Last week I was hoping to have another strong week of training but my body hit a wall. I was actually wrestling Coach Justin when I felt like I wasn’t strong, my timing was off, I wasn’t having any success in my rounds as well. We chatted after the round a little bit, he was really listening to what I was saying. ‘Sounds like you are overtraining, just need a small break. Because, I say the same things as you when I am overtraining’. It’s so funny how I can tell when someone else is overtraining, but myself it is hard to recognize.
I had a good talk with Jay as well. He analyzed the situation and we moved through the list of variables. Landing on how many hours of sleep I was getting a night. Not enough. An elite athlete that trains as much as I do needs between 8-10 hours of sleep a night (I was getting 6-7). In a gentle way, Jay pretty much was telling me that if I want to compete at this high level I need to get my shit together. I have make sure I am getting enough recovery time. We strategized what this looked like and he had some remarkable suggestions for Masters Worlds.
What about Adults Worlds in two weeks? I’ve never trained harder for anything in my life, for such an extended amount of time, with such a strategy. After adults worlds I will have some exciting year anniversaries coming up. Steph (my main training partner who has an iron heart, she is so tough!) Will have trained for a year. We drill together, wrestle together, do kettlebells together. We have grinded through so much together. And example is Tuesday evening we were on the mats with her husband and black belt Erik. He was helping us with tightening up details in our techniques and discussing strategy. Erik’s pure honesty with his attention and explanation of details cannot be described in words. Every now and then when he shows up on the mats and coaches us it is a game changer. We were on the mats for almost 2.5 hours. By the time 9 pm rolled around Steph and I were both tired, but still hungry. We kept drilling, working, learning until we had nothing left to give. Then planned to do it all over again on Thursday. We reached a new level on Tuesday.
A year will also be the anniversary of Superdave and I. I remember my first match at worlds last year that I lost. We hadn’t worked together too much at this point, but I remember he called me and bawled me out for losing a match I should have won. I didn’t like the honesty of that phone call one bit. I didn’t like that phone call because he was right. I shouldn't have lost that match, and I knew better (honesty is the worst because it tells the real and raw truth, and takes guts for the person giving it. Because for them, the gold in the honest truth is more important than the risk in offending - and Superdave recognized this). I have been going to Vernon once a week now for a year, it flew by. We won my division in Masters Worlds, and made it to the final in the open division in only 12 weeks. Now it’s been a year. The trick is to stay ahead, because now the opponents know what I am doing. Superdave is constantly giving me homework and pushing me out of my comfort zone, one reason I train so much is because he gives me so much homework and expects it all to be completed. He has changed my Jiu-Jitsu and understanding of strategy in a big way.
What else is going through my head this week? I took the weekend off training, and really took some time to recharge and recoup. The below is what has been playing this week:
We can listen to motivational stuff all day long, to get inspired. But there’s a difference between being inspired and being driven. Being inspired makes me feel excited and happy, being driven requires discipline day in, and day out.
Being driven is harder than being inspired. Because being driven requires me to be real and honest with myself, set some strong goals and stick with them. Whether I feel like it or not.
We can listen about pushing past boundaries and being ‘mentally strong’. But the toughness comes from actually being in the trenches. Training, moving, pushing, grunting, sweating - until you can’t do any more. But you do it, because you have to in order to win.
It’s about finding that dark side where everything is burning, everything is hurting, everything is at it’s limit. Heart rate is at it’s max. And staying there, and becoming friends with it.
Becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable is a dangerous power.
Everyone has a breaking point, it is my job when I step on those mats to find my opponents breaking point. The harder I train, the longer I am in that dark place, the farther back my breaking point is.
It’s like armour. Everyone has armour but no armour is perfect. Everyone begins with their strongest armour on display, and it is my job to find the kink. Sometimes it takes awhile, sometimes I have to wear them down, wear them down, wear them down.
At the same time they are wearing me down. Because as much as I belong on those mats, they do as well.
For most people, they run from the dark place, run from pain, run as soon as they hit their limits - they go back to comfort. It the brains self-defence mechanism to protect us, as soon as something becomes painful it wants to go back to comfort. But the thing is, nothing happens in comfort. Nothing grows, nothing moves, nothing changes, nothing is achieved.
The difference with champions? I’ve been in this dark place so many times that I have made friends with it, and I am comfortable with being uncomfortable.
It’s one thing to sit here and listen to my audio tapes and read my sports motivation books, it’s another thing to get out there and suffer, and grind, and push. But this is where we find out who we really are, and what we are capable of.
David Goggins has a 40% rule, when we feel like we have reached out limit - we have only reached 40%. It is like a car, who is capable of going to 240mph, but the operator only runs it to 60mph. The car is ready to go, it’s ready to run. But the operator keeps it at 60mph.
The pain is our brains way of protecting us, if it hurts it must not be good. Our brain wants to go back to comfort, to safety. However, not all comfort is good. The concept is when we hit pain (I am talking good, training pain. A hard wrestle, a good run, etc), we are actually at 40% and if we push a little bit farther we have so much more we are capable of, and it our choice to find that potential. And every time we do, our minds become a little bit stronger and in turn so do our bodies.
Why do I train so hard? To strengthen my armour (my mind, my body, my spirit).
So when I meet my opponent on the mats, I was ready all along.