We spend enough time not really listening when people are talking, which is fair enough. Some people just have that natural gift of becoming white noise when they talk. Rough, but it's true. There's probably a million theories out there as to why we zone out when some people talk. But probably the one voice you shouldn't be zoning out to, is the one in your head.
There's 2 versions that I know of, there's one voice that tells you to quit because of the lactic acid, your burning lungs, legs on fire - all that good stuff. Then there's the other one, you're pushing through those feelings of discomfort and suddenly feel a twinge. Was that a muscle, or was that a tendon?
There's much to be said about mental toughness and how it relates to performance just as much as physical toughness. The old, "push through the pain" is described as a gift in most sports - it definitely does for contact sports or in a real world/military setting.
Spend 10 minutes on any self-proclaimed fitness guru's page on Instagram, a fitness blog or whatever the flavour of the month is. Guaranteed, this dickhead will be bombarding you with "Don't give up, the voice in your head is a liar" and whatever cool variant to that they can come up with. Bullshit.
Let's face it. If you don't have the natural ability to push through the discomfort of strenuous exercise, you're probably not going to be an Olympian or elite level warfighter anytime soon are you? Pay close attention to the key word used in that sentence. Discomfort. Any endurance athlete will tell you, that through years of training they have achieved a very uncommon feat. They are comfortable in being uncomfortable. This ability, achieved through training, is what sets the professionals above the amateurs.
Now to make my point about listening. If you need your daily dose of common sense and motivation from some random dude on the interwebs, you really should pay attention.
Listen to your head. Elite level athletes push through pain on the regular, they know how to silence the voices in their head. If you're on the journey of becoming an athlete, become accustomed to what discomfort it is you're pushing through. If you're pushing through discomfort to the point it becomes pain, you need to take a good hard look at yourself. There is a very fine line between super fit, and super fucking broken. That one session you turned up like a rockstar and pushed through when you shouldn't have, will have you turning up like a loser for the next session.
Athletic greatness is achieved through consistency, being sidelined with an injury can not only slow you down - it can put you back years.
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