Winners don’t win because they are faster, stronger and smarter.  They win because when the suffering kicks in, they don’t give up, they don’t quit, and they are masters of “Harden the Fuck Up”.

So then how do you harden the fuck up?

Pretty much, suck it up cupcake!  If you want to crush your goals with your job, fitness, or personal life, you are going to have to sacrifice something in order to achieve the impossible.  Suffering will be inevitable.  So before you get started in kicking some major ass by getting shit done, start by thanking your body and mind for taking you this far in your life.  It is NOW time to put on your harden the fuck up undies.

As you’ve read from my previous blogs, a strong body and mind is not created in any comfort zone.  In order to harden the fuck up, you will need to embrace pushing past your own comfort.  A lesson that I have learned is to give yourself permission to suffer and to expect that it will hurt.  This way, when you are in the battle and the suffering kicks in, you are already one step ahead of the game.

Before each race, I go through an inspirational suffer ritual that gets me ready for battle.  It scares my husband just a little. 

I wake up super early on race day.  I eat my breakfast in silence and then I go to the bathroom to watch motivational youtube videos while I brush my teeth, apply glide to my entire body, and put my race battle armor (my race kit).    I begin to breath deeper, become mindful and grounded.  I start repeating my race mantra internally.  I visualize the perfect race and anticipate where my suffering will happen.  I give my body permission to suffer and I tell my mind that I am ready to unleash hell.  Once I leave for the race I remain focused, centered, and mindful.  I put my headphones on and play some pre-race music to help me calm the fuck down.

When I hit the start line I become calm, focused, and grateful that I made it this far.  All that remains is for my mind to take my body across the finish line.   In order to get there, I break the race down into smaller races.  If I am racing in my favorite Baltimore Sole of the City 10k, I break the race down into two 5k efforts.  If I am running in a marathon, I break the race down into two 10-milers, one 6-miler and a 0.2-mile victory lap.  For an ironman, I break each component down from the swim to the bike to the run.  For the swim I break it down to buoy-by-buoy turns, as it gives me a sense of accomplishment with each buoy turn I make.  I get so disoriented in the water that counting buoys helps me calm my mind.   

Breaking a race down allows you to measure levels of intensity and when you need to harden the fuck up.  For me breaking a race down also helps me flag the moments that I know I will become a pussy on race day.   If I can get ahead of those weak moments, I can suffer through them by hardening the fuck up.

My biggest pussy moments on race day are from comparing myself to others and putting pressure on myself.  They are also when I start thinking I am weak and not good enough.  

It is in these very moments of fear and judgment that I need to be mindful to stop these toxic thoughts and let them move past me.  Thoughts happen all the time in our minds - if we are mindful, we can let those thoughts flash out without causing disruption to our emotional state.  Being masters of our energies requires absolute attention and focus in order to Harden the Fuck Up. 

In your next goal that you want to crush, take all of this advice and put it into use.  You will be surprised at yourself for making it fucking happen.

Lose the fear.  Run towards life.  Harden the Fuck Up.

Esther Collinetti