Punching and kicking wasn’t all I learnt from Wimp 2 Warrior

Now I am not a violent person. I have gotten in my fair share of scuffles throughout my life during my younger sillier days on and off the rugby field, but I never went actively looking for trouble…..until I saw Wimp 2 Warrior (their LinkedIn page can be viewed here).

Billed as the Ultimate Human Experiment, the goal of the program is to take ordinary, everyday people and over the course of 22 weeks, put them through intense physical and MMA training to allow them to enter the cage for the finale, displaying the skills and fitness obtained over the period of the season. Richie Cranny has put together a fantastic idea which is in the process of becoming a global phenomenon and my development and growth was aided largely by Jason Lonergan and the team at Gamebred Academy.

Lesson one: You have to be in to be in

I have learnt over the years that it is easier to criticise/commend from the safety of your own couch. Keyboard warriors across the world often vehemently espouse the belief that they could “do much better than…..” or could “totally do this/that”, but saying and doing are two different things. When I signed up (and was eventually selected) for Wimp 2 Warrior, I knew then and there that there was no hiding. There was no opportunity to step back and comment from afar. There was no opportunity to boast or display bravado without actually getting in there and showing my mettle – walking the walk, rather than just talking the talk.

Lesson two: It’s not how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you get hit and can keep coming back for more

In the fight game, there are no two ways about it – you will get hit. Whether you are Conor Mcgregor, Floyd Mayweather, Vasyl Lomachenko or Jackie Chan – you will get hit. The true test of character basically comes down to how you handle that hit and what you do afterwards – do you back yourself, your strength, resilience, skills and experience and dust yourself off and push back or do you fall to pieces and get taken advantage of. In business, things may go wrong and it is a matter of quickly taking stock of your current situation, what you need to do to remedy (or counter) that situation and then (most importantly) taking action.

Lesson three: Preparation is key

Any task can be attacked with gusto, whether it be a fight situation or a business situation, you can get in amongst it immediately if you want. The more prepared you are though, the easier it is to attack your task. This could be through physical conditioning, mental condition and preparation or even just shadowboxing or standing in front of a mirror rehearsing your steps, your movements or your speech. The more prepared you are for your relevant situation, the better the outcome should be.

Lesson four: Stick to your strengths and the styles you are comfortable with

In my recent Wimp 2 Warrior finale, I knew from the outset that I was giving away close to 14kgs in weight and that my style was going to be focussed on keeping it standing and using my strength (which in this case was kicks, specifically headkicks – I know right, I am a heavyweight and I throw headkicks, who would have thought it) – I could have aimed to wrestle and focus on BJJ, but they are not my strengths and are not styles that I am entirely comfortable with. In the business world, you could probably describe my style and slightly cocky and casual with a smidgen of humour – this is where I am comfortable, this is where I like to hang out in my dealings, so you will tend to see that my presentations, my speeches, my prose and my interviewing reflect this. Some have said that I should stick completely to structure, but I find this stifles me and all of my preparation goes out the window and I get hit hard. Better to find your strengths and your styles and stick to them, while developing your weaknesses and areas that you aren’t so comfortable in.

Lesson five: What comfort zone

One of the biggest lesson’s I have learnt from Wimp 2 Warrior has been that stepping outside my comfort zone isn’t always a bad thing. I mentioned above that I try to stick with what I am comfortable with, the only time I suggest otherwise is in moments of development or growth…..and grow I have. Through Wimp 2 Warrior I have lost close to 20kgs, I have increased my fitness to the point where my rowing speed while just cruising is my flat out rowing speed prior to W2W, I can run a lot further than before I need a break, I sleep easily and more consistently, my moods have improved dramatically (including around my depression and anxiety).

The same would be said of business, there will be times that you have the opportunity to step outside your comfort zone, to do something that previously you would not have wanted to do – stand up in front of your peers and leaders to present the weekly update, facilitate a coaching session with your peers in an area that you are passionate about, present to students the benefits of working for your organisation, delivering bad news to a candidate/customer/peer while providing constructive feedback or advice – these are all examples of potential comfort zone busters (you don’t have to step into a cage and get punched or kicked).

Lesson six: Mental resilience is a thing

A lot of people discount the ability to tough it out. Whether it be pushing yourself to run that extra km, or do those extra 20 pushups, or to deal with those extra 20 tasks on top of your current workload or to even deal with the pressure from a Corporate Board. The ability to push through these moments not only shows your resilience, but also allows you to further grow and develop. My depression and anxiety no longer define me, I admittedly have moments where I want to cry (especially if I have pushed myself), but it is now my ability to just roll with it and move on that now defines me.

Although it is good to be able to push through, mental resilience can also be shown in how you reach out for help. Whether you are struggling in training and you approach your coach to discuss how best to address issues. Whether you are struggling with workload and you approach your manager to discuss potential load sharing, splitting of portfolios or assistance from colleagues or system changes. Whether you are struggling with pressure from a Corporate Board and you reach out to a mentor for advice on your situation. How you deal with it will display how you have developed in terms of mental resilience.

Lesson seven: Sharing the journey

I find that too many people undergo and amazing journey in their life and keep it to themselves. Sometimes, sharing the journey can open others up to realise that they could be interested in undergoing the same thing you have. Sometimes, sharing your journey can result in someone asking you for advice or mentorship that will allow them to develop and grow (and yourself in the same breath). Sometimes, sharing the journey can allow you to see the true value of what you have achieved (even if you missed out on that promotion your were vying for, or that win in the cage, or that goal in the grand final – reflection will allow you to see what you have learnt).

If you are interested in knowing more about Wimp 2 Warrior and how it has helped me in my personal life, my business life, relationships and health, please message me for more details.

If you are interested in registering for Wimp 2 Warrior in a gym near you, please visit www.wimp2warrior.com for more information.

If you, or anyone you know is suffering from depression and/or anxiety, please visit or feel free to direct them to www.beyondblue.com.au.


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