Icy Toughness

A story of overcoming self-doubt

By Wayne “Scrapper” Fisher

I stood on the shore and knew there was no way I was going to get in chest deep like Doug was doing…there was just no way. Getting in that water slowly was just too much so I decided to take a “SCRAPPER ROUTE” instead and waded out a short way between the rocks and planned my immersion. I then walked back up the beach and positioned the Bruiser for the next phase of this insanity.

I stood at the Bruiser, took several deep breaths and, demons be damned, sprinted as fast as I could through my chosen path. When the water reached my mid-thighs I simply launched myself towards the sun while I secretly hoped that I would levitate and that Doug and Brandon would be sufficiently impressed with that neat little trick and I could avoid any further contact with the water. Sadly, for me, there was no levitation and when the water envelope closed around my body it stung so bad that all I could think of was getting myself back OUT of the water as quickly as possible. I sprinted back up to the Bruiser, grabbed it with both hands, swung it between my legs and then THREW it over my head and as far behind me as I possibly could.

Before it hit the ground, I had turned and started running to where it would land. Once there, I grabbed it and threw it again for a total of 4 throws. This was followed by another sprint out into the Bay of Icy Death, and another set of Bruiser Throws.

After a few more rounds of immersion and throwing I had had enough and figured that it was time for Brandon and Doug to play along with me.Brandon seemed to balk at my initial mention of this but I had already switched into full SCRAPPER mode and told him that he could either dunk himself or I would run out there and tackle him (he had slowly waded out to waist-high by this point). I think it was the way I laughed sadistically when I said it or something and while I’m sure he can snap my spine like a dried branch, he also knew that he would be getting tackled into that freezing cold water. At least I’d have THAT satisfaction! I took a step or two towards him before he said “Fine! Fine!” and threw himself face-first into the Harbor of Shrunken Cajones.

After a few rounds, we decided it was Doug’s turn and he tried his hand at sprinting and throwing the Bruiser.

The “Throwing of the Bruiser” competition immediately commenced at that point. The three of us took turns throwing the Bruiser over our heads to see who could heave it the greatest distance. To my surprise, I threw it the furthest. Of course, I started talking as if I had known all along I could throw it further and started asking Doug if he thought it was because of my stunning good looks or any other ridiculous reason I could come up with to get him irritated enough to grab the Bruiser and try, one more time, to throw it further than I had. With each throw I’d askBrandon to double check and make sure that I really HAD thrown it further and once when Dozer barked, I told Doug that his own dog had announced me Champion.

I don’t think Doug ever really got mad at all my trash talking but he did give me a few icy stares that made me check and make sure I had a clear sprint path up the trail back to the car if I needed to avoid a beating!

By now you’re probably wondering how this applies to my initial question about what constitutes mental toughness. Oftentimes in life we face situations that may cause doubts, fears, and hesitations to arise. Sometimes these negative emotions/feelings are legitimate and serve a definite purpose but there are also plenty of times when those feelings are either given to us by other people or they are never investigated, found to be erroneous, and discarded. This lack of investigation into our own beliefs can turn into a terrible habit that can cripple our growth and prevent us from fully experiencing the wonder of life. Even worse is when we build up defenses (which eventually turn into prisons) around these limiting beliefs and fall into a false sense of security that only spirals downward.

Mental toughness can be attributed to the ability to acknowledge those self-limiting beliefs and proceeding one step past them.  

Now I’m not saying that jumping into freezing cold water or having good friends trash talk you during a competition is some magical wonder of life, but these situations can be threatening enough to manifest our mental demons and pull us out of our comfort zone long enough to see that. While I may not get anything substantial out of immersing myself into this freezing hell, the opportunity to face limiting thoughts and conquer them at least THIS ONE TIME can have an amazing snowball effect that can lead to greater things in the future. While there may be no one waiting to hand me a trophy or belt as I conquered these demons, the feeling that I took one step past a limiting self-doubt is something that can never be given or, more importantly, taken away by anyone.

TAKU’s NOTE: Thanks to Scrapper for this weeks article.


2 Responses

  1. really interesting blog. You need a lot of self confidence to start working out as it takes time and effort, but in the end its all worth it! Thank you for sharing.

    • Thanks for your interest. As the quote goes: You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.


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