One Year After Can’t Hurt Me

It has been a year since I started listening to David Goggins’ Can’t Hurt Me audio book. On my birthday, I decided to integrate at least some of his suggestions into my daily life and endure the necessary pain.

My accomplishments a year ago

So far, and with the Grace of Allah, I’ve accomplished the following things for the duration of a year now:

  • I’ve always stood up in public transportation, even when the whole wagon was empty. My daily commute time is around 40 minutes per direction, five days a week. No matter how light or heavy my bag is, I always stood up.
  • I’ve done five additional prayers each day, as a way to ask Allah to forgive my wasted years between my childhood and early college years.
  • I switched to a keto diet and never got back. Since then I never cheated. No pasta, no fruits, no ice cream in summer, no soda, etc.
  • I’ve worked out at least four days a week, for 15 minutes of HIIT training, except on the days where I was sick or had headaches. I documented on paper every day I worked out, and during each workout all the breaks I did.
  • I’ve be showering with cold tap water on the same days I’ve done physical exercise. No warming of water. It is always funny and very rewarding to be showering with cold water in snowy days.
  • I’ve passed two certification exams: the Wireshark exam – something I have been putting off since 2014-, and the Microsoft Azure Fundamentals exam.

Observations

  • You need to have some sort of support team around you. Your spouse or parents could be the greatest supporters, as well as the dreaded de-motivators. Talk to them. Explain to them why you are doing what you are doing. Make them part of the rewards. And if they still do not agree with them, find a compromise where both of you are OK with the outcome.
    • My wife was pissed off to have to cook keto meals for me so often. She used to cook only one meal for the whole family. I explained to her after trying the keto for a couple of weeks how the keto diet was helping me feeling well, and she could notice it indeed. That’s how I won her agreement to continue on cooking keto for me.
  • On some days I was very pumped. On may other days I had no fucking energy to work out after a long work day. The saying “fake it till you make it” is not true. I’ve never got comfortable doing any of the things above, although it is a year time now. Every time feels like it is the first time! Every day seems like a groundhog day. Every time I sense almost the same level of anxiety, discomfort and boredom. Most of the time I say to myself “man I really do not want to do this!” But I try to push through it each time, because no one would do it instead of me. I push myself through the temporary pain. And boy, afterwards I feel really good!
  • Lately I was losing some of the “motivation” in comparison to my early commitment days. Maybe I was not seeing big changes because I had no concrete measurements of progress. Maybe I need somebody who hasn’t seen me in a while and judge my character. Yes, physically I’ve changed. I could see that on before and after pictures. But what is more important to me is my character. And I’ve been too stuck in my own head to be able to evaluate myself without being hard on myself.

Where do I go from there?

It looks like most of my achievements were physical and health-oriented. However, insh’Allah I’ll continue doing the same routines I’ve been doing since June 24th 2020, in order to maintain the level of discipline.

Goggins says that the physical pain gives direct signal to your brain, and that’s when you will know if you are persistent or not. I agree with him. And I think the discipline I am building by forcing myself to do intense workout will spill one day over other areas of my life.

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