Strangle The Suck Out Of It

by Randy Sullivan
in blog

Championship seasons suck until they’re over and you get to bask in the glory. They suck because they’re demanding, grueling, full of pressure, etc…but a winning player is one who knows how to embrace the suck! Nobody knows that better than an army man. Here’s what I mean:

Last week I got a call from my middle son,  US Army 2Lt Ryan Sullivan.  Ryan is currently stationed at Ft. Benning, GA in training to become a tank commander.  He sounded tired.

“How’s it going?” I asked.

“It sucks. But, I love it.”

He continued.

“Yesterday they gave us a reconnaissance training scenario and we only had 12 hours to create an operations order for a mission. My teammates and I stayed up all night preparing and then totally crushed it in our brief to the training officers. I just got home. It’s 2200 (10:00 pm)  and they’re telling us we have to be up at 0400 (4 am) for a 12 mile ruck march. It’s 35 degrees and sleeting outside. By the morning its supposed to be in the twenties.”

“Dang,” I said. “How do you feel about that?”

“I love it!” He replied.

“Wait Ry. You’re telling me you love walking 12 miles in 20 degree weather carrying a 35 pound ruck sack on your back?”

“Yeah dad. It’s gonna be epic. I hope it gets even colder. I hope it gets below zero!”

“See, everyone agrees that ruck marches suck. No one likes them. But, when they only suck a little, its worse because you kind of wander in your mind between how much it sucks and when you’ll be done. It makes it seem like it lasts forever”

“When its sucks real bad… I mean really, really bad… you get lost in thinking about how bad it sucks. It almost becomes entertaining to hope for the challenge of  it getting even suckier. Mentally, you keep diving deeper and deeper into the suck and before you know it, the ruck is over and you’re done!”


Mental Toughness Is Where It’s At

Wow! How about that?
Bang!!
I can’t tell you how proud that makes me!
Ryan might be the most mentally tough dude I’ve ever met!
He expects and invites the suck of doing something hard — something challenging.  He runs toward the suck. He hopes for it! He thrives on it!

I know one thing.  That’s the guy I want out there on the wall, watching over freedom like a black hawk-eagle so the rest of us can sleep easy at night, wake up, and train to be great baseball players.


Embrace The Suck

How about you?

Are you ready for the suck?
As the season approaches, how’s your mental toughness meter looking?
If you’ve prepared well in the off-season, you can accept that you’ve earned the right to have a great year.  But, you know… I know. Everyone knows there are going to be times during the year when it really sucks.
What are you going to do?
You’ll have two choices… You can tuck your tail and run, or…

You can “dive deeper and deeper into the suck.”

Championship seasons are never pretty… until they’re over.

Winning is hard…

Every season sucks at some point along the way.

Be ready for the suck.

Expect it.

Invite it in.

Embrace it.

And then strangle the suck out of it.


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RandySullivan, MPT, CSCS

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