dig deep and overcome

Three Tested Ways to Dig Deep And Overcome

Every single morning when I wake, an awful thing happens. The very first voice is an attack on myself and it says “you’re not running/swimming/biking this morning!” 

The very first voice of the day. 

Do you ever have that type of negative voice pop up? 

Early on in life, before mental toughness, that negative voice won. It was a wide path that led to hard drinking!

Nowadays, I mostly win this battle, because my routine and plan and goals of an Ironman, but it’s still there nonetheless. We can’t magically get rid of the adversity, struggle, or hardships. If you want to change your situation, we have to dig deep and overcome!

Here’s three tested ways to dig deep and overcome. 

1. Accept it and move on!

I was at a middle school dance when I finally summoned up the courage to ask this older 8th grader to dance. We’ve all had those tense moments!

Besides, I was told early on in life that the worse answer you can get is “NO.”

That is BS!

See, when I finally walked over and asked her to dance, she said something like “oh that’s sweet, let me get back to you.” Maybe she even patted me on the back or head, I can’t recall. 

Well, I scurried back to my spot at the gym and eagerly awaited my dance. I was excited, because I had heard a “yes” NOT an “I’ll think it over.”  But, I was stuck inside of my own head. I couldn’t ask anyone else and maybe, just maybe, she really did want to dance.

Then, after a few more slow songs, it was evidently clear that it was not going to happen. Then, the dance was over.

I learned “let me think it over ” is the worst answer I can get. A NO would have been more painful at the beginning, but we can accept it and move on.

Acceptance is the key to all of our problems. 

I was fired by my professional golfer weeks after spending the entire week at The Masters. It tore me up, because I was fired after I did a good job! I was embarrassed and heartsick. It took me months to get over actually. 

During that time, I didn’t progress, I got worse because I never accepted it and moved on. 

When we let go of it, it lets go of us!

We have to let go of the anger, resentments, and other people’s expectations. 

Spoiler alert: Bad stuff is going to happen, life is unfair. So, can you accept it and move on, or do you stay bitter and not get better. 

2. Do what is hard and life becomes easier. Do what is easy, and life stays hard. 

Our mind has one job, to keep us safe and out of pain.

It’s one reason why the negative voice in our head exists. It’s not focused on making you better, it just wants the path of least resistance! 

We all seek comfort in life. The scene of relaxing on a beach with an umbrella drink is glamorized, more so than showing someone chopping wood. It’s more comfortable and relaxing to be on the beach. 

But, when we ALWAYS seek comfort, it actually makes life hard.

We have to seek ways to push ourselves in all areas of our life.  Check out our article on 4 reminders to build mental toughness 

The best way is to push yourself in all areas by incorporating the JUST ONE MORE strategy. 

3. When it’s all said and done, more is said than done! 

EVERYTHING in life is easier said than done.

It’s easier to sit and watch TV than it is to exercise.

It is easier to go for a jog than it is to do wind sprints.

It’s easier to practice than it is to compete.

It is easier to NOT push ourselves than it is to push it. It’s simply easier to go through the motions.

Jon Morrow is a quadriplegic, and one of the most successful bloggers on the planet. He had to overcome massive challenges. Speech recognition software has enabled him to write articles read by more than 5 million people. He’s become a multi-millionaire, but more importantly has helped thousands of people dig deep and overcome themselves! Here is the article by Jon I recommend  7 Life Lessons From A Guy Who can’t Move Anything But His Face!  His toughness and ability to persevere has stemmed from living out his beliefs, his actions!

We All have an ACE card up our sleeve- A.C.E.- Action Changes Everything!

James Lawrence (The Iron Cowboy) Summed up perfectly in this 30 second clip from his documentary about 50 Ironmans in 50 states in 50 days. 


Dr. Rob Bell Mental Toughness

Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates is based in Indianapolis.  Some clients have included: Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out all the books on Mental Toughness.  Please check out the podcast 15 Minutes of Mental Toughness as we interview expert athletes and  coaches about Mental Toughness and their Hinge Moment.


mental toughness is really about

Mental Toughness Is Really About This…

I recently caddied an LPGA event for Maddie Sheils. She’s such a great person and golfer. It was fun!  I’ve caddied over twenty web.com tour events and a handful of PGA events for my players, but it was my first on the ladies tour.

I re-learned that Mental Toughness is really about this one thing.

Now, on the men’s tour, there are a few golfers who get the attention of their fellow peers because really bomb it off the tee. But, there are 109 players on tour who average over 300 yards. So, the discrepancy isn’t too significant.

However, On the LPGA, the average driving distance is about 255 yards, so there’s a handful that “send it” off the tee about 270 and 280. The difference between 255 and 280 is massive. It’s a different game altogether.

Here’s my point! 

Mental Toughness is really about how we respond to adversity.

So when a professional player who is top 10 in driving distance and can play well around the greens stumbles after playing really well, one thing becomes glaring. When they made mistakes during the tournament, they could not rebound or bounce back. They did not respond well to adversity and they finished way worse than they should have.

