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Coaches Corner: Condition yourself to adversity

by Shaun Kober
February 1st 2021

I've had so many great conversations with friends and colleagues about what we see happening in the fitness industry, and thought to myself, "I wish we would have recorded that."

what does it mean to live life to the fullest train to your potential and perform at your best, Leave nothing on the table. That's a non negotiable is that I I strive to be better every day because if I'm not on top of my game, how is anybody else gonna follow me down the road? Keep demanding more of yourself to to live up to that potential and to stay hungry. Training is progress. You know, when I look at the word training, I think of steps, baby steps to get somewhere that you want to be and that is basically your life journey. That's a mindset itself, man, it's like, it's not just about I know that for you, a lot of that's about the physical, but we're constantly in training, whether it's growing our skill sets, whether it's growing our physical bodies, whether it's growing our relationships whatever and all of that is a training ground and that kind of goes back to the mindset that we just talked about, You underestimate yourself and you don't even start, but then once you start, you often surpass what you thought you could do performance your best mate. That's that's sort of what life is all about. You don't have the knowledge and have the fitness to healthy ambition and drive that no matter what comes along when that next phone call comes, I can just say yes, I don't have to worry, just go and do it, you know what is up, guys, welcome to this coach's corner episode with my guest lizzie, right, This is a 90 minute conversation that I've broken up into three installments in the first installment, we discussed how Lizzie went from being in the UK to traveling around the world to then becoming a coach in Singapore.

In this episode we dive into some lived experience that we've both been through on facing adversity, including lizzie running 100 and five kilometers through the Borneo jungle as well as 100 and 20 kilometers around Singapore. Let's get this episode underway, take that leap. You need to trust in yourself, you need to trust in um your ability to just fucking figure shit out and I think this is what's missing from a lot of people as they, you know, they just expect things to fall in their lap and they expect things to be easy. Um one of my favorite quotes is, you know, people that make hard decisions, live an easy life, but people that make easy decisions, live a hard life 100% and I think that is very on point with kind of us as coaches, especially from who I see and come through the door or who I'm surrounded by even though when I connect with on social media and everything, people just want that easy, easy sell and I always say it was just like we have in supermarkets, the most convenient things, people cut up, cut and pierre like carrots up in the supermarkets and we don't have to do anything, you know, so when it comes down to cooking or things like People just want the easy fix.

And that's why they think, again, it's that whole mentality with everything, which translate into our own abs in 30 days or my birthday is in three months. You think I can get abs? And I'm like, what are you willing to do? You know, like there's a change in just a bit more to coaching now. But it's the same thing as with everything. And I think a lot of people aren't willing to go through the pain or sacrifice anything to get to where they, I want to be. You know, like when I think like I, the way I operate day today is, yeah, I go and make the hard decisions. Or I'm hard with myself to make sure I get to where I need to be, but it makes my day flow. Do you know what I mean? Or makes all my decisions a lot easier. Um, when I take that link, mm hmm. I think that's a good point. I'm actually reading David Goggins book can't hurt me right now. I'm not sure. Yeah, that one. Yeah. Yeah. I love that. He speaks truth. He speaks so much truth though. Like from his journey, You know, like he has so much that he can say like if someone says something now, you can just like, that's bullshit because this is what I've done.

Like, you know, like when he got knocked down by navy seals and all those things, and obviously he was so overweight and rejected and all those things. And it's like, he can literally tell any of you guys who have, like, been through suffering, like, just drop your excuses. Like, he's been through so much and I think 100% rate him. I found him incredible. Like, his mindset is unbelievable. Yeah, absolutely. And like, I didn't know too much about him. Um I knew that he, you know, held some records and um you know, was a navy seal and blah blah, blah and like, I just saw what I saw on his social media and from what people have spoken to me about and numerous people were like, you know, read the book. It's awesome. So, you know, I smashed out probably a quarter of the book over the weekend and I was reading and I was like, I'm going to get up and go for a fucking run because I hate running, but that's that's the point, right? Like, you know, it's it's this is kind of what I'm saying is, and kind of what you're saying as well is that, you know, there's going to be things that make you really fucking uncomfortable in life and if we always um step away from that discomfort and we find the path of least resistance, we never ever condition ourselves to be able to deal with adversity.

