“Quitting is not an option. Going home is not an option. You remember there is only one option: Completing your goal.” -Josh Quigley
With the help of Elixinol, Josh set out to live The Impossible Dream and he had, admittedly, never before committed to anything. He commenced this journey originally because he was searching. He was spiritually lost and searching for purpose in his life. And through the evolution of this grand adventure he has discovered that which he has sought. 2019 began for Josh as a quest for answers and as the end of the year draws near, he approaches it now knowing his true calling; to become an ultra endurance athlete. And he is able to fulfil his true calling by adopting The Champion Mindset.
What is the Champion Mindset?
It is the ability to maintain your goal through facing adversity without giving up. While smooth sailing might see your goal in focus, turbulent times might see your focus tested, or even lost completely. What then does a champion do to rejoin their path?
You must resign to the unpleasant emotions that often accompany these tangents, claims Josh, who experienced a recent upset during a Strava* challenge. Josh was new to Strava and was only competing out of curiosity. He wasn’t initially in it to win it. But when he found himself 9th on the scoreboard out of 270,000 global participants he realised not only was he already the athlete he believed himself to be but that, based on his standings, he could very well go on to win the challenge. Josh knew that in order to win he would have to pull out all the stops, including all night cycles and daily mileage that he had previously never achieved. But rather than choosing to commit, he instead decided not to and he came away feeling like he held himself back and even worse, that he had let himself down. He was angry at himself. He was frustrated. He was disappointed. He was depressed.
Josh had the opportunity to prove to himself that he was the best. He describes his Strava loss as the ‘tipping point’ thus far in his athletic career and a loss he will always remember. But why would he choose to? Because without feeling sadness, how can we gauge happiness? Without first experiencing defeat how can we gauge the bliss of victory? Josh let the heaviness of his defeat sink deep, but not weigh him down. Instead of indulging in the sorrow of failure and belittling his abilities, Josh used the negativity to motivate him. The beauty of allowing yourself to sit with your emotions is that you just as well have the power to let them go. And, like a champion, you can turn them into motivational fuel. As devastated as Josh was about missing this opportunity, he is certain that next time he will not hold back.
For this CBD Ambassador there is no 2nd place. Adopting the Champion Mindset, for him, means anything but 1st place is failure. His followers, friends and family have praised his 9th place achievement but the mindset of a champion is inherently very black and white. After contemplating his emotional outlook, it was decided that Josh could either feel bad about the Strava outcome or happy. But feeling happy about a 9th place achievement does as much good as being proud of receiving a participants award and, in Josh’s book, it’s the mindset of a loser, not a champion. Contrary, indeed, to what most might assume, finishing 2nd place would have been worse. Even out of 270,000 people!
Because the goal is to win. To succeed as an ultra endurance athlete. And not winning is….not winning.
Josh believes in order to be a successful athlete on the highest level you must be hard on yourself. And he is certainly first to practice what he preaches. The heart of competition is to inspire greatness. It can be said that achieving greatness does not come without enduring great highs and great lows. And when you hold yourself to such standards you can expect to span the range of emotions. Its not about chasing happiness or sustaining a certain wellbeing or simply feeling good anymore, for Josh. Its about athletically being the best he can be and accepting the rollercoaster ride along the way. And we can all learn from that.
The truth is, the Champion Mindset isn’t just reserved for athletes. The elements contained therein hold the same validity in the ordinary world and can be applied by anyone to any perspective achievement. Josh might be the Champion of the Bike, but by adopting aspects of his Champion Mindset you can be the Champion of Your Life.
* For those of us unfamiliar, Strava is an online community for athletes which tracks their progress via GPS. They offer monthly endurance challenges that members can enrol in and a social media platform that allows members to see and comment on each others achievements.