Harder to Kill is Our Purpose

Most of our athletes didn’t know they wanted to become Harder to Kill. They didn’t wake up one morning and suddenly have the very obscure thought that they were going see how hard they could poke themselves in the chest that day. They just wanted a physical challenge. They might have wanted to get stronger, or run faster, or look better naked. But the concept of cheating death was probably very foreign to most of them.

They did know that they were was missing something. They might not be able to put a name on it, but they would wake up and they weren’t satisfied. They wanted something more. They wanted to be a part of something bigger than themselves.

They wanted to earn their place.

Our gift to our athletes is being Harder to Kill. But it’s not that easy. You can’t just tell someone they are harder to kill. They have to earn that. While it might be different for every athlete in this gym, they all know when it happens. They know the day they can wear the t-shirt with pride. When they can own it. When they’ve earned it. Every athlete that has ever trained with us knows what I’m talking about here. For some it came after Challenges, a cycle so demanding it forged a new family of the gym. No matter when it happens to you, you’ll know.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetComfortable With Discomfort

Being harder to kill isn’t simply a physical trait. If it were it wouldn’t be special. It’s a mental adjustment. A willingness to redefine work and to redefine pain. To stop viewing pain and discomfort as a limiting factor, but instead learning to grow from it. I can’t take my athletes pain away for them. That is theirs and theirs alone.

They deserve that pain, because they have earned that pain.

This is what defines them. This is their burden, and when it stops being a burden and starts being a part of their life, they know they have made the right decision. They have proved everything they need to themselves. This is also just the beginning of the process. This is when they are no longer working out to pass time, but instead training for something much larger than themselves.

For some this takes weeks, for some months for others years. I still have athletes that say they sit in their cars and fight nausea before they come in for a training session. At this point it’s not some irrational fear that they are going to be injured or that they will embarrass themselves. It’s the simple fact that they have a weight to carry by walking in these doors. They have an expectation to live up to. Not the expectation of their coaches. But the expectations of themselves. This is the burden. Some days it will almost crush them, others it will just be a painful reminder that they will forever be able to give as good as they get.

The first thing they learn about the burden is that there really are no easy days. Sometimes the pace is furious, other times it’s a crawl. Sometimes the weight is crushing, other times it’s just your body (ever done a full progression of Leg Blasters like in Bodyweight Only? You don’t know how hard bodyweight training is until you have). But there are real expectations every time you come through that door. You are expected to perform at a certain level. Lift a certain weight, run a certain pace.

Your Mind Is Your Primary Weapon

This is what crushes most new comers. The paradigm shift from working out to training. The realization to see actual improvement you have to push yourself just a little bit more every day. Not too much, not too little. This is the killer. It’s also the dividing line. Those that are able to commit don’t just commit to a high level of physical fitness. They commit to a mental fortitude that will be with them long after their body has failed.

They are slowly building an iron will that only gets harder as their body gets stronger.

Most people will never truly grasp the difference between working out and training. The difference might seem minute but for us it’s crucial. You work out to pass the time. You train to prepare yourself. Training primes your body and your mind to overstep your boundaries. And then it prepares you to do it again and again.

People struggle with the concept of lifting heavy weight. They believe it’s scary. They think this because it is scary. It’s supposed to be horrifying to get under barbell that is so loaded with weight that it could break your back or blow out your knee with a misstep. Weight that could cripple you if you breathe wrong.

But it won’t. It can’t if you’ve trained.IMG_9099

If you’ve built your joints and tendons and muscles to not only put up this weight, but much much more. It can’t hurt you when you’ve changed your perspective of what ‘heavy’ actually is. When your mind isn’t just prepared for the load, it’s hungry for it, and you know with total confidence that the barbell will move. To totally erase doubt and replace it with simply acceptance of what is about to happen.

Outside Performance is the True Measure of Being Harder to Kill

People also don’t understand how this helps them outside the gym. They don’t understand that by dedicating themselves to a program they are able to move a weight that they previously thought was impossible. They can’t comprehend how doing the impossible will ever help them in their business or personal lives.

They can’t grasp the fear, the dedication, the pain, and the love that it takes to do the impossible. They haven’t learned to see that the same physical and mental virtues that we train every single day are the same virtues that they will need to help cope with the death of a loved one. Bring a baby into this world. Handle a demanding boss or overcome an injury.

They can’t until they’ve done it.

This is what it is to be Harder to Kill. It’s the daily grind. Not at some job you hate. Or doing back and bi’s at the gym. It’s pushing your limits when you’re smoked. It’s reigning it in when you’re feeling great. It’s moving just enough weight to strengthen your body but not inflate your ego. This mentality is what truly makes you better. It prepares you for the known and the unknown.

Being Harder to Kill transcends lifting weights and running fast. It’s the systematic approach to accomplishing things that you previously thought were impossible. We tell our athletes all the time that the only thing they have to do is show up. They’ve already done the work. Now just stay the course.

Harder to kill is our purpose. It’s our gift to those who know. Those who understand an accomplishment is just a shiny star.  Being Harder to Kill is a habit. A practice. A code. And in the end, it’s the only real expectation – that today when you leave you will be a little bit harder to kill than you were yesterday. Join the tribe that believes in this code, this expectation. Be a part to set yourself apart. Or don’t. It’s not for everyone.

Keep your head on a swivel. We’ll see you in Valhalla.

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