And another one of my favorite quotes is like, one of the, one of the biggest skills that you can give to a child is the ability to deal with adversity, you know, and I dealt with a lot of adversity as a child and it's you know, I fucking hated it when I was a kid and when I was growing up, but it has literally shaped the man I am today now granted I could have gone down the other route where I was, you know, become a drug dealer and um you know, ended up in jail or whatever, but I made that decision to get away from that position and go and pursue a different path, you know, and that was fucking hard and that was probably harder to make that decision than it was to stay where it was and this is the point, it's like choose something that you can do every day that just makes you feel a little bit uncomfortable. You don't need to, you know, do something crazy out there, like would you run like you ran like 100 mile fucking marathon something recently, is That right? A 120 K around Singapore.

I had not really tried, I had only done 2,8 runs before So let's talk about that because that is literally what I'm talking about right now. Talk to me about the mindset that went into that weather periods during that 120 km around Singapore. How long did that take That took me 20 hours maybe. Um, yeah, so we, I don't, I always had the idea of it and I think since we haven't been able to travel at all, uh, Singapore, if no one knows, Singapore is a very small island in Asia and it's probably like the circumference about 160 km or maybe 200 if you really go around the edges. But For this case we did 120. So at a couple of people who did it with me and I had this vision at the start of lockdown, I was just like, right, I need to, I want to do something, I'll tell you about the other race I did just before we went into lockdown as well because that's the next level of 1 21 1 20 felt ah, easy.

Um not easy, I'm not gonna lie. I was not easy but easier. Um but yeah, I had the idea. I wanted to do something and I just wanted to give purpose and look back at 2020 and just be like, I fucking achieved a hell of a lot. I put myself out there on so many levels. I wanted to challenge like these challenges for me A big mountain girl. So I'm really missing mountain Singapore, I think goes to the height of 150 m. So I don't really get any kicks from that. So I just went out there just thinking, right, what can I do. Um The idea just came right, right, I'm going to run around in Singapore. Um And he got closer to the time, I was like, oh I haven't done any training for it. Like obviously I train all the time. I do a lot of strength training. Um And for me it's not just what the body can do, but it's what the mind can do and I do it to build the resilience within me. I challenge and I want to push my mind to assert to limit that right there is the secret source to see how yeah exactly.

To see how I respond. I like to see when I'm in pain. This all sounds so weird for other people, but I like to see when I'm in pain or when I'm struggling or um if something's out of my control, how do I respond? Um I've still kept focus for the things I've done. So now I'm like looking for the next level, but like 120 like we started at midnight I think we started running at midnight um up the east coast which is up to Cheney and it's a ridiculously long like 45 K. On a strip of like nothing on the way to the airport. So you literally running on concrete, which I'm not the biggest fan of. Anyway um prepared everything I needed to do like all my hydration, all my food planned all the stops. I went around and planned all the stops of where I needed to go so at least I had that um And yeah we went with the four of us but then one got injured so she had to drop out and then three of us got to the finish Um but it was an amazing 20 hours of getting to know to people who I didn't know for starters that's why I love that stuff because you get no people in that span over time like that no one else has ever seen.

I think there's also something else there as well that I want to talk about that I've experienced myself um and here's the thing like you fucking build an amazing bond with people that you go through some really fucking hard things with adversity and this is a this is something that has come up for me numerous times. People like what's it like being in the military, like why are those guys you know your best mates? Why are you so close with them blah blah blah blah. And it's like you know I've been through some of the best times of my life with these guys by my side but I've also been through some of the fucking worst times of my life with these guys by my side. We're all going through the same thing and I think there's something special about sharing adversity with other people. Can you talk to me about um some of the some of the conversations you guys had, I can imagine some of the conversations that you had when when you start hurting, when you start chafing you know everything's fucking hurting, everything's tired, you're dehydrated. Yeah I think it was right at the start actually 11 the one guy who did it with us, he his I.

