Annie getting great tension in the bottom of her kettlebell swing.
One of my favorite mental toughness teachers is Navy Commander Mark Divine with SealFit and the Unbeatable Mind project. I have had the pleasure of working out at SealFit with actual Navy SEALs, attending Kokoro yoga classes, and reading most of Commander Divine's books.
Commander Divine is a rare man. He's a retired Navy Seal warrior, a CrossFitter, a yogi, a devoted meditator, and a mental toughness mentor. All things to which I also aspire.
One of the best lessons I've learned from Commander Divine is to feed the my courage wolf. He writes about this American Indian parable in his blog post What Wolf are You Feeding?
In this parable, we have two wolves who reside inside us. In our mind is the fear (or hatred) wolf and in our heart is the courage (or loving) wolf. What type of person we are is dependent upon which wolf we feed. Doubt, self loathing, negative thoughts, etc., all feed the fear wolf. Compassion, encouraging others, and forgiveness feed the courage wolf. According to Commander Divine (and this is what he teaches aspiring Frogmen in his SealFit program):
Feeding the wolf of love and courage makes us more kind, patient, tolerant, powerful and present. We will avoid conflict and be better leaders. We won’t hesitate to lean into the hard tasks; fear will cease being an influence in our lives.
I challenge you to notice which wolf you feed. Which wolf do you feed when you're driving to the gym? Which wolf do you feed right before the coach yells, "3,2,1, GO!" Which wolf do you feed when the workout gets really, really hard? Do you feed the courage wolf and lean into the hard task? Do you feed the fear wolf and convince yourself it's too hard, too heavy, too...whatever.
Feed the Courage Wolf. Feeding this wolf will make you happier, your family happier, your friends happier, your coaches happier, the world happier.
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