How to Build Grit and Mental Toughness

This past Saturday I wanted to shake things up a bit, so I decided to not go to sleep and instead walked 31 miles through the night.

You might remember that I do these six week challenges that push me out of my comfort zone to test myself and continue to grow as a person. 

So I decided to do something a little different this Saturday night. A sunset to sun up city hike that would take place Saturday starting at 5:00 PM as the sun went down and end Sunday morning at 6:30 AM at sunrise. 

I invited anyone at HQ who wanted to join me and 5 people got in on it. 

Myself, Diana, Erin, Bryce, Byron and Max met up at 4:45 PM in Chino Hills and at 5:00 PM as the sun began to dip we set off on our hike throughout Chino Hills, Diamond Bar and Chino. 

The hike ended on Sunday morning at 6:30 AM when the sun started coming up. 

31 miles in total on foot over 13 hours. 

“Adversity introduces a man to his highest self” 

This is one of my favorite quotes… and it is very true in my experience. 

Take anything simple, like walking and make it hard by doing it late at night when you should be sleeping, in the cold (low 40s temp), up and down hilly roads and see who you really are at mile 31, 13 hours in. 

At the halfway point, at around 11:30 PM we were all feeling good and accomplished. 

I even heard someone say “we got this!” 

Lots of great conversations, connection, deepening of relationships and building grit! 

During the second half of the night as the blisters began to form on our feet and as quads, hamstrings and hips began to cramp and knot up, as the cold began to bite our exposed skin all while sleep deprived… shit got real! 

That’s when you meet who you really are. 

That’s when the inner conversation really begins. 

Self-talk is interesting when you’re freezing, in pain and sleep deprived.

If you pay close attention to what you’re telling yourself and how you’re feeling in that state, you really get to know who you are. 

That’s also when you get to meet the REAL you… and you’re given the opportunity to become the person that you really want to be.

It’s in that moment (or hours) as you’re painfully limping throughout the cold city that you understand this quote the best: 

“Adversity introduces a man to his highest self” 

Because you can quit. You can just stop.

The truth of the matter is that adversity introduces a man to his lowest self as well… 

…if you go negative and quit.

On Saturday night no one quit. 

I can’t say I didn’t think about it for just a fleeting moment. 

But I can tell you that no one quit. 

And that feeling of accomplishment, satisfaction and personal growth that you experience when you do something that less than 1% of people are willing to endure is just something magical. 

The lesson here is this… 

If you choose to do hard things, life becomes easy. If you choose to do easy things, life becomes hard. 

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