In our own lives, bad stuff is going to happen! We are going to have bad breaks, we are going to mess up, make mistakes, get upset, get down, frustrated. It’s not a matter of IF, but WHEN these will happen.

But, this isn’t some fall down 8, get up 9 cliche’ or when life hands you lemons make lemonade cute saying. This type of mental toughness is not about a grand big picture of life where you can assess what’s working and what’s not, cost/benefit analysis, bring in a consultant type of adversity. There’s not a lot of reflection time when it comes to having this type of mental toughness.

Adversity is sneaky!

This type of adversity and struggle is going to happen during the course of a match, meet, game, and life. It’ll occur very quick, and there are emotions and expectations involved.

But, I believe that the better we get at overcoming adversity during the difficult times, it will also help us during the good times. 

The Importance of Mental Toughness comes down to these Hinge Moments! 

Here’s Three Ways To Respond Positively to Adversity


Some of us can witness our emotional reaction to stress and bad stuff. Many of us can not see the build up and slowly it stacks up like pancakes before toppling over. We have to understand and know our major adversity triggers. Mine is simply misplacing and losing things. I hate it and I allow it to consume me sometimes. 

Hope is NOT a Strategy  

Luke Tyburski completed one of the most amazing physical feats ever, called the ultimate triathlon. He talked about it on my podcast and you can listen to it here.  He actually prepared for this challenge by imagining everything that could go wrong and how he was going to respond to it. So, when the inevitable did occur, he already had a plan!  People think that imagining what can go wrong is bad. Yes, we should visualize the good outcomes, but we also need to know how we will respond to adversity. What will be our response? 

Have a Plan

So, here’s a true cliche’, you didn’t plan to fail, you just failed to plan. What is your strategy to overcome the minor setbacks and inconveniences? Do we need to have a mantra, or a physical refocus cue? Is gratitude in the midst of the struggle the answer? Feel free to email me how you do it!

Find A Way

The battle is me vs. me.

It’s against ourselves and the difficult part is that we know everything about our opponent. It’s why we often talk so negative to ourselves.

Sarah Piampiano developed her mental toughness by challenging herself everyday in her preparation so when she needed to dig deep, the reservoir of mental toughness was there for her. 

We have to be able to problem solve and fight, find a way, and compete, period!  The more we subject ourselves to situations where we have to be tough minded, then just like Sarah, it’ll be there when we need it.

Dr. Rob Bell Mental Toughness

Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates is based in Indianapolis.  Some clients have included: Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out all the books on Mental Toughness.  Please check out the podcast 15 Minutes of Mental Toughness as we interview expert athletes and  coaches about Mental Toughness and their Hinge Moment.

5 Quality Ways To Make Sure Young Athletes Get Sleep

Sleep is the greatest natural performance enhancer.

Yet, the need to ensure young athletes get sleep is commonly overlooked by parents, coaches and the individuals themselves.

Getting sufficient shuteye is hugely important for a variety of reasons.

First, sleep is when athletes actually learn new skills. Sure they spend hours on the pitch running drills, or in the batting cage swinging away, but it’s actually during sleep that these motor skills are consolidated by the brain and hardwired in a young athlete. It’s not practice that makes perfect.

It’s practice plus sleep.

Second, sleep is when the body repairs, replenishes, and reinforces itself. Hours spent in the gym are rendered useless and can, in fact, be harmful if they’re not followed by sufficient rest. It’s during deep sleep that torn muscle fibers are rebuilt and damaged tissue is repaired and strengthened. It’s sleep that makes a young athlete strong.

Knowing a young athlete should be sleeping more, and actually getting them to do so, are two very different things however. Today’s screen-obsessed youth are getting less sleep than ever.  

Don’t despair – below are five ways that could improve the odds of junior getting sleep.

  1. Don’t schedule workouts too close to bedtime

The timing and intensity of that exercise can have an impact on how quickly and how soundly sleep then follows. Working out late in the evening works for some but for many others it can lead to spikes in adrenaline that leave them feeling a little wired in bed.

Plus, too much exercise too close to bedtime can lead to something known as sleep twitching. This is an annoying and sometimes unpleasant phenomenon where the muscles jerk uncontrollably, causing arms or legs to kick and flail. While not dangerous (unless you get hit by a flailing limb), it’s safe to say the condition tends to wake everyone in the bed up.

  1. Put screens in the sin bin before bed

A big problem for all of us and especially the youth of today, is overstimulation.

The world is simply too connected and too interactive. Thanks to smartphones and omnipresent wireless internet, nowhere is free from distraction, including our bedrooms.

The consequence of this is that while we may feel tired, when we actually lay our head upon the pillow our mind is racing. Instead of falling asleep quickly we spend an hour or so tossing and turning… and checking our phone every 5 minutes. Before they know it, it’s midnight. 

The solution is to encourage young athletes to introduce a pre-bed wind-down time; this involves powering down all screens the hour before bed. Including smartphones.

