So I have noticed in my past 8 weeks of working out with my new regimen, that often times there is a point where my muscles feel like they cannot possibly do anymore. I’m three quarters through an exercise and my body aches and my mind says “It’s ok, you’ve done enough, you can stop” …and sometimes I do. But then I began to notice in the workout video, right about the same time, the trainer will ask one of the others in the video “How are you feeling?” If I were them my first thought would be to respond with “I’m dying” or “This is killing me” or “Are you crazy?! Get the f away from me lady!”. But to my surprise and amusement that’s not how they respond.
They say things like “it feels so good!” Through strained voice and gritted teeth. They also say things like “Love that burn! Means it’s working!” or “Getting stronger everyday”, or “ I love you!” To the trainer. And quite often people will make sounds to push through. Quite a bit of “AAAAAAAGH”, “Grrrrrrr” or deep guttural sounds that clearly are expressing the pain but not stopping till the end. So I realized it doesn’t necessarily mean these people have something I don’t that they can finish at the end. It seems to me they have a tool to push their minds past the limiting conversation. Something deep within them that puts out a belief or sound that deafens the mind chatter and eliminates the thoughts of “I can’t do anymore”. I feel like this is a battle cry, and it is used in any areas of strength endurance.
Strength endurance isn’t only about physical strength. It’s about emotional, mental, and spiritual strength as well. When the actual battle cry was used in times of war it symbolized the impermeability of the warrior. Of course this didn’t mean the soldier or warrior was infallible, but you were more likely to pass through the fear of dying and elevate your consciousness to a state of euphoria and determined courageousness…which had you more likely to be victorious on the field. You could say this was a way of tricking your mind. But truthfully you always have a choice as to where your mind is. We may not want to admit that, but it’s true. Now, our minds may have been programmed to believe things we’ve learned, heard, or experienced. Those beliefs stay with us and cause us to only see the evidence and believe that it’s true, even if it’s actually not. So if your entire life, your family provided for you but didn’t encourage you to succeed at challenging things, you may believe your accomplishments are not enough or a big deal. If your teachers always pigeon holed you as the behavior problem, or someone who could only do average in class…then perhaps you believe you shouldn’t strive too high for goals because it’s less likely you will accomplish them. If one of your parents left early in life you may have relationship commitment issues because you believe people are going to leave anyway so why let your heart get broken by getting serious. If you were a little over weight and most people ignored you, made fun of you, or assumed you can’t do things physically, you may have started to believe that yourself. Again…all real experiences. However this doesn’t define you and is not the truth on how it is.
Changing your mindset takes practice. Often people think the outer world needs to be different in order for us to believe and behave differently. But the reality is you’ve got to believe it before to see it. You’ve got to BE IT, before you do it, so you can have that different thing; bigger achievements in success, love you deserve, bigger dreams that ARE possible, and beautiful and healthy because you decided to be.
So when everything in your brain is screaming the opposite due to years of conditioning, how the hell are you supposed to BE IT now? I’m beginning to see the power of this battle cry, and it’s application everywhere, and not just in my workouts. In the BoA Leadership program, and in my prior leadership training we used a “contract”, or an affirming statement of being that positively declares who we are despite our thoughts and experiences. It’s a statement that may contradict everything we have known up until now. It’s gives us the proper armor for the battle in our heads so we can push through that thing that either scares the shit out of us, or that we are convinced we can’t do. It is something you can scream out or whisper quietly that will push us through to the end. My contract for almost 8 years has been I am a PASSIONATE, RESPONSIBLE, LOVING Woman. There is quite a lot to go into why those words were and are so significant for me, but let’s just say it’s had me quantum leap into the being I needed to push me through.
I always think of the end of Braveheart: faced with a inevitable gruesome and torturous death, William Wallace knew he’d be tempted with offers of mercy and leniency. But, with all that he fought for, and everything he stood for, it was important to not cave. So what was the final moment before he died? Screaming “FREEDOM”, with his last breath as he passed into peace. Now I don’t know about you, but every time I watch that scene, my teeth are clenched, and my butt is puckered. But the moment he screams that word my whole body releases as the sound vibrates my heart and I well up with tears. That was his battle cry.
Everyone of us has one. It’s not even about the word, and it’s meaning, but accessing that place deep inside you that knows on a soul level what you are capable of, beyond what your mind and body tell you. So what’s your battle cry, and where will you use it?
I leave you with this amazing song by Angel Haze and Sia… perfect to rev your engine and speak to that place, perhaps waking it up. Listen to the lyrics.