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.


Almost Raw Fish

I love to eat sushi. I could probably eat it every day and never get sick of it. But it wasn’t always that way. Years ago a friend and mentor tried to turn me on to sushi. Well. I’ll tell you I was not having it. Raw fish!? No F~!@# way!

A year or so later I got a job at a Creole restaurant. The head Chef decided I should be an oyster shucker. He taught me the technique and I started opening clams and oysters as my full time job. At peak time I probably opened at least 300 raw shell fish a night. Well, after a few months of this…I got curious and decided to try some of these slimy, gooey looking things. What can I say; it was love at first bite. Once I tried raw oysters, sushi didn’t seem like a bad idea so I dove right in. I have never looked back.

For a lot of you I am probably preaching to the choir, but I know there are still some who feel the idea of raw fish is just too hard to swallow (pun intended). I am going to share with you one of my favorite foods of all time. I call it Almost Raw Fish. However, most of the world calls it Ceviche.

Many of you may find (as I have) that Almost Raw Fish actually tastes better than the cooked version. Check out my simple recipe below.

1. Lemons or Limes: 5-6 (I prefer limes or a mix of both)
2. Garlic: 3-5 Large cloves (More is better with me and garlic so I use 8 cloves)
3. Onion: 1-2 Large (I prefer Red)
4. Pinch Sea Salt (optional)
5. Avocado: 1-2 Large (not too ripe)
6. Tomato: 1 large
7. White Fish Fillets: 4-6 large Fillets
8. Optional: Sweet and or hot peppers (I like it hot!)

Crush up the Garlic, chop the Onion and set aside.

Cut the fish up into small strips or cubes (about 1 inch each). Throw them into a mixing bowl. Squeeze the lemons, limes or both into the bowl. You may need more or less depending on how much fish you use. Basically you want enough so the fish is fully covered.

Mix in the garlic, chopped onion and sea salt.

Add peppers if you got em.

Now place the mixture into your fridge overnight or for at least 4 hrs. When you come back to it the fish will have turned white. This is because the enzymes in the citrus juice have ‘cooked’ it for you.

Now, chop the tomato and avocado into very small pieces and mix with the fish.

Serve chilled and enjoy.

There are literally hundreds of different Ceviche recipes around, and after you experiment with this one, I encourage you to get creative and make up some of your own. Almost Raw Fish not only tastes great but it provides a simple and delicious way to pack your Personal Eating Plan with high quality protein.

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to make yourself some Almost Raw Fish this week. Follow my recipe for starters (it can also be done with shrimp by the way).
Another option is to check around and see if there are any South American restaurants in your area that feature Almost Raw Fish (Ceviche). Either way, once you have tried this stuff, I think you may find that you quickly become a convert.



P.S. After you go home and make yourself some Almost Raw Fish, post a comment and be sure to let me know what you think.