Two weeks ago I reached the one year mark until I will bear crawl a marathon.
The day brought me a wild wave of emotions. It started feeling like I was on top of the world, ready to take on a 5 mile bear crawl, but ended it feeling like I was the smallest object in the corner of the planet.
The day left me on my hands and knees, literally.
The day also left me with some questions – one specifically that I want to share with you.
So, lets dive in.
Just as every other crawl begins, I taped up my hands, got loose, and hopped on the treadmill.
Not even 5 minutes into a 3 hour crawl I knew something wasn’t right. My body did not feel recovered, and my mind was quite frankly kicking the shit out of me. The never ending intrusive thought kept popping into my mind that I would never be able to bear crawl 26.2 miles.
I struggled with this exact thought, fought it, and kept it from winning for 3 and 1/2 hours. It was the closest thing I could imagine to hell. I counted 5 times where I laid by the back of the treadmill, on all fours with my head in my hands, trying not to cry.
Yes, I almost cried 5 times. That is what kind of emotions arise when you would genuinely give your life for something you believe in. I feel for the people who don’t understand what that feels like. I feel even more for the people that will view that as a weakness.
Fast forward a couple days later, I found myself on a call with my coach Joe Rinaldi, asking him some questions about performance. The biggest question was “Am I actually getting 1% better? or did that day end up making me worse?”.
At first he laughed, because you never think you would hear those words from a kid who bear crawls miles each day – but then he shared a quote that changed my whole perspective.
It changed the way I view the 1% better.
“There are so many ways to be brave in this world. Sometimes bravery involves laying down your life for something bigger than yourself, or for someone else. Sometimes it involves giving up everything you have ever known, or everyone you have ever loved, for the sake of something greater.
But sometimes it doesn’t.
Sometimes it is nothing more than gritting your teeth through pain, and the work of every day, the slow walk toward a better life.
That is the sort of bravery I must have now.” – Veronica Roth
My New Definition of 1% Better
This quote brought me so much perspective as to how complex my previous definition of 1% better was. Before, it meant gaining results either mentally or physically, and setting new boundaries in my own life. I had an outcome attached to the goals I set each day, and when I failed to meet them, I felt I was actually getting worse.
But now I view it differently.
Now, I see that getting better has nothing to do with results – it has everything to do with the intention of walking towards a better life. Regardless of what I do, I am showing up in attempt to improve myself along with the lives of others. No matter how much better I get, I show up in the face of doubt and uncertainty.
So, as long as we have the intention to be better, we are actually getting better.
It will never be about how much you learn, how far you crawl, or how fast you go. It will always be about showing up to create something bigger than yourself. It’s about being brave even when you can’t see it because you know it could help other people.
It’s about showing up when you feel like its the hardest thing to do.
Thats what bravery is.
Thats what 1% better is.
Never Stop Hustling
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