Ask an Israeli and they will tell you gibushim, and anything challenging in the army, is all in the mind. Run and work out as you want. But what matters, they keep telling me, is mental strength.
Sprinting up a sand-dune is not easy. But it is easier if you have trained on sandy hills. As much as you want it, no matter the level of motivation and focus, your mind is not the determining factor in how well you do at a gibush. Or at least a gibush like Yom Sayerot.
Anyone who knows me well, and I include myself in that elite group, would agree that my desire and focus to succeed tends to outpace my physical capabilities. That is, by nature I am someone who is going to lean more on the mental than physical in gibush like trials.
Perhaps that explains why I undervalue the role of mental strength in a gibush. I am not blind to the need to remain focused, to ready oneself to sprint back up a hill when the spirit is weak and the mind exhausted. To insist you come in first repeatedly.
But I remain convinced that were I in better shape, the two gibushim I have participated in--particularly Yom Sayerot--would have been all the easier, all the more successful. No doubt my perspective will change as I experience the longer and more intensive gibushim that are to come. In the interim, a recent news article on a Slovenian endurance athlete provides fascinating food for thought. Chew over this excerpt and then see here for the full article.
Fatigue, the researchers argue, is less an objective event than a subjective emotion — the brain’s clever, self-interested attempt to scare you into stopping. The way past fatigue, then, is to return the favor: to fool the brain by lying to it, distracting it or even provoking it. That said, mental gamesmanship can never overcome a basic lack of fitness. As Noakes says, the body always holds veto power.
OMG…He’s Got a Gun
1 year ago