“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” –Henry Ford
Our minds. Our greatest strength and our greatest threat. We will use it, or misuse it, to shape the path of our lives.
Shocking? Not really. Not when you consider how easily all of us can fall prey to the world’s negativity, or how easy it is to give in and turn gloomy from today’s nearly endless stream of hyperbolic bad news, social media, and I dunno…COVID! ARGH! OK, just a brief moment to let off some steam 😉
So the title of this post is not just a reference to an 80’s sci-fi movie (bonus points if you can name the lead actor), it also highlights how we can be our own worst enemy and hold ourselves back from reaching our full potential.
HISTORY COMES ALIVE
Roger Bannister. Sound familiar? He was the first person to ever break the 4-minute mile, a feat once considered impossible. Literally, experts thought that human performance had a “set in stone” limit to how fast we could run.
So when Roger broke the 4-minute barrier, it was shocking. What’s more impressive was that once he proved it could be done, others soon followed. What suddenly changed? Did Bannister and others finally figure out a new training secret or magic supplement? Not at all. The single most important change occurred in the minds of runners everywhere. Suddenly, instead of hearing “it can’t be done,” they instead saw it happen. Then, instantly, they started telling themselves that if one person can do it, another can do it. That’s it. And today, that is our lesson.
If you’ve been in the Bodysmith, you’ve seen the exercise called Wall Ball. Basically, someone will squat in front of one of our walls holding a weighted medicine ball. Then, the person will explosively throw the medicine ball as high as he or she can against the wall.
One item to note: in our gym, the wall we use has a very narrow ledge at about 16 feet high. And we’ve had a long-standing agreement that if a member can get the ball trapped on the ledge, we will give them a free shake from our Recovery Cafe. Despite the height, it takes just the right touch to get the ball stuck.
The first person to ever win the contest was our member Ember. Her persistence paid off, and since then, others (though few) have matched her feat.
But not Matt.
Matt had been trying for a year to win that free shake. His frustration was evident, and several times, I’d heard him bark, “that’s impossible!”
In truth, he thought it was impossible, that is. Until one day, it wasn’t.
It was a Tuesday. I was in my office when I heard an explosion of celebration from the gym floor. “Yeah!” Audible claps meant high fives, and I walked out to see a jubilant Matt pointing to the medicine ball wedged perfectly atop the wall.
“Fantastic, Matt! We owe you a shake.” I returned to my office, and not two minutes later, he did it again. And again. And again.
In the end, Matt repeated his feat four times that afternoon. This may sound like a curious, but simple feat, to you. But to me, it profoundly illustrated two things.
- I need to put a cap on the number of shakes that any individual participating in the Bodysmith Wall Ball Challenge can win.
- The mind can have a direct link to achieving physical goals. It doesn’t take much of a leap to see how this applies to goals of almost any kind.
Have you found this to be true in your own life? Think back to the challenging times, either emotional or physical. Have you ever said to yourself you’ll never make it through? Now that you have, haven’t you found yourself stronger and more capable on the back end?
Reply to me and share your experiences with a positive or negative mindset and how it has affected the outcomes of you or someone you know.