Greetings to all! In my previous blog I explained in detail about my physical training regime in preparation for Mount Everest expedition 2019. But apart from physical training, mental training is equally important because there will surely come a time high up in the mountains when my body will give up and that’s when the mind has to take over and get me to the summit and back
Now most of the mental training and physical training go hand in hand; when I am training my body, somewhere down the line I am training my mind as well but apart from this there are a few things I do to expand the limits of my mental strength.
The first thing I do after waking up every morning at 3:30am is to meditate in my meditation room for at least an hour. Sometimes if I am able to get into a deep zone, the meditation goes on for hours and I don’t even realize it. Why is it important?
When you are meditating, you are one with yourself and your thoughts and it is very important to get that quality time with yourself as in these few moments you get to know yourself better and that connection with your inner self is established and once that is achieved, there is no limit to what one can do.
I would like to share an incident that happened to me. I was trying to do a headstand for a long time and after weeks of practice I still could not do it whereas everyone around me were able to do it in the first or second try. It demotivated me mentally so much. In one such meditative zone, my mind wandered off to the thought and process of headstand in those moments, something inside me clicked and I realized what I was doing wrong and how to correct it. I got up immediately and did a successful headstand in the first attempt.
My point being, I could not do the headstand because my body and my mind were not in sync and that connection was established during meditation. There are quite a few incidents such as this one but let’s leave that for some other time.
- Training without food and water.
Now a lot of experts might differ to this point but I strongly believe that working out without water and food is a great way of pushing your mental limits.
For example, I go on long distance runs like a marathon and I make it a point to not stop even once to drink water or eat energy bars or shit like that. I know for a fact that our human bodies have hidden resources in store to be used in situation like these. We just have to teach our body and mind to access these resources and use them when time comes.
In mountaineering, we have to walk for hours at a stretch and I have faced situation where all my resources were over and there was no water around me for hours. I had a real hard time walking without water and I that’s when I realized that this is something I have to work on and train for.
- Doing a little workout when your body is tired.
When all you want to do is sleep or rest, that’s when you have to push your mind to get up and do the exactly opposite of resting; after a long and a tiring day of training, when I am all set to sleep, I convince myself to do some light workout like cycle for 20km at a medium pace or do some climbing in the gym in our house. This part of workout is more for the mind than the body.
The idea behind this is to have such a control over your mind that you can convince yourself to leave the comforts of your bed and sweat it out one more time before you sleep.
- Do things which your body or mind doesn’t like.
I personally hate long distance runs. It is so boring to run in cities but when I have the desire to stop running, I tell myself ‘Mental training Parth, PUSH, KEEP GOING’ and it always helps.
Overdoing these things could do more harm than good. It's better to understand yourself first and then draw your limits. When you step out of your comfort zone, that’s when the growth begins. Keep training, keep working and keep pushing the boundaries. Cheers!