T. Band was so tight and he just had like he was just worried he wasn't going to complete it. So at first that was no conversation but I try it we didn't have anything for him to roll on. So I started making him roll on a road cone thing you know the big orange things that you've got a you've got to find something to ease it out but I just couldn't find anything about that. But here's a rock on the side of the road bro. It was just like well um but he went into a dark place straight away so he saw the injury and was just like oh my god oh my God like we've only done like 25 K. Like to him it was trying to keep for me it was trying to keep him in the game and say look he was trying to push past and I said look you've got to just focus on what your body can do right now so we need to just pull back. You need to manage what is going on here. So there's a whole mindset kind of thing for him, because he'd never, this guy had never done anything further than 21 K before the Nutter. So I was actually just like, right, I've got a coat, I've got a coach is going to come in now, and I've got to really like, get you to figure your shit out, like don't push it to the point where you're going to be injured, like we're all doing it together.

Like, I'm not here to break a record on time. I know that. So the main thing that the one and only goal for us, and for me was to always just finish it. So for him it was trying to get his mindset and he was going like up and down for like The next like five hours, and we're just like, Oh my God um The biggest point I remember, like for him, like, I honestly, my head was, my headspace was okay, but I was just the only thing that I had was tight shins and I was just trying to ease it out and I'll tell you why I was okay After. But yeah, other than that, we had humidity, the heat, like, it was like 35° at midday, we ran out water in Singapore. I was just like, oh my God, and like, we were walking at one point delusional because we're just like, I was like, it's around the corner, like, the place over having lunch is like this close it, I promise, I mean him, we're just looking at each other going, oh my God, like we've got to keep going, it's just one ft in front of the other. Um I'm trying to jog and then I was like, I'm not jogging, I'm just, I'm wait, I'm gonna walk until we get to this lunch spot and then behold, we had a whole player chip so down like two kinds of sprite.

Um and it felt great and then we had like 33 km to go. Um but we're all quite, again, like you said, like with the people who I did it with rule the same mindset, the one goal, We had one focus that was where we were going to go. And we weren't like we were dancing at the traffic lights, like I always believe in like if I'm in a low point to shove some music on and it will literally just like shift that mindset and I love playing an eighties playlist and uh dancing on the ceiling line or Richie came on and we're just at the traffic light. It's just like dancing to anyone. Like thought we were mad, but we were just like, we've been going for like 15 hours, we don't care like, but it's amazing again, looking, I guess that your tools of what you have to change that perspective. And I think laughter fun, a massive tools that when you're faced with hardship or pain something to change that mindset is massive and for me music or just saying like stupid jokes or whatever it is, that's one of my coping mechanisms, like I'm always smiling, I'm always joking around and that's one of my coping mechanisms for pain or for going through something um and it wins every time but I just make myself laugh and like you gotta count on yourself right when things get tough and that's why I've done that um Yeah, so like before like lockdown, I just mentioned you like I did 105 K.

Run through the Borneo jungle, so that's why the 120 k was like for me was okay, which will sound really crazy to some people, but it's, I ran for 32 hours in the Borneo Jungle, absolutely dead. Like we were, me and my friend did it and we were like in pieces by the end and I had some crazy mindset moments which is what I wanted to get myself to and I want to get that hardship to be like are you going to quit, are you going to carry on? Um Yeah and what made you, is that, is that the reason that you decided to run 100 and five kilometers through the Borneo jungle because you want to test yourself. Yeah 100%, I'd only done 50 k before um and when I've done, when I've gone to a couple of mountains with high altitude, that's tested me on a whole other level. Um, but yeah, it's definitely a mindset thing. It was just like, and like you said with David Goggins, he says everyone only operates and it's a quite a known thing that everyone operates only about 40% if that.

