Hardiness

22 Mar

Can equal calmness and equanimity.

But that means we have to toughen up first.  Now, I’m not advocating a jack-ass style knee to the groin, but a few good miles or a bit of magnified honesty may in fact do your mind-body good.  It’s milk (steroid free!) version:  AMAZING.

For me, hardiness was earned in double run-throughs.  We would do one, hear a 10 second story about Marina’s cat named Zeus (or rabbit Bunny? or menagerie…), and then go again.  Or, we would just go again.  And, double run-throughs were always independent of whatever else we had to train.  But, please do not feel bad for me.

I’m not sorry.

But, how do we get heartier without the Russian narration (and carnival of the animals)?  What are the basics?  How can we cultivate strength?

Even if it is not in skating, the formula does not change.  Repetition.  Harrowing realizations.  Lots of good old fashion effort, audacity, and achievement.  Maybe a bit of roughing it too.

It’s no ‘Weight Gain 4000‘ (Watch It!), but I think know it works.

Still, let’s examine what other people are saying about connecting with your hardiness.  Here’s what I’ve gleaned from an interesting read about an ultra-marathoner.  Tips on how to toughen up and seize opportunity:

1)  Be Connected and Open. Toughness is actually a social phenomenon and, thus, it grows most virulently in loving, committed environments.  Although you build a sense of your strength within, our strength is meant to be shared with those we cannot do without.  Think of a battle analogy:  people rise to heroics when they are needed and invested.  Yes you!

2)  Beat Your Fear.  You can.  Set achievable yet scary goals.  Then trample them.  When we don’t try, we don’t grow.  Challenge feels like life.  Don’t forget that.  Then it does get scary…

3)  Get Your Olivia Newton John On!  (a.k.a.– Get Physical!!! :P).  When we exercise we get in touch with our stress resilience capabilities and also learn to process stress hormones appropriately.  And, your cognitive function increases.  (And, your butt looks cuter…).  AND, I really should not have to argue this one!

4)    Gratitude. You are welcome.  Give yourself that.  Every time you feel, try, fail, live.  Gratitude.  Really.  And, pay it forward.  Be thankful for this testing moment.  Then, imagine how wonderful it will feel to be connected to your heartier, stronger, assured self.

I like how another ultra-marathoner, Scott Jurek, describes challenge and finding inner fortitude:  “I wasn’t trying to run from my problems …  Throughout my life, I’ve tried to meet challenges head on, not escape them. Running and taking off to the mountains and hills and trails was a way to escape the difficulties and emotional strife in my life, but at the same time, I didn’t use it as an addiction or total escape. It allowed me to forget about things for awhile, but it helped me, too. Running and ultramarathoning helped teach me how to handle life situations. Running 100 miles allows one to get through tough moments in one’s life. If someone can run a 100-mile race, a 50-mile race, a marathon, that gives them confidence that they can get through other difficulties in their life.”

Scott is speaking about that infection of confidence or the ripple effect that occurs when we start to believe in what IS possible.  And, we can all be ‘infected’ with it too.  This is why toughness and fortitude matter; their soft underbelly is a belief in me and my own capabilities.  When you learn to push yourself through one thing and you can change everything.

That is why those triple run-through days mattered.  Not to do three.  But to invest in me.

So can you.

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