GPF: Unbroken Mindset

It’s time for “Guest Post Friday”! On Fridays,I feature thoughts from individuals who have strong input about the mental side of fitness, training and life. All of the other posts on this site are written by me, so I like to highlight other viewpoints and suggestions to keep it varied. I select witty and honest posts, that give you practical tips and advice.

This was originally found on WorkPlay CrossFit’s website HERE.

Enjoy the post by Glen Schleehauf


Unbroken Mindset

“Over the weekend I got a chance to do some serious reading, plowing through Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand.  It was on my shelf for a while and as soon as I picked it up I couldn’t put it down.  It is the story of a World War II Solider, Lous Zamperini and his epic survival story.  It is most simply, the most amazing story of Who are you and How are you going to handle it that I’ve ever read.

In just the beginning of hardships that the the book’s hero faces,  the man’s plane crashes, he nearly drowns, saves his friend, swims down a liferaft in a strong current, and hauls two others onto it with him.   Now he’s stranded on a life boat in the middle enemy territory in the Pacific for 40+ days with two other soldiers, no food, no water and sharks literally circling the water around them.    One solider is in shambles mentally, convinced their all going to die and things are hopeless, while the others think much differently.

What is remarkable is that the two men who shared Mac’s plight didn’t share his hopelessness.   Though Phil was constantly worried about how long this might go on, it had not yet occurred to him that he might die. The same was true for Louie. Though they both knew that they were in an extremely serious situation, both had the ability to focus on how to survive and kept reassuring themselves that things would work out”

The author explores the mindsets of the three  men, while admitting she doesn’t have the answer:

 It remains a mystery why these three men, veterans of the same training and the same crash, differed so radically in their perception of their plight.”

The Men with that mindset of I’ll handle it even go beyond survival mode to find things they love about life on the raft, to find joy and wonder and many benefits.  Here’s just one example:

Louie found that the raft offered an unlikely intellectual refuge.  He had never recognized how noisy the civilized world was. Here, drifting in almost total silence, with no scents other than the singed odor of the raft, no flavors on his tounge,nothing moving but the slow procession of shark fins, every vista empty save water an sky, his time unvaried and unbroken, his mind was freed of an encumbrance that civilization had imposed on it. In his head, he could roam anywhere, and he found that his mind was quick and clear, his imagination unfettered and supple

This guy is literally starving to death on a raft for forty days and he is finding pleasure in it!  That is truly remarkable.  And that is the lesson to carry even if you never pick up this book: with the right mindset you can handle anything, and you can find a benefit or positive side to any situation. Any situation.”




About The Author: Glen is the owner of WorkPlay CrossFit and is an experienced coach with almost every certification you can imagine. He’s been involved with CrossFit since 2010 and he runs the facility in Abington, MA and you can connect with them on Facebook 


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