Fitness Trail: See mental toughness in every twist, turn |

Fitness Trail: See mental toughness in every twist, turn

Jackie Wright

If you train regularly with an experienced trainer, instructor or coach, you may have heard the phrase, “mental toughness around every twist and turn.” That’s because we utilize this expression to emphasize that the mind and body connection often creates positive changes in fitness outcomes.

There will be tough times when you have to push through discomfort, insecurity and complacency during your fitness journey. Some days, everything just clicks. You feel great throughout your workout and terrific afterward. On those days, you tend to view life a little differently, feel a little lighter, mentally and bodily. And on those days, it is easier to get through the challenging moments.

Then there are those days when you drop your gym bag and everything spills out, traffic is terrible and you are running behind schedule. Your favorite trainer or coach is not available, as they are ill, and you do not know the new one.

Therefore, you are at best skeptical at their ability to provide you with exactly what you need that day which is a huge aspect of your personal motivation. While these are just daily disruptions and do not compare to life’s serious problems, often these are the types of issues that can derail your fitness program.

Sometimes, you just have to dig down really deep and find that intrinsic motivation to push on through to the other side where long term fitness success resides. This is easy to say, but challenging to accomplish consistently. Consequently, here are six guidelines, out of dozens, that may lead you to that level of mental toughness, particularly on “those days.”

As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, consult a physician.

Get real

Some days are going to be more challenging than others. Accept that you walk in the class or training session with the mind and body you have that day. Every day is different. So, rather than fight it, just roll with it and get on with your workout. You will feel better afterward.

Dig in deep

Allow all of the thoughts of the day to wash over you and let those thoughts dissolve, thinking only of your workout and nothing else for this specific period of time in your day. Find that mental toughness, that “head edge,” which we all possess and use it to your benefit.


This sounds counterintuitive when discussing mental toughness, but in truth, if you just relax the body, releasing the tension of the day or week, you may perform more effectively and receive a better outcome from your workout.


Create a mental picture of yourself performing successfully throughout your workout. Feel the sweat, embracing the work and see that image of every “twist and turn” of the fitness road.

One thing at a time

On those tough days, take on one aspect of your program and put your entire mind and body into that component. Finish it and then forget about it before moving on to the next challenge within the program.

Unleash the champion

We all have a champion within us. Approach your program with that attitude. Regardless how tired and frustrated you may be, a champion is deep inside — access that champion.

Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Mountain Life Fitness in Granby. She may be reached at her website at and her email at

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