By Tunde Oyeneyin: Peloton Instructor & Founder of SPEAK
"Your Mind Is Your Strongest Muscle"
It's a phrase I repeat in each of my classes, but what does that really mean? When we think of training, it's typically associated with a new job, developing a skill, or some type of association to a physical element such as training during a workout.
A little backstory:
As an athlete who previously struggled with my weight and still moves through the PTSD associated with weight loss; I know first hand that training the mind is just as necessary, if not more important, than training the body. We tend to put a great amount of focus on the way we want to look. We work hard, train hard, and adhere to general recommendations, all to reach an end goal. We fantasize about "perfect" thighs and sculpted arms. We imagine what it will feel like to finally reach our desired appearance and yet we don't spend the same amount of time or devote the same type of attention to training our thoughts. For many years, I thought if I could hit a certain weight I'd be happy. So, I worked hard. I focused on training my body without properly doing the inner work of training the mind. It took years to understand that regardless of the way I looked, and regardless of what the scale read, my mind would in the end guide how I felt about myself.
What I've learned:
Regardless of how the world sees you, or how much time you put into training your muscles, the voices in your head will ultimately win. Which brings me back to that phrase, "Your Mind Is Your Strongest Muscle"; It holds the key to your belief about the way you feel and the way you see yourself. It is the determining metric that guides what you believe to be true. It's the thing that talks you in and out of each and every action. In a workout, when things begin to feel like too much, it's not a muscle that charges into motion to finish out the final round of squats; it's the mind that initiates the movement. This doesn't suggest that your glutes aren't required, but rather the mind is the trigger that tells the glutes to keep firing.
So in the end:
Whether it's training for a job, developing a skill, or powering through interval sprints, your mind is the guiding light that determines how you finish.
Written by: Tunde Oyeneyin l @tune2tunde