So for me, I'm just like, well, I want to see what else I can do. Like I'm always looking maybe not David Goggins complete style because he's done some ridiculous stuff, but I want to do it for me. Like, what do I want to do? That's gonna push my limits and push my head space. Because when things then get tough and civilization, I'm prepared for those other things and you realize like a race like that teaches you so many things in life, like we were struggling were about to faint again on this one. This one was really hot in Borneo, but we were, um, suddenly had sunstroke quite early on in the race, definitely my friend who did, she had to like sit down everything, but You struggle for that for like 10, 15 minutes And then the next 15 minutes is all behind you because you can, you've only got to be able to look forward, right? So if you focus too much on the past, you're not going to be moving forward. And that was like a real pinnacle pivotal moment for me. Like when that happened, because I was just like, oh my God, that's what I spend so much time in life, like, with emotions dragged on certain events and certain things, and it's just like, if I just looked at it for exactly what it was like, matter of fact, and then got onto the next thing to look forward to.

My energies, way better off focus on those, you know? So, like, whilst the race was not as a matter of survival, but it was more a matter of what it was if we got lost or anything on that. So it's like game face on focus on where we want to go as soon as it gets hard, find out what we need to do to stay in that position. Yeah, yeah, I like that. Um so many lessons in testing yourself like that, you know, and you never know where you're fucking limitations are if you live in perpetual comfort, which a lot of people do these days, you know, people don't put themselves in uncomfortable positions. Now, here's the thing, like, you know, I was in the army for six years, I went to Iraq East Timor Afghanistan and I've been in some fucking terrible situations, right? But that set me up for being able to deal with everything that life throws at me now in saying that, you know, I do live a very fucking comfortable life now. So I put myself in those positions every now and again, I challenge myself, you know, I take away some of my comforts to give myself a taste of that.

And what that also does is it gives me an appreciation for when I get that stuff back again. So, you know, for example, um I quite often go away on a weekend and turn my phone off and like I won't book anything and I'll just kind of wing it and see what happens. I'll talk to the locals and try and book accommodation and um you know, fucking sometimes I end up sleeping on a beach or whatever, you know, we literally like rely on technology so much. Um so there's times where I'm like, I'm going to leave my phone at home and I won't take my phone out and I won't use google maps or anything like that, like, you know, this is very basic ways of giving yourself some adversity and discomfort. You know, we live in this perpetual comfort where we've literally got everything we want for the most part. Um so I think it's important to, you know, put your put yourself through these discomforts every now and again. And I mean for people listening at home that um don't really challenge themselves too much.

You don't have to go out and run 120 km right? Start by start by taking a fucking cold shower every day or start by doing something you don't like doing every day, you know, it's it's not about, you know, doing something massive, that's going to kind of fuck you up and take you way way out of your comfort zone. It's like doing something that's a little bit out of your comfort zone. So then you shift the needle and then that little bit of discomfort is no longer uncomfortable and then you shift the needle again, you do something a little bit scarier, a little bit more uncomfortable. And you know, the more you can condition yourself to these adversities, the better you're able to deal with fucking adversities when they come up in real life. So you can control the adversities, You can control the level of discomfort by the choices that you make every single day. So that when the choices that you know, all the things that happen that you have no control over, and you have no choice in when those things come up, you are much better able to deal with them.

Yeah. 100 and I posted about controlling the controllable and except the uncontrollable that was in one of my posts today. So, yes, at one point and it's so true. It's just getting ready and I think it's having those tools in the bag or in the box ready to help you, when you do face something like how do you deal with your emotions? How do you accept certain events and yeah, I think it's powerful when you have that handle and you have that self awareness and you have that next level? That's when it's powerful on your journey to apply to all aspects of life? Yeah, Yeah. And for a lot of people that are listening to this podcast, they assume that most people have listened to many of the preceding episodes. Um but that's that's the whole idea of this podcast to give people the tools to be able to, you know, I put out um 14 episodes for the first two weeks that I launched and they're like the foundational episodes And I always say if people are coming on board and listening to um you know, these episodes later on and we've got like 77 or 78 episodes out at the moment or something like that.

