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  • Writer's pictureMatt DeLong

Hard Physical Challenges = Mental Toughness (needed for trading)

Is there a connection between hard physical challenges and mental toughness? I would argue: ABSOLUTELY!!. When we do one-on-one coaching with traders, the biggest issue that bubbles up is a lack of discipline, that lack of discipline leads to not following a trading plan, which leads to losing money, which leads to a vicious cycle, that often ends with a blown up trading account and high levels of anxiety & stress. It doesn't have to be that way!

Enter the 4x4x48 Challenge

Today was the second time I've completed the David Goggins 4x4x48 challenge in 2020, so I knew a little more than the average person about what to expect, so here are some thoughts I will pass along if you are interested in challenging yourself and testing your level of discipline. If you don't yet see the connection to successful trading, stay with me... read on...

  1. Get a solid pair of running shoes, ideally 2 pairs, as well as CBD oil rub for sore muscles, and finally, the Runkeeper app (free iphone/android) to track your data.

  2. This may come as a surprise, but I HATE running. A guy that runs 48 miles in a single weekend, but doesn’t like to run, huh...YEP it’s true. I'm 45 years old and would much rather bike 100 miles than run 48 miles.

  3. The actual challenge itself says if you can’t run, then walk, If you can’t walk, then ride your bike, so if you have ankles/knees/hips that don't allow you to run, then walk, if not walk, then ride your bike, don't allow "I can't run" to be a reason to not complete a challenge like this.

  4. You are capable of achieving more than you realize. If your first thought is “I can never do that” then you are probably right, if your first thought is “how can I do this”, I like your odds. ANYONE can do this. My main motivation for doing this, was to get my head back in the game, after breaking my collarbone back in mid-September and not doing any heavy exercising for 6-7 weeks, yeah, I gained about 8 pounds.

  5. You will absolutely need to think through this before you attempt to do it, I have some tips and tricks that I’ve learned doing this a second time now that I leave for you below, but warning, this is not for the faint of heart.

Tips & Tricks

  1. You will want to QUIT before you finish. If there is a chance that you feel you may quit before you start, pre-record a video for yourself and state the reasons why you want to do this and coach yourself on why you think you should continue and push through. Sometimes you need expert counsel. "You don't want to come this far, just to come this far." Quitting two-thirds of the way through it means you will have to start over -- from zero, push through.

  2. You HAVE to have a strategy for hydration, apparel/shoe rotation, chafing, blisters, showering & nutrition. After finishing your first set of 4 miles, your shoes will probably be sweaty from the previous run and you will be lacing up for the 2nd round while those shoes are still damp. 

  3. Logistically, this is easier to execute over a weekend, and trust me -- it will take your whole weekend! I started at 8pm on Friday and finished Sunday at 4pm, that was 12 sets of 4 miles each, every 4 hours. 8pm, 12 midnight, 4am, 8am, 12 noon, 4pm, 8pm, 12 midnight, 4am, 8am, 12 noon, 4pm. Easy, right?

  4. Assume it takes you an hour to run 4 miles, that means you will only have 3 hours of downtime before the next 4 hour set begins. In between runs, you will want to eat something, hydrate, shower and probably sleep some. It's best to elevate your feet while lying down, it worked well for me.

  5. Blisters & discomfort will come -- don't give them a voice. You will be putting in 48 miles over the course of 48 hours and the easiest way to handle blisters, is to drain them, put medicine on them, stuff cotton balls under and between your toes, tape them up so they stay in place, then put on 2 pairs of socks. Easiest thing to do is mentally focus on what it will feel like when you complete your last mile and you can finally relax and don't focus on the discomfort.

At the end of this, once you complete it, you will be exhausted, maybe even soar and a little dehydrated, definitely got some blisters, but you would’ve had an amazing experience. Blisters may be with you for a few days or weeks, so what? The memory of this experience will last forever. See the trade off?

You will REALIZE that you are capable of more, and maybe, just maybe you were born for more in your life than you are currently tolerating. You were born for more than what you’re putting up with right now. Is that possible? It’s time for you to dust off some of those old dreams you gave up on -- maybe even forgot about and start dreaming again. For now, it's time to lace up those shoes and get after it!

Here is our very own Jerremy Newsome while completing this challenge.

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