Run to test your mental endurance as well as your physical. ~Chad Howse
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I’m a new addition to the tribe of people who see a different value in running besides the cardio vascular benefits.
When you run, for one, you’re outside in the elements, in God’s world surrounded by animals and trees and nature and even if you’re running in a city you’re out, not in.
As a guy who hasn’t consistently ran since I was boxing competitively almost a decade ago now, my endurance isn’t great. There are frequent moments where I want to stop and walk.
These moments are tests, but they aren’t physical. The body can go on, it can go farther than we give it credit, our minds are what hold us back, they are what rationalize rest as something we deserve or need when what we really need is more pain.
The gym offers these tests as well, plus the added benefits of increased strength and power.
You don’t need to choose one, the gym or the trail. Choose both. But choose them both not merely because they help you improve physically or help you get the body that you think will make you more confident (it won’t, by the way, if anything it’ll make you more vain and more narcissistic), do both because they benefit your soul if you’re aware of the battles going on in the mind while the body is screaming, almost demanding that you stop.
Those who aspire for the aesthetic and aren’t aware of the internal benefits of training won’t become better men because of the pain they’re inflicting on themselves.
In fact, most guys who get ripped and shredded get vain and mentally weak. They spend their days looking down wondering if what they’ve built is good enough, never looking up and forward into a world that could give them so much more.
Even older guys, and I know a few who are like this, get ripped or are ripped but are about the least confident guys you’ll come across.
Age doesn’t guarantee wisdom, especially if you’re oblivious to the battles being waged in your mind on a daily basis. In fact, it can compound the narcissism that should have remained in your youth.
Train because it strengthens your body, it makes it tougher and it increases your capacity to be able to fully enjoy life and rise to its challenges. But also train because it can do the same for your mind, who you are, if you’re awake to its challenges.