300x30 Modern day agoge
So what the hell is 300x30 and what the is an agoge.
Well first of all I need to rewind back a few months to a conversation I had in the gym with one of my clients. The topic of discussion was something I find comes up a lot. That topic is will power, drive and mental grit.
“Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare.” - Angela Duckworth.
But more importantly why do some people seemingly posses this trait and others not? Is it something that can be trained or is it a case of you either have it or you don't?
Now with out revealing the client in question I would firstly describe her as highly driven and extremely motivated but she was struggling to get her training sessions in not for lack of time but lack of want. Motivation was low and she was very aware of this and let's face it when your a driven person lacking motivation can be a big blow to your self esteem and confidence.
So she was on the hunt for answers on how to fix this inconvenience. She asked me what do you do when you're not motivated to train how do you over come it?
I paused for a minuet I wasn't sure how to answer because the truth was I hadn't experienced this. I thoroughly enjoy my training I look forward to them. Now one of the core values of Devanney Strength is truth, sure I could have lied and made up some shit about discipline or some other hog wash but it wouldn't be authentic. So I told the truth, I couldn't provided assistance here.
This conversation was left lingering in my mind for days, weeks probably even months. Just because what on the surface I seemed to to display high levels of self discipline and motivation. But the reality was it wasn't challenging me. Sure the training sessions are tough I enjoyed the process of it all. It wasn't challenging me mentally.
In order to develop true grit you have got to want to stop you need to suffer and it needs to be for an extended time. You need to break yourself down until there's almost nothing left to discover what your made of.
Why was I avoiding this was I afraid of the truth that I might find, was I happy to coast along doing what I was doing. Who knows.....But anyone who knows me knows I probably shouldn't be left alone with these thoughts because it will soon transpire into ideas.
“as much as talent counts, effort counts twice.” - Angela Duckworth
So I needed to find a challenge that I wouldn't enjoy doing in order in order to recreate this feeling of lack of drive to finish or no motivation to start.
I know just the thing...........................Running.
I hate running in fact I despise it. I haven't run for the sake of running for well over a decade It's mid winter and miserable outside so its a perfect set up for me.
Now what the hell is a Agoge? this was the training system that the Spartans used to tought their citizens before becoming warriors. It consiststed of hard physical training design to break down the weak and build strength, grit, endurance, cunning and solidity. I read somewhere that they finished the agoge with a 30 day stint in the wilderness force to survive with nothing but a spear. I'm not how sure how true that part is but hey I though 30 days it is then.
I'm going to run for 30 days straight. But how far should I go.
Recently I have been re listening to the book Endurance the story of one of Shackleton's attempt to cross Antarctica which turned in the one of the greatest feats of endurance to ever occur. At on point in the book they talk about having to trek 300 miles north.
So I thought 300 miles it is.
Yes literally just plucking these things from random stories and putting them together to see what happens.
“Difficulties are just things to overcome, after all.” - Ernest Shackleton.
So there we have it 300 miles in 30 days. I will be working as normal so will be fitting these run's in to my normal life........somehow. I'm not entirely sure how this will go down. But I'm sure I'll figure it out along the way. If you see me sprawled out on the floor somewhere just tell me to stop being a baby and to get on with it.
Will I finish who knows after talking to some actual runners apparently 300 miles in a month is probably way to far on the ambitious side so who know's but I'm sure I will learn something about myself along the way. Maybe something that I can share with you guys.