Especially smartphones actually, as they’re the most distracting and can get most in the way of a better sleep. So keep phones out of the room, give them a red card and confine them to the ‘sin bin’ (i.e. the living room), not to be released until morning. If there’s any resistance to this it might be time to sit the athlete down and give them a talk about the sacrifice it takes to be successful.

  1. Encourage regularity

Bedtimes are not just for kids. Bedtimes are for everyone, especially to make sure young athletes get sleep . The human body adores routine. Regularity of action allows the brain to build associations and take shortcuts. If a young athlete goes to bed and rises at the approximately the same time each day, the brain will quickly learn to anticipate sleep approaching and become prepared for it.

A regular bedtime will also allow athletes to adopt healthier routines across the day, whether they relate to training times or eating schedules. Athletic performance is all about managing energy levels and regularity is essential for this.

  1. Get them to cool off before bed

One of the best ways to encourage healthy sleep is to cool down before bed. Studies have found that to initiate sleep the brain actually has to drop 2-3 degrees in temperature. This tends to happen naturally as we get drowsier but there are ways to accelerate the process.

Keeping their room cool is an obvious place to start. 

An ice cold shower also works very well.  When you step out of the shower after 1 minute of cold water, a massive thermal dump occurs, dropping the body temperature rapidly and making you sleepy, fast. After you shake off the cold! 

  1. Provide a calm environment

Stress is the enemy of sleep. Worrying too much about the big game or race in the morning will lead to broken sleep and poor performance. Ironically the act of worrying too much, actually makes the thing they are worried about more likely to occur.

That’s why mental toughness preparation is so important. Parents, coaches, friends and teammates have a big role to play here. If the role models in a young athletes life are calm, level-headed and don’t take things too seriously, then this tranquility will be instilled in the athlete themselves. With a relaxed support base around them, a young athlete is less likely to become stressed. As a result, they will sleep better and be more likely to perform.

 Here’s the importance that young athletes get sleep AND five ways to encourage it. Remember sporting success often comes down to fractions, the difference between a winners medal and finishing second can often be something as simple as a good night’s sleep.

About The Author

sleep advisorHi all, I’m Sarah. I absolutely love sleep. If I don’t get my doctor-recommended eight hours a night I’m a wreck the following day. I adore sleep so much that I’ve made it my job. When I’m not tucked up in bed I am reading the latest research and writing for the Sleep Advisor. My colleagues and I firmly believe that the world would be a happy, healthier place, if we all got a little bit more shuteye!


athletes get sleep

Why I Am Doing an Ironman

Why I Am Doing An Ironman

“Your why has to make you cry, if it doesn’t, it’s not your why.” 

I was an utter screw-up in high-school. 

I got arrested and kicked-off the soccer team the night before my senior season began.

I was suspended from school for five days the day my senior baseball season began. I was called to the principals office and was actually in my uniform heading up to the field and informed of the punishment. 

Going into college, it got worse.

I fell off an 80-foot cliff during the first few weeks of starting college.

Nearing the end of my freshman year of college, I was involved in a head-on drunk driving accident. Thank goodness I was the only one that was injured!

Yeah. I know. 

All of the opportunities that I had worked for years prior, vanished. 

Could you imagine being my parents during all of that? 

Pain, regret, shame, anger, disappointment were emotions that became a consistent cloud over my soul wherever I went. 

Then, I was accepted into graduate school at Temple University and received an internship. I thought that they must have had the wrong guy.

The book I read before grad school began was- It’s Not About The Bike, by Lance Armstrong. I get the hate he brought on himself, but I digress.

There was a powerful quote in that book that read “If you ever get a second chance at life, you have to go all the way!” 

It became a mantra and I knew that although I wasted my talent in the past, I was still blessed with an opportunity.  I knew what I wanted to do and become, I wasn’t going to blow it. 

All the lessons that I learned in sports still applied-dedication, focus, commitment, and keep moving forward. 

My mess would become my message! 

I read everything! I ran marathons! I immersed myself into my field of sport psychology and mental toughness. 

I was still haunted though.

Yes, I was thankful and re-dedicated, but I was driven by my failures and fear of making sure I didn’t mess up again!

That motivation was driven by a hate for self that gets channeled in positive outlets, but a residue of anger and a belief of not being good enough remained.

Making your test your testimony is painful. It means being able to see how your own experience can benefit others. It means first being vulnerable, and who likes that?

So, the only way I’ve been able to navigate life without that cloud is to try and be of use to others. That’s why I’m doing an Ironman. 

I ran an Ultra in May and dedicated it to Izzy. #runforizzy. 

My next adventure is a full Ironman Triathlon.

Ironman Maryland. September 29th…

2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 run…

Here’s my why…

Josh Fugate. 


Josh just graduated high-school in May and in June he merely went down a slide head first. He fractured his c-5 vertebrae and was paralyzed from the chest down….
josh fugate

Boom, Hinge moment.

He’s a great kid! That should have been me.

So, what can I do? how can I help?

That’s why I am doing the Ironman Maryland.

If you feel moved to support Josh’s recovery, then by all means. If there is someone else you can help in life, then do that instead.


Be The Hinge for others…

#JoshsJourney #YouveGotThis