At the end of the week, I had the opportunity to reflect upon some workouts that challenged me physically and also got me thinking about mental toughness. I had the chance to discuss the topic with a professional strength coach, but before we get into that conversation I need to explain something first: goals to me are targets, and often times, I miss. And missing sucks, I do not like it. What transpires from misses are plans, renewed focus and the drive to keep pressing until you reach the target. That part, I can say, I do like.
In my conversation with the coach, I asked what mental toughness really is. His response was the ability to recognize what is needed to accomplish the goal and the willingness to do the work. For him, it is the drive to continue to show-up, push and fight through the discomfort to make it. This can be applied to anything. One example can be from treatment; I know that sitting in the cold tub for x amount of minutes is best for my body. I may need to work up that amount of time though. Another example is foam rolling and being willing to tolerate the pain knowing it is helping me. Of course, it can be applied to workouts and so on.
The biggest piece of this puzzle though to me is still the "WHY." When I truly know my "WHY", then it becomes simple. Because either I really want it and will to go all-in for it, or there isn't enough to motivate and ultimately the plan can fall short. That means having the target written down, the steps it's going to take and an evaluation of where I am in the process. This helps keep me accountable and always keep my goal on my mind.