On Friday 22nd February 2019 at exactly 7pm, a mate and I pushed a 100kg sled non stop, for 13 hours. It taught me a whole heap more than I ever imagined. Here are 5 powerful lessons learnt from the experience that you can apply right now, in your own life.
Pushing Through The Dark
Mike and I really wanted to demonstrate the power of what can be achieved when you've got a mate to chat to. I'll delve deeper into the reason 'why' we pushed a 100kg sled in a sec but first, there are a few reasons we decided to run this charity event.
Both of us have family and friends who have mental illnesses and we have experienced first hand the devastating effects it can have.
We've discussed men's health, attending Tomorrow Man events and even completed a Mental Health First Aid Certification.
As we kept digging into the suicide and depression rates we were shocked to find out how prevalent it is and even more shocked at how no one talks about it.
We felt it was our duty to do something about it.
So, long story short, we came up with the idea of raising money for the men's health charity - Gotcha4Life.
We nicknamed this event 'Pushing Through The Dark' because we wanted to show that in times of 'darkness', if you literally keep pushing whilst having a mate to chat to, 'daylight' and positivity will always come back around.
We knew raising money for an event like this would be hard, but what we didn't know was how much of a ripple effect this event created.
Each passing week it expanded into new networks, making the front page of the Manly Daily newspaper and generating more awareness than we ever could have dreamed.
We've raised over $10.5K which we simply cannot describe how grateful we are.
Why The Hell Did We Push A 100kg Sled For 13 Hours?
The 100kg sled represents baggage = Emotions, Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Anger, Fear.
Doing it at nighttime (7pm to 8am) represents that feeling of "nothing feels positive right now" and completing it together represents the ability to push one another through that pain and come out in the light - always.
^ That's what me and Michael love.
We did this to show what can really be accomplished even when the odds are stacked against you.
What we learnt from this incredible experience, is powerful.
5 Powerful Lessons Learnt From Pushing A 100kg Sled For 13 Hours
This event taught me a lot about myself.
I learnt what is truly possible physically (and mentally) by pushing myself close to breaking point and coming out the other side a stronger man.
Now it's done, I can reflect back at what made it possible and share with you 5 powerful lessons learnt from pushing a 100kg sled for 13 hours.
1. You Can Do So Much More Than You Think
Originally, we set the bar of a 12-hour sled push. That's a bloody tough effort and we trained hard for it, believing 12 hours would be our absolute limit.
Until a couple of weeks before...
Michael and I were midway through an 8 hour training session in preparation for our sled push when he turned to me and said:
"Why 12 hours? Why not more?".
I looked at the bastard. We locked eyes. He knew what I was thinking.
I grinned and said:
You see we, as humans, set our own ceiling. We set our own goals based on our perceived limits.
^ Which is a blatant lie to ourselves.
Have you seen the movie 'The Wolf Of Wall Street' with Leonardo Di Caprio? (Great film by the way).
Well Jordan Belfort made a great point:
"The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit excuse as to why you can't achieve it".
We believed 12 hours was our limit.
But it wasn't. It was simply a number and a nice round one at that.
We had so much more to give and we didn't even know it.
Part of us felt like we were lying to ourselves.
So what did we do?
Yep, we pushed the sled for 13 hours.
(and burnt over 7,000 calories lol).
Of course it was painful, but that leads us to lesson #2.
2. Pain And Discomfort Aren't Negative Things
So many people think pain and discomfort are negative things.
I learned more about myself during the process of this event than all of my years combined.
By putting myself through immense physical, mental and emotional discomfort I adopted a new perspective on life. Things that were hard before aren't so hard now by comparison. The short-term pain has led to a positive return 100x more than what I put in.
With pain comes calluses. You learn from experiences and adapt to become a stronger you.
The same applies to transforming your body - you learn from the discomfort and grow as a human. It's all part of the process.
3. The Power Of 'Chunking'
If you haven't heard this term before, it's essentially breaking a task down into bite sized pieces.
It's what the US Navy Seals do as part of their training. They learn to 'chunk' down mammoth tasks in order to feel less overwhelmed.
Chunking to me and Michael looked like this:
One. Minute. At. A. Time.
We literally took each minute as it came. If we viewed the whole event as a 13 hour push, how do you think we would've responded?
Information overload and paralysis by analysis. Ever felt so overwhelmed that you just didn't do anything at all?
I hear ya.
The point is, we 'chunked' our event down so it felt a little less daunting and there's no doubt this technique works.
The same goes for anything difficult in life. Progress comes from consistency, one hour at a time, one day at a time, one week at a time.
You move forward taking small steps which over time lead to major leaps and epic transformations.
4. The Power Of Self Talk
In principle, it sounds easy. Because it is.
If you continuously tell yourself you can't do something, or that you won't, guess what happens?
You simply will not get it done.
"I can never lose weight".
"I don't have time for that".
"Eating healthy is too hard".
Self talk works both ways and that's the power of it - it's always up to you.
You have a choice:
a) Tell yourself it's hard and believe it's impossible.
b) Tell yourself it's easy and find a way to succeed.
Of course I was in pain. I was battling. Hell, I was so beaten up and bruised that my hands, fingers and toes were numb.
Michael knew this. He was in pain too.
About 8 hours into the event, the smart bastard turned to me whilst I was hauling this sled down the track and merely asked:
"What feels good right now?".
I didn't even need to answer him. I knew what he was doing and he was right.
My brain instantly began listing all the things that felt good right now. Although the list wasn't long, it was enough to change me physically. I found energy and I realised I could definitely keep going.
I really do love pushing my body to it's limit. I kept reminding myself of this and WHY we were doing this in the first place.
If you say it's hard, then of course, it's going to be hard. If you're going through a challenge of your own, positive self-talk should be in your locker.
5. Don’t Go It Alone
I feel like the above pictures sum up a majority of the event.
Okay look, it wasn't all smiles. There was a lot of pain and suffering but we did smile the whole way.
In the last few hours, my brain was a scrambled egg. I wanted to give up many times but that's the power of having the right people around you.
I couldn't have achieved 13 hours of pushing 100kg without Michael by my side or anyone who was there on the night to witness it.
They're there to remind you that you CAN do this and that you CAN accomplish things you never thought possible.
As humans, we thrive off social support. Don't ever feel like you are alone on your journey because I promise you, there are many people out there going through the same thoughts, problems and feelings.
Rest assured on any mission moving forward, I'll be doing it with a great team around me because without them, I'll never be successful.
If You Need Help, Speak Out
Michael and I have experienced first hand the power of talking. If you're struggling mentally, don't be afraid to reach out to me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Gotcha4Life for support.
Pushing this sled for others and with others, instead of just for myself and alone, made the 13 hours fly by.
I know for a fact I'll continue doing charity work. It's rewarding and immediately satisfying to see the impact you're able to make.
You can also check out Michael Gostelow over at Executive Performance.
Stay tuned for our next event...