The video below may be a professionally produced commercial, but that does not diminish the significance of the story that unfolds.
I cannot tell you how many times I have seen similar situations play out in the real world. This evil voice has deceived many. Even accomplished athletes are susceptible to the deceit.
Just last week I had an athlete overcome his inner voice on a brutal mountain road. As we neared the end, I sensed the evil voice whispering in his ear. It had already been a strenuous day in the gym, and the mountain served as a finisher (and mental test).
The steep conclusion to the road gave his inner voice an opportunity to appear. It sensed the struggle, and jumped at the chance to break him. I was just getting ready to chime in when out of nowhere, a woman who saw us from her yard blurted out, “Don’t stop now, you are almost there. You can’t stop now!”
The woman caught us both by surprise. Neither of us saw her. She probably thought she was speaking to a casual jogger. She was actually encouraging to a top ranked professional fighter. Yet oddly enough, it was her words that silenced his inner voice. He finished the last quarter mile with an effort that surprised me.
The inner voice tries desperately to block everything but its annoying tone. It will say anything to fool you into quitting. In our case, it was beginning to control the situation until a third party spoke up. Her unexpected words snapped him back to reality. He shook off the kryptonite and regained the strength that had existed all along.
Success came from the mind. Clearly, the body was capable of completing the run. The fact that he finished is all the proof we need. The inner voice tried to interfere. It wanted to fool him. Fortunately, it failed.
The significance of this situation is monumental. So often I see arguments over workout systems, rep schemes, periodization models, and supplement usage. I can only imagine how many gigabytes of bandwidth have been wasted on such message board debates. What many fail to realize however is that our ability to block the inner voice is often more important than anything. If you lack the ability to dig down and fight through difficult obstacles, it won’t matter what pills you pop or what routine you follow. When the going gets tough, you will break.
Learning to block this voice and tap into your hidden resources is perhaps the single most important discovery an athlete can make. A determined athlete who refuses to quit will succeed with almost any routine. Determination can turn nothing into something.
Don’t overlook the importance of these individual factors. More often than not, you have more potential than you will ever realize.
“If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.” – Frank A. Clark