Somewhere after the 3rd round, the 2nd set, the 4th mile, the voice in our head starts to get loud. He tells us to slow down, to catch our breath, to quit. Mark Twight calls this the “negotiation,” when pain and fatigue initiate an internal deliberation compelling us to stop.
The ability to lift and run and pedal is one thing, but having the willpower to tell your head to shut the fuck up is far more important. Your legs will burn and that voice will scream, but something else, something stronger than muscle and louder than pain can take control. Or maybe it’s a someone. Maybe it’s you.
If improvement is your goal, practice being “present” when the workout starts to get hard. Cultivate a positive attitude towards the discomfort. Prove that you can endure just a little bit more. Ask more of yourself.
The duel between pain and willpower is the real training. The rest is just “picking things up and putting them down.”