It’s been almost a month since I completed the 24-hour workout challenge with a couple of guys from my Crossfit box, for three great charities.
No matter how big or small, challenges bring the best out of you – they inspire you, keep you motivated, and allow you to find out some things about yourself.
As a discipline, Crossfit definitely allows me the opportunity to challenge myself regularly. There is always a workout programmed which scares me a little, and that is beyond my reach. It gives my body and mind a good kick up the arse – to connect with ‘that place’ and go somewhere where I can really test myself.
So, to be able to do this on a much bigger scale, and towards a charitable cause, seemed like a no brainer.
I have thought about the event almost every day since, and how epic the experience was. And quite the contrary after the final workout, it definitely wasn’t straight to bed. I was absolutely buzzing! Yes, the experience was definitely a physical slug, which left me battered afterwards, but mentally it took me to another level. It gave my mind a feeling it hadn’t had in a while.
And that’s what I realised – how little I have been applying the lessons learned from these moments towards basic daily life.
Sometimes we need those ‘landmark’ events to recognise the substance of a real challenge. In my case – a workout on the hour for 24 hours.
These events are great. They push you to your limits, and will always be cherished as life experiences. But in essence, we have the ability to challenge ourselves every day. In reality, most of us don’t. These are the ones that count more.
Whilst routine is very much needed and serves its purpose, it has also become the enemy. It does make us fall into that comfort zone where it is in our nature to stay put. It’s easy. However, as long as you’re aware of this, it’s all good.
I personally have been neglecting training my mind. I was craving that mental clarity I got from the 24-hour experience.
Over the last two weeks, I challenged myself to break out of routine and test my mind in other ways, away from fitness, and the gym. The challenge was not only to implement practise, but also stick with it. So far, it’s sticking.
I chose things I know I struggle with and sometimes avoid – silencing my thoughts, and practising my speech.
5 minutes of meditation in the morning, and 5 in the evening. Pretty simple.
I chose meditation as a way to separate myself from ‘the world’ and almost cleanse the mind. I have the worst monkey mind ever – I pretty much live inside my head. So, it seemed fitting. It also helps me de-stress, and simply just enjoy silence, chanting, and the power of vibration. Variance is key.
Another thing I used to practise daily which has taken a big back seat, was speaking. Literally – going up to strangers and engaging in simple conversation – for example asking for the time, or directions.
As someone who stammers, I coasted through years of my life avoiding basic human interaction. Something that is second nature for the majority of people. So, facing the fear in such a way is a great method to overcome the adversity.
It’s a method I learned on a course a few years ago. Back then I had to do it to 100 people in the space of a few hours. It was up there with another one of the best challenges I’ve also done in my life. A much different one, but equally as euphoric.
I guess this is a physical exercise, but mentally it also does a job – training the mind to be more confident, and then executing good speech.
So, what’s my point?
We don’t need to wait for the big occasion to rise to the challenge (cheese, sorry). But doing something daily to stimulate your mind, body, or both, is where it’s at. It doesn’t need to be big; it just needs to be done. And in a world where we tend to operate at a million miles an hour – it’s also pretty damn therapeutic.
Fitness teaches me so much discipline, so why not use the same attitude towards other areas of my life. It’s hardly a big investment also – ten, fifteen minutes a day.
Find something that could benefit you. Challenge yourself. Stick with it. Get into the habit of daily practise.
And the ironic thing being? That is very much routine in itself, but… you know what I mean…!
P.S for anyone curious about the 24 hour challenge, just watch below. Thank you Garth for capturing the experience. You absolute legend.