There is always someone out there talking about mental toughness. What are they really talking about? I think its a little foolish to come up with a one size fits all definition. So I’ll attempt to define it from a personally philosophical approach rather than a clear cut one size fits all definition.
We all have varying degrees of ability to stay focused, to power through and to get that extra rep or extra step. Let’s take for example the extra rep, perhaps if you are doing squats and you love doing squats that extra rep may be your go-to state of mind but if its burpees maybe that extra rep is the farthest thing from your mind. If you are a marathon runner, how many times did you have to push yourself; literally for an extra mile before you could actually go the distance? Mental toughness in the case of the burpee is taking that exercise you hate and getting that one extra rep anyway. Mental toughness for the marathon may be reminding yourself you have a goal and each step is one step closer to the goal. Perhaps, once you are in the gym you are an unstoppable beast but getting to the gym can be a challenge, sometimes saying no to happy hour with the crew after work can be the hardest part of getting to the gym. Saying no, sometimes is the most difficult part of your workout.
It’s not always about just going above and beyond, sometimes its about staying the course and knowing your limits. Its easy to get caught up in the momentum of a WOD and try to do more than you are prepared for that day, mental toughness can be scaling that day or going at 80% rather than a 100%.
In the end mental toughness can really boil down into being true to yourself and staying focused on your goals.
Be tough not foolish.