What is mental toughness? How can this be applied to your cycling? I light up when asked anything even remotely close to this topic! Mental Toughness has to be one of my all time favorite topics as well as one of my go to principles to live by. I think one of the best statements in this podcast from our Navy Seal friend Dan was when he was asked how to develop mental toughness: “Do hard things over and over again until they become normal.”
Another outstanding principle behind mental toughness is learn to live in the uncomfortable. Practice difficult and uncomfortable on repeat until it becomes comfortable. Then you can conquer your demons. Remember that when you are out in a difficult or challenging experience that your not building your mental toughness in those moments nearly as much as you are demonstrating it. “Do today what others won’t do, so you can do tomorrow what others can’t do.” In other words the time to develop your mental toughness is NOW, not later when you need it.
How does this apply to cycling? Great question, the answer is it applies to everything in life. If you are intentional about improving anything in your cycling, i.e. your fitness, your watts, your distances, your cadence, your VO2 max, your HR zones, your standings in the races, your endurance, etc. etc. etc. then you will need to operate at a higher level of mental toughness then you currently possess. To improve is to intentionally seek out the difficult. Difficult and uncomfortable circumstances are where the mentally tough succeed and the mentally weak quit. Quitting can be as extreme as calling your spouse or an uber for a ride home in the middle of a ride or race, or as subtle as just not trying very hard anymore. Make no mistake about it, when you let off the effort you are quitting. Most of the quitters I know don’t have the courage to straight up quit quit, they simply ease off their effort and try to rest because rest is easier and more comfortable. They are not comfortable in the uncomfortable. They begin to feel sorry for themselves and the pain and discomfort they are feeling. Then they have little pity parties blaming the circumstances all around them instead of owing the fact that it is super hard for them in that moment and pushing through it anyways. Navy Seals don’t quit. There is honor, integrity, and commitment in everything they do it and they do everything intentionally. If there is breath in their lungs they keep pushing. Their individual life is not more important then the mission. What is your mission? What is your mission with your cycling? Where do you quit? What kind of quitter are you?
I guarantee you when you are racing you will hit a wall because your pace and your effort, your watts, your HR, etc will get to a point where you don’t think you can hold it any more. Your mental toughness will be beyond critical in your decision as to what to do in that moment. IF YOU DON’T RACE this principle still applies- when you are trying to be a better version of yourself then you will need more mental toughness. Even to be a better recreational rider, a better parent, employer, employee, etc. you will benefit from more mental toughness.
Start building today what you will most surely need tomorrow. The path to strong mental toughness always starts with your intention to do something about it today. There are so many more principles of mental toughness I will share and write about in a later post. But for now, enjoy the words of a Navy Seal who has lived a life demonstrating extraordinary leadership and mental toughness.
Thank you Dan Cerrillo for your time in sharing with us your thoughts. Check out Dan’s website for some seriously intense and super cool adventures where you can develop and learn mental toughness as well as tactical skills from a Navy Seal: https://www.spartan7adventure.com/
Here is the podcast file, as well as the direct link:
Ben Dodge, Esq., Endurance/Ultra Cyclist
A bicycle crash is not always an accident. If you, or someone you know has been injured in a bicycle crash or accident caused by a road hazard or dangerous road condition, hire a personal injury attorney who is experienced and has a successful track record. Ben Dodge, a licensed bicycle accident lawyer in Arizona, has dedicated his entire firm to one purpose: representing cyclists. Bicycle accident cases are the only cases Bike Accident Attorneys, PLC handles. Home based out of the great state of Arizona, Ben can still help cyclists in the entire United States. Ben also founded Bike Accident Attorneys Network, a national network of attorneys who focus on representing cyclists. He can find you help anywhere in the country.
Ben Dodge has represented and assisted bicycle accident victims across the entire United States. As an avid and competitive cyclist himself, Mr. Dodge currently participates in national and local cycling events all over the world. It isn’t uncommon to spot him in early morning hours out riding his bike. Having competed in 8 Ironman triathlons, numerous local and national cycling races, and a successful finish in the Race Across the West 2016, he really knows what it’s like to ride and race a bike. Ben competed in the first ever Race Across France – 2018. This was a non stop 1500+ mile race across the entire country of France. He and his teammate finished 3rd. He is registered for a 2 man Race Across America (RAAM) team as well in 2019.
