NAVIGATION

Mental Endurance

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Our bodies are capable of so much more than our minds let us believe.

I knew with signing up for World’s Toughest Mudder this year that mental endurance was going to be one of the hardest obstacles I would have to overcome.  All my life I’ve been someone who completely values sleep, and I don’t function well if I don’t get enough sleep. Getting less than 6 hours of sleep tends to harm my performance.  

 

It’s not being physically tired, but my mind doesn’t know how to handle a night without sleep.  After about three in the morning, I get emotional and my mind only focuses on negative thoughts. 

 

10644564_835280331089_2379580740602611222_nThe positive thing is that I understand my struggle with mental endurance months in advance, so I have time to train my brain.  One of the ways I’ve been trying to build up my mental endurance is through participating in GORUCK events. 

 

Back in January I completed my first GORUCK Challenge, and it was honestly one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.  I can’t tell you how many times I thought of quitting, and I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to make it that night.  Luckily, I couldn’t bring myself to say the words “I want to quit.”  Thankfully, the idea of quitting makes me feel worse than I was feeling in that moment.  When the event was over, I actually cried I was so happy it was over – and so happy that I had made it. 

 

Recently I had decided to sign up for another GORUCK Challenge, as well as a light, in Tampa.  It was such a great time, and I felt better about the whole situation, but I still struggled with that thought of wanting to quit.  Sometime between 3-5 AM I really didn’t know if I was going to make it.  Thankfully during a short break, I managed to take a couple 30 second naps, and I immediately felt better and cleared that “I can’t” thought out of my mind.

 

When I finished my challenge, I went home to take a nap, and almost didn’t make it back for the light.  Motivating myself to get out of bed again was far from easy.  That push that finally got me out of bed was the way others see me.  Recently, I’ve been made aware of how many people in my life that look up to me and support me.  I’m far from one of the best athletes out there and I honestly didn’t think I was someone that anyone looked up to. 

 

Learning from several people that you are an inspiration to them is such an amazing feeling.  The last thing I wanted to do was give up, and not only to fail myself, but to fail those around me.   So I made it back and completed my first GORUCK light.

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I plan on attending and completing more GORUCK events in the months leading up to World’s Toughest Mudder, as well as after that!  They make me push myself further physically and mentally than I could imagine.  I’m working on my mental endurance, and I’m going to make sure it improves tremendously before WTM in November!

Lauren Youngerman

About Lauren Youngerman

Lauren is a student athlete at the University of South Florida and is relatively new to the running world. She fell in love with the obstacle course racing world back in October and has set some high goals for herself in the upcoming year. In 2015 she plans on qualifying for and competing in the OCR World Championships, participating in the 30 Days of Shale Hill, World’s Toughest Mudder, as well as various other races.
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