Hitting the gym everyday is the “in” thing, nowadays. A lot of people go to the gym, once in a while, hit a couple of sets on the bench, get those dead lifts going, or curl to add to those narrow peaks. Don’t believe me? Take a walk down the street and notice how many “fitness mongers” are showing off.
The problem with this kind of a fitness routine is that it might give you some visible gains, but it doesn’t make you mentally or physically tough or disciplined, at all. The point of the matter is that toughness runs much deeper than, merely, pumping up those biceps or quads, every once in a while. Here’s how you get it:
Running is, perhaps, the most beneficial exercise for, both, physical and mental endurance. However, it is ignored by the modern “fitness experts” just the same. Running requires you to, simply, go on, and that is exactly what being tough means. Should I take another step forward in this excruciating pain or should I just give up and go home? This is the question that you have to continuously battle with in your mind while running. If you defeat it however, it grants you the mental and physical toughness to go forward in, almost, every walk of life.
The word Routine is one of the most misunderstood words in English language, if you ask me. People, nowadays, tend to call whatever they do in their daily lives as routine, when this cannot be further away from it. Routine means predictably showing up and doing the same thing, every, single day with discipline. You cannot just skip gym one day because you got burned out at work and say that gym couldn’t fit into the day’s routine. Maintaining a routine means to “make time” for everything that is important to you—be it exercising, studying or…well…sleeping. Doing what you want to be good at, everyday, even when you don’t have enough strength to lift a nail, gives you the toughness that you need to follow, and ultimately achieve, your dreams.
The “Heavy” Walks
You know, an average Roman soldier used to carry more 13kg of equipment, armor and weapons, over a course 35 miles, into battle, everyday. And do you know what we carry? We carry our laptops to the office, in an unending struggle, until we decide, finally, to appoint someone to do the job for us.
In military, a basic part of soldiers’ training is for them to carry heavy loads, for no reason at all, on their backs and walk for excruciatingly long distances. Soldiers are allowed no excuses and are made to walk even after the weight has sucked life out of them. The mental and physical toughness that this “walking while your life is being sucked” infuses is surreal, to say the least.
Toughness requires endurance. It requires an exhibition of discipline in what you want to achieve. It requires, at times, for you to sacrifice a good night’s sleep because you have to follow up on that routine. The road to muscular gains might seem simple, nowadays, but the road to being rough and tough is still best explained by this simple, yet demanding, proverb: Strive!