So I've been fucking smashing them out. But anyway, um You know, I always say go back to those first two weeks and listen to the 1st 14 episodes, probably the 1st 21 episodes because I go through, you know, the foundational work of um building habits and creating consistency in restricting temptation, meal preparation, accountability, hierarchy of value, motivation, direction, the effect of your environment, like nutritional pyramid of importance etcetera etcetera. You know, those are the foundational episodes that people should listen to and then each one of these subsequent episodes that I'm doing, particularly with different coaches with different backgrounds, you know, we're layering on top of all of that on top of all that stuff? Excuse me. Um Now what I want to talk about next is you've actually got your own podcast mm let's discuss that. Why did you start your podcast and tell my audience a little bit about it and where they can find it? Oh thank you, give me a bit of a loan, right hit or whatever.

I can't even think of the word um take the stage, I'll take the stage, that's all I wanted. Um yeah, so project women podcast. I remember we had a conversation when I was kind of thinking about it in its infancy and I thought about it in february in the whole idea of the podcast is to bring real women together um with real experts, um real stories and just being able to create a space um definitely with me, I have a focus on female clients so I coach, so a lot of content that I was on repeat. So I really wanted to create a platform where I had conversations um not only to do with training, nutrition um and mindset topics, but also sex relationships, um finance to Korea to so a whole broad of topics um basically educate and provide knowledge for women to be the best versions of themselves and I think there's a lot of information out there and like you, I've started putting a bit more of a structure in it, of setting foundations, the way I coach and the way I think for women, we've not just women men too, but I think we're sold or have been solved for so long.

The quick fixes the diet culture um quick answers to everything and I wanted to create a platform and a space a safe space for women where we can have real talk real conversations about all of these areas and kind of set the record straight uh from yeah basically just change, changed a lot of perspectives for the better. Yeah that's a good point. Like the you know the health industry, health in quotation marks. Um you know the fitness industry, the supplement industry, the weight loss industry, the food industry like their multibillion dollar industries like they do not give a fuck about your health and wellness or they care about is making money so anyone that's pushing you know any of these things there likely trying to sell you something, you know so there's people and this is one of the reasons I started this podcast as well is to cut through the bullshit because you know so many people come to me and like hey man you know what supplements do you take and probably and don't get me wrong like I take supplements but you know I take supplements when I need them to fill the gaps with my nutrition.

If I'm missing something then you know I can supplement and that's what supplements are for, right? So you know I love the message um and I want you to talk about you posted recently about your own transformation and you know this kind of ties into what you just said about people wanting the quick fix now this is something that you know good coaches will typically do is they will speak the truth on social media and they will say this stuff takes time, okay anyone who says that is probably a fucking good coach that knows what they're talking about, you know and it's not trying to sell you something but unfortunately that's not sexy, that's not what people want, that's not what people want to hear. So what they gravitate towards is the people that are going you can get abs in eight weeks, you know you can fucking lose 10 kg in 10 weeks, you know it's all these um short term quick fixes that people are drawn towards and unfortunately you know we see so many people end up on the fucking hamster wheel where they're going from one shiny program too, the next new supplement to you know the next fucking um craze of butthole sunning or whatever it might be looking for the quick fix right?

And here we are trying to um you know put out good quality information that's like hey this is going to take time so talk to me about your transformation, how long that talk and you know what your expectations were. Yeah I think it goes definitely goes back to or just take it back to where we, but before is I come from a very strong background, so the way not only how I was raised and grounded by my parents um and my environment of when I was a young, a young girl, uh we didn't have obviously any social media back then um to the degree that we use it now um which I think is an important point to bring up in a bit, but also my sporting background, like that has literally been the foundation of who I am and who I was from a child in terms of providing me discipline, not focusing on body image, but focusing on performance, feeling strong, feeling fast, feeling capable, trying to beat the boys like all the time.

