I’ve been waking up to the roar of 100,000 on my phone every morning.

The crowds buzzing, chanting, clapping, and finally when one of my favorite bands comes out on stage…they go nuts. Every morning, I get goosebumps listening to this. I close my eyes again listening to it, but not to fall asleep…because I am so awake.

Even at 4:30 in the morning, as soon as I hear that sound…my mind brightens, awakes, starts imagining the possibilities. 

I jump out of bed in my unheated apartment, walk to my computer, throw some more music on that gets me going, brush my teeth, put clothes on, mix up my pre-workout and I am out the door and driving to the gym by 4:50. iPod gets plugged in. Motivational speeches come on.

I hear men and women passionately preaching about their dreams, hard work, goals, fighting for what you believe in…the messages continue on and on.

Park the car at the gym, put my headphones in, put my stuff in the locker, and straight onto the stair master. More messages. More speeches. More songs. Down pours the sweat. 

I get lost in myself in the beginning of the day. Everything but what I am doing disappears.

Problems go away.
Anxieties disappear.
Stress is released through the weights.

I get lost for hours. Rep after rep. Set after set. I close my eyes and feel that connection between the bar and the muscle I am working on. I can make it fire the way I want it to. I’m not just “doing it” to do it.

There’s intent behind every action. Every rep. Every set. 

I’ve been on something different lately. 

It’s not a drug. It’s not a type of drink. It’s not a special diet pill or substance. It’s not a secret sauce or food. It’s actually, exactly the opposite. It’s purity in its finest form.

Fresh water.
Fresh food.
Fresh thoughts.

And then there’s resistance of the heaviest kind…and in combination with these two things, purity and resistance…my body, mind, and heart have changed drastically.

My vision is coming into reality…and life is changing right before my eyes. 

This is new. So incredibly new. So new, in fact, it’s very hard to describe the sensation of it even happening. 

There’s this part in every journey when you travel far alone. You leave the shore, full of familiar faces, places, and comforts…and it’s only after 5-7 weeks of traveling do you fully leave behind what was on the shore.

You can still imagine what it was like in your head. You can see the things of the past just as if it was yesterday. And then you continue to travel because it is far too late to turn back on a 12 week voyage.

You enter this period of time where it’s lonely. You begin to have doubts if you are going to make it. No matter how many times you have made the voyage there is still that little period of uncomfortable time that causes a little bit of anxiety.

Am I ready?

Am I making as much progress as I need to be making?

What if I fail?

What if the end isn’t like I had imagined it to be?

These questions can flood your boat. They can drown you if you give them too much time to sit around on the deck.

Or you can bucket them right out of your vessel just as fast as they came in.

Those negative thoughts will always be there, but it’s your job as the captain to continue forward with a belief that will send these thoughts back down into the depths. 

So you continue on this journey, and you hit week 8, week 9 and all of the sudden, your excitement begins to brew.

That overwhelms everything. You start to see signs of the end of the journey, milestones as they may be, and your joy…even though this is the most challenging and hardest part of the entire journey, outweighs everything else there is. 

You will struggle to fight the dragon in front of the cave.

That dragon…in this case, is all your fears, doubts, anxieties and worries lined up ready to take you out right before the finish line.

You have to understand that all of these things will make their last stand – but you don’t have to fight them. 

All you have to do is endure. 

Endure it for that last week.

Endure it long enough and they will fall away from you…and when you land on the shore, you will be a changed person.

You will win.

You will finally win. 

And that is the greatest feeling in the world. 

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project