I didn’t feel like I was capable of doing anything that pushed me outside of my comfort zone.
Earning my fitness and pushing through the moments when I want to quit has taught me that I am not a mental weakling. I can do the physical hard stuff now. And when I need that mental toughness later—to deal with family illness, to say no to another brownie, to stand up for myself when I know I deserve better—it’s there.
Physically hard things require mental strength. Each time I don’t let my mind quit before my body is ready to give up, I get mentally stronger. So, yes, when I want to quit I can do 5 more burpees (and I HATE burpees). When my mind wants to give up I can push for another quarter mile.
Today I finished the whole “normal” deck of cards in 32:01. It was hard. I wanted to quit. But I did it. The lessons I was learning from hanging in there and coming back for more benefit my life in ways that far exceed physical changes (though those are nice, too).
Do the hard stuff. Because you can*.
*If you need to talk to yourself out loud at the gym and give yourself pep talks, that’s okay, too! (Really—I won’t judge you. Just ignore the looks your fellow gym-goers give you.)