Making The Impossible Your Bitch

by Alexander Heyne · 8 comments

Last weekend, my girlfriend and I ran tough mudder. 

If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a 12-ish mile adventure race filled with ice baths, electrocution, fire, and other fun stuff.  It’s apparently the “toughest event on the planet”  and although, as a fit 20 something I wouldn’t agree, it is definitely tough.


Six months ago, I wanted to do something relatively unusual and definitely hardcore that would separate my girlfriend and I (as a couple) from most of the other couples out there.

I wanted a quality bonding experience. I wanted something that would push us, but not too much.  I wanted something that we couldn’t get out of once we got in.

“I just found out about this race called Tough Mudder, wanna do it?”

“Sure,” she casually said, without putting much thought into it.  So we went ahead and bought tickets for early May, not thinking much about what we got ourselves into.

A few days before the race the nervousness set in:

“Did you hear that one guy passed out he got electrocuted so many times on one obstacle?”

“Only 75% of the people end up finishing the race.”

“After 4pm the medics come and take anyone still on the field to the hospital.”

We were slowly getting worried and wondering what the hell we got ourselves into.  And that’s when it hit me.

Living remarkably and living an exceptional life is often about committing to huge goals, talking about them, hyping them up, and even if you know you cannot currently achieve them – committing anyway.

I’ve noticed over and over and over and over that one of the biggest problems people have in doing anything is this: starting, and then continuing.

In other words, commitment!

I dunno if it’s something to do with this generation: the attention span of a cockroach, the social skills of a rock, and with a divorce rate peaking 60%.

But we lack commitment and discipline.

First we complain about not having the right resources to start.

Then we complain that we can’t stick with it.

What I’m saying here is simple: if you want to do something that you’ve been forever “waiting for the right time for,” just commit to something:

Book that plane ticket, sign up for that marathon, sign up for that expensive biz class on credit (and find a way to make time for it + pay it off), call out of work today and go skydiving.

Stop relegating everything you want to do to the “dreams I wanna achieve” list.  Commit to something you can’t back out of and build your wings on the way down.

Here are a couple reminders of what you can expect when you’ve committed yourself to something ahead of time – even if you think it’s impossible for you to achieve now.

 8 ass kickers

#1 if you commit to doing something ahead of time, even though you think it’s currently impossible, you will find a way to do it, and you will survive just fine.

I hate running, I suck at it, I’m a lifetime asthmatic, I’m… yadda yadda yadda.  I could’ve made a million excuses.  Yeah the running part of the race sucked, yeah I walked up the hills, yeah I was glad it was over after, yeah I was sore for half a week.

But I found a way to do it. I signed up 3 months before the race, and the next day I sat down and made a running plan to get my cardio in shape.

#2 Support and accountability, especially from people you care about, makes everything possible and so much easier.

It’s unreal. I can’t imagine people without support networks. I ran tough mudder with a girl I’m crazy about and would have no motivation to run it alone.

I recently was talking to a high end biz coach (think – she charges 6 figures a year, per person, type of biz coach) and she mentioned how important mastermind groups are.  She told me that having a solid mastermind group will help you achieve in 1 year what it’ll take you 5-10 years to achieve.

And I believe it, without doubting that for a second.

How long does it take to get a business off the ground when you are going through a divorce, you have cancer, everyone is telling you not to quit your job, and it’s a one man or woman show? Forever.

How long does it take you to get your business off the ground when you’re happy as can be, have friends and family supporting you, and have a close group of mentors and friends to help you think big and brainstorm? Huge difference.

#3 Machismo and overconfidence + reality + experience = humility.

The past 2 years of sucking major eggs in the entrepreneurial space have returned my feet to planet earth.

Side note: It’s funny that the people who have never done what you’re trying to do often exclaim how easy it is.

#4 In life, the decision to push yourself and achieve what you want has to be YOU pushing YOURSELF.

No one else can do your pushups for you

You can say “i’m doing this for my mom, or to not look like a bitch in front of my girlfriend, or to raise money for xxxxx charity.”  But in reality you’re doing it for yourself, because it makes you feel good.

The decision is ultimately for yourself. No matter where you attribute it to, the strength and the success or failure only comes from yourself.

#5 You only get what you give.  

So many of the difficult or uncomfortable obstacles people skipped during the race.

People said “ehh I don’t have time, I wanna finish this” but in reality they were scared, physically weak, or mentally exhausted.  I was laughing because of how transparent their statement of “Uhh I don’t have time for this” was.