And it gave me just which I still hasn't changed now, but like it gave me such a strong foundation as a young girl and as a young growing woman to be confident in my skin, to be strong, to be fast, to focus on skills, to focus on what I can do with my body, I didn't know at the time then, but I see it now. Um so I never set out in that way, like it and I think from that foundation and the environment that was in it really set that ball up for coming into my eight, being 18, being 16 being to my early twenties and that mindset hasn't shifted, I've always actually had a very healthy relationship with my body with my confidence with my food and with my training and I think that all stems from when I was younger, so when I put that post up for the transformation, it was for me it was a sense of Going and going from a 21 year old to a woman, basically going from a girl to a woman and seeing that change in a woman's body from that from not doing real strength training to just being sprinter.

And you can see in that the picture that I did post, it was me backpacking, so I'm skinny, I've not been training, I've been drinking my heart out and passing as hard as I could and and all of those things, I wanted to show like that kind of side of things, but obviously it's all well and good showing in transformation picture because you can see all the strength and the confidence like radiating then, but you can't see like what's in the internal dialogue. So for me, I think it's it's all important, like a lot of people doing a lot of transformational photos and how they look aesthetically, but I also I also think that need to be a water the mindset. A lot of people don't talk about how you transform over time either. So I think when it comes to that message and it comes over time, especially as women, we go through so many different phases um physiologically that we don't spend enough time learning. So we go from teens from getting our period to being in our early 20s and kind of trying to understand where our body works, how it moves.

But you've got this whole ideal body of what we're meant to look at and all the pressures two Then getting older and after 30, you're starting to lose lean muscle mass to perimenopause menopause, you know, like just diving to them. So for me for the transformation it's just important for and what started that was or trigger that was I've had a coach, a 14 year old girl at the moment And I've received messages from 20 year olds in the last few months just saying, how am I how happy they are that my content just focused on being healthy and strong. And that's my message is we we have a lot of people in terms of transformations focusing on aesthetic, whereas I think the internal dialogue and the feelings are way more important and in the long run for you to be happier for the external. Does that make sense in terms of the whole transformation? Yeah, there's something I wanna pause on for a moment there as well is, you know, your we are a product of our environment, you know?

So I urge people to have a look at their social media and flick through there and anyone who makes you fucking feel shit about yourself and follow Mhm. You know, that's no way to live your life. Look for people that are going to encourage you look for people that are going to give you good quality information that's going to move you in the right direction. Look for people that's going to make you feel good about yourself and create that mindset that you need to adopt to move towards the person that you want to be. I think that's, I think that's really powerful and you know, I love your content. That's why we're having this conversation right now is because we have been following each other on social media for a while. Um I don't think we've ever had a conversation in person, but you know, we, we, yeah, you know, we have, we follow each other on social media and we like each other stuff and we comment and things like that and I like, you know, the stuff that you put out, I like the content that you put out and I think that's really important for um females, you know, in particular to hear, um women like yourself who are strong, who are successful, who do train with weights and you know, look good, feel good and have that really strong personality, that strong mindset and that strong body as well, um you know, and it's it's slowly taking time, but um more women these days are looking at what their bodies can do rather than what it looks like.

And I think that's an important thing to, to look at and I think what you're doing is is really amazing. Thank you. Let's talk about some of the things that you just spoke about their um I want to touch on uh some of your clients that you work with because I'm sure you've adopted this coaching stole from, you know, the people that you've worked with over the last few years and you've adapted, you've adopted um and you've kind of come up with your own coaching philosophy because of these people that you're coaching. Um let's talk about that. Has it been similarities with what you've been through and, you know, the demographic, the type of people that come to you for coaching? Yeah, so I think definitely in terms of my message, it's attracted a lot of women, whether in conversation, talking points to strangers by on instagram or my clientele that do come into the gym um to see me or for online coaching and there we have it part two of a three part series with my friend lizzie, right?

Stay tuned for the next episode where we dive into some of the tools that we use to help our clients achieve their goals. If you enjoy the conversation, please make sure you pass it off to your friends and family. If you do share it on your social media stories, please make sure you tag myself and lizzie so we can share it as well. Both of our links for social media platforms will be in the show notes, and any five star ratings and reviews are much appreciated. Much Love Guys piece.

Coaches Corner: Condition yourself to adversity
Coaches Corner: Condition yourself to adversity
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