The day he fell in love with his job was the day he devoted himself completely to bicycle accident cases. Ben represents cyclists injured in bicycle accidents, at the police station, with insurance companies, and in the courts. He advocates for the rights of all cyclists, not just his clients. He teaches police about bike laws and bike safety, he educates drivers about the rules of the road, and he trains cyclists and clubs to ride more safely.
A consultation with experienced Arizona bicycle accident attorney Ben Dodge is free
In recent years there has been approximately 700 bicycle fatalities in the United States every single year. Approximately 2,000 bicycle accidents are reported in Arizona every year. Approximately 30 fatal bicycle accidents are reported in Arizona every year. Bicycle fatalities are terrible and horrific tragedies that affect the lives of too many families and friends to count. Understanding your rights and obligations as a cyclist can bring clarity to your specific accident situation. It will always be in your best interest to be represented by an attorney who knows the bicycle laws and has a successful track record of winning bicycle accident cases. The negotiation tactics and strategies of winning a case are extremely important, but should always take a back row seat to the litigation experience and knowledge of court room rules, local, state, and federal rules of civil procedure that can have significant impact on your bicycle accident case. It is wise to be represented by someone well versed in bicycle accident law, local and state bicycle ordinances, rules, regulations, policies, and laws. You should hire someone very familiar with negligence and tort law, civil procedure, and the rules of evidence as they all relate specifically to bicycle accident cases.
Ben Dodge always offers a complimentary in person consultation to all local cyclists and a complimentary phone consultation to any cyclist injured in a bike accident. Typically the consultations are schedule from 30-60 minutes depending on the severity of the accident. You can expect to get answers to questions, clarity, information, and reassurance of your personal bike accident liability and potential for recovery. In your free consultation you can generally expect to discuss such topics as:
- Your specific bike accident details, diagrams, and pictures from your perspective and then from the perspective of your bike accident attorney.
- The applicable local, state, and federal laws underlying your case.
- Your rights as a cyclist, obligations, and any potential liability.
- The process, procedure (in and out of court), and the time frame required to conclude your case.
- The value of your case and what you might expect as compensation.
You can call Arizona bicycle lawyer Ben Dodge of Bike Accident Attorneys, PLC at 1.855.663.3922. Mr. Dodge’s staff is standing and ready to accept your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every single day of the year. Ben will personally return your call within 24 hours. There is never an obligation past a complimentary consultation with Mr. Dodge. His passion is in representing cyclists and his entire office stands ready to serve with kindness and patience.
Bike Accident Attorneys, PLC
Call Ben Dodge, the Bicycle Lawyer today at 1.855.663.3922. Reach him by fax at 1.800.958.8902.
Mr. Dodge can also be reached by email at email@example.com
His main Arizona offices are located at:
Mesa Arizona (home base office)
4824 E. Baseline Rd., Suite 124
Mesa, Arizona 85206
Phoenix Arizona office
2415 e. Camelback Rd., suite 700
Phoenix, Arizona 85016
Tucson Arizona office
One South Church Avenue, 12th Floor
Tucson, Arizona 85701
Mr. Dodge represents cyclists in the entire state of Arizona including but not limited to mesa, phoenix, tucson, yuma, gilbert, peoria, glendale, scottsdale, ahwatukee, tempe, chandler, prescott, sedona, flagstaff, surprise, kingman, page, lake havasu city, payson, goodyear, buckeye, queen creek, paradise valley, show low, winslow, maricopa, nogales, globe, avondale, cave creek, fountain hills, apache junction, carefree, wickenburg, pinetop-lakeside, strawberry, anthem, safford, and more. Ben Dodge is currently involved with bicycle accident cases all over the country and has founded a national network of independent bicycle lawyers that can assist in representation in all 50 states.