Just man up. Nut up or shut up. If you’re a female, grow some metaphorical balls and do what you need to do.

One obstacle entailed slowly crawling through icy water with electrical wires hanging in it every 6 inches.  It was about 30 feet long, so about 20 people were in the water at once – and any time someone got shocked, everyone did.

So many people tell me they “tried” their own business, and when I ask them about what they did, how they marketed it, the amount of time invested, the amount of clients they had, I always get the same sad answers:

“Oh, well I put up a life coaching tab on my site.”

“I read a business book and I got a ton of ideas but I wasn’t sure if they’d work.”

“My friend and I started working on something.”

“I’ve had a blog for the past year but it hasn’t gained much traction.”

The hell? These don’t even count as failures. They don’t deserve the title of failure because there was barely any effort invested.

#6 Everything in life is better with people. EVERYTHING.

As a loner most of my life because of how often I travel and how I view the world, this lesson took me a long time to realize.

It doesn’t matter what you’re doing.  If you’re happy, if you’re depressed, if you’re on an adventure and traveling, if you’re stuck in your daily routine, if you’re trying to change the world, or if you’re just trying to be content:

Close friends and family make it all much better and more worthwhile.

A place is only as good as the people you have.

Moving and living all over the world has made me realize one big thing: even paradise sucks if you don’t have someone to enjoy it with. 

#7 Just commit. Figure the rest out on the way down.

One of my mom’s friends recently told me a story about her son who wanted to get into a tech position at a company he really liked.

The only problem was that he didn’t have any tech expertise.  So he started thinking — what if I just talk my way into the position with zero experience and find a way to make this happen?

After much smooth talking and stretching of the truth, he got a position that required 2-3 years of specific tech experience… with zero experience… and then sat down with a programming manual 3+ hours a night after work to learn what he needed to know.

6 months in he got his first promotion, is working in his dream company, and no one ever found out.  He just committed and faked it until he made it.

So i’ve got a sweet little reminder for you here: if there’s something you’ve been wanting to do, some personal challenge you want to get involved in, just commit with a deadline – and find a way to do it.

One of the easiest ways to get yourself to do something you’re too afraid of is… just commit to something where you’d look like a dumbass if you backed out.

Buy that plane ticket.

Sign up for a tough mudder. 

Start walking towards the pretty girl.

And then build your wings on the way down.

It’s a lot less scary than you think.

So what have you always wanted to you. What’s your excuse for not starting?

P.S. Excuses are bullshit. You should get a refund .


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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Bryan Weller May 23, 2012 at 12:03 am

Congrats on doing the Tough Mudder! They are supposed to do one here in Tennessee next year and I have my eye on it. I’m doing a couple of shorter adventure/obstacle races this year along with a couple of other things. I’m very pumped about the adventures.

I have a question. Is there a penalty for falling on the obstacles that go over the water? Or for skipping obstacles all together? (Which defeats the purpose of doing the race in the first place, Really, people just skip stuff?)


afheyne May 23, 2012 at 10:27 am

Thanks Bryan —

There’s no penalty, since there’s no one really babysitting. Some obstacles have a guy with a speakerphone yelling in your ear to jump or get in the damn water, but it’s mostly up to you.

THe only penalty is just punishment.. falling off the obstacles over the water results in landing in some icy water. And yeah, some people skipped obstacles, usually the ones with lines or painful ones. The crawling through water, electrocution one had some people skipping. And there were 1 or 2 others with long lines that people skipped.


Shanna Mann May 25, 2012 at 9:02 pm

I honestly don’t know that I would *wait in line* to take a punishment. That’s just a tad too masochistic for me. But, as you point out, “I don’t have time for this b.s.” is pretty much the most transparent excuse there is.

Also a great point about stuff that barely counts as failures. I don’t fail as a rule, but if people are counting even pissant stuff like this as a failure, no wonder they look at my track record in awe :D


afheyne May 29, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Hahaha Shanna I hear that. I wanted a serious couple bonding experience though ;)


Benny June 7, 2012 at 9:52 pm

That’s cool you did that! Would have been awesome to hear more about it. Sounds really tough. How long did it take you to finish?


afheyne June 10, 2012 at 3:41 pm

It took about 3.5 hours for us to finish I think. It was about 12 miles and 30 or so obstacles, and plenty of resting / walking up hills in between.


Natasha April 29, 2013 at 2:26 pm

I absolutely love your blog! Its just what a 20 something needs! Thanks!


Alexander Heyne April 29, 2013 at 7:34 pm

Thanks Natasha :)

– Alex


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