Get Into The Right Mindset
You love hunting. Getting out into nature and shifting into predator mode relieves you of the stress of everyday life. If you could have it your way, you’d be in the woods half of the year—but could you? Could you withstand the continuous stress on your legs and lungs, and the self-doubt creeping into your mind as you look up to the next ridge you have to climb?
Something I’ve learned in my short time on this planet is that to be successful; you simply have to put in the work. To put in the work, you need motivation. To get motivation, you need to have the right mindset.
Growing up, I was always the kid that loved to compete, but didn’t have the motivation to train when the spotlight was off. What makes that reality even harder to swallow, was that I had all the time in the world to put in the extra work for the sports and endeavors I loved. But as I got older time seemed to disappear, then a spark was ignited that would change my approach to fitness and well-being. It was 2011, I was 20 years old with aspirations of working for Apple. My arms were less than inspiring, and my pot belly was growing at an alarming rate.
Enter Joe Rogan
Joe has a simple approach that clicked for me: understand that you owe yourself a heart-pumping sweat session. Day in, day out, you need to get those hormones flowing. Treat your training like a meeting on your calendar: you don’t want to go, but you’ll be better off for it. Be accountable.
Something important to understand here is that you’re not going to run marathons or look like Arnold Schwarzenegger after a solid month of training. These daily “meetings” are lifelong, and you have to keep attending to see any tangible results. No amount of 30-day challenges and fit-tea will have you ridge hopping like a mountain goat.
“Easy to say for a 20-something-year-old-punk, I’m pushing 40!”
Don’t fall into this poisonous thinking. Sure, you’re not going to be able to recover as quick as someone decades your junior; the thing is, you don’t have to. Focus on going slow, being consistent, and putting lots of energy into your warm up and cool down. If you believe you can’t get in shape, you’re right.
“That’s all good Jarid, I know I have to workout, that’s not the problem.”
Here’s Where Motivation and Mindset Come In
Motivation comes in two flavors: intrinsic and extrinsic. Both are important to keep you pushing forward day in and day out.
Intrinsic motivation is the internal drive you experience when you want to accomplish a goal. In the backcountry hunter’s case, your goal is to be capable of getting up and down hills without restriction. Every time you think about whether you should go for that run or not, keep your long-term goals in mind. Write them down, and ask yourself what small thing you could do today to help.
Extrinsic motivation, as you could guess, is the group of external factors that get you revved up to get your ass in gear. There are so many great podcasts, books, and Instagram accounts that you can lean on for this. Guys like Cameron Hanes (@cameronrhanes), John Dudley (@nockontv) and Brian Call (@grittybowmen) are continually posting themselves getting at it. Practicing their shot, getting in workouts, and everything in between. These guys put in the work, and they’ll likely rub off on you.
You’re also going to want to check out David Goggins (@davidgoggins), in particular, his podcast with Joe Rogan. If you don’t get motivation from that conversation, you’re a broken human.
“But how do motivation and mindset differ?”
In my opinion, they’re two sides of the same coin. If motivation is what kicks you into gear, the mindset is what keeps you moving even when you’re utterly miserable.
Live In The Moment And Focus On What You’re Doing
You’ll often hear buzzwords like “consciousness” and “mindfulness” thrown around when talking about mindset. Don’t be overwhelmed. All we’re saying here is simple: live in the moment and focus on what you’re doing. If you’re stalking, for example, you should always be thinking about your foot placement, muscle engagement, and of course, if the wind is in your face or not.
To be entirely focused and present sounds so easy, so trivial, but it is a lot harder than you think.
Try this experiment: sit still with no thoughts in your brain. Document the first natural thought that pops into your head. Go ahead. Do it.
If you tried, you realized how much harder this is than it sounds.
Like other skills, mindfulness requires practice. I’d recommend looking into apps like Calm or Headspace to give you a feel for meditation practice. The Power of Now is also a great read to help you understand this topic further.
Once you can focus entirely on the present, those long training sessions won’t seem as daunting. You’ll learn to focus on the now, and be purposeful instead of going through the motions.
Don’t be scared to punch the clock and get drenched in sweat on the daily. Start with a goal, find external motivators, and practice focusing on the task at hand.
“keep hammering" and “conquer your inner bitch”
I like to use mantras to remind myself of the points I mentioned above. Cam Hanes uses “keep hammering,” but I’m personally a big fan of Rogan’s “conquer your inner bitch.” It now regularly rattles through my mind when I’m about to skip a workout.
Now as I finish this post, I’m reminded that I have a marathon coming up… time to walk the talk!