Sound of Madness

I was nearing the end of a series of sprints on the treadmill- red-faced, exhausted, sore. I was feeling weak when the crude song playing in my ears reminded me that the darkest hour never comes in the night. The darkest hour never comes in the night. I was reminded of the reason I chose to step foot on that treadmill. I was reminded of the reason I decided to make myself harder to kill.

The concept of “hard to kill” wasn’t a new one to me. I’d read some articles in the past about what it means to train to be hard to kill. (See: The basic premise is that you don’t need fancy equipment or special supplements. You train to become faster and stronger, and maybe even more importantly, you train your brain to tell your body to keep going, even as if your life depends on it. You can use a gym and equipment but the idea is that you really don’t need any of the extras to make it work. Belts, gloves, pre-workouts, chalk, the best shoes, expensive clothes, etc. aren’t necessary to become a force to be reckoned with, and that’s exactly what I needed in life.

My life was turned upside down just a few short months ago. My laser sights had been set in on starting Full Circle Hops. We pushed so hard to make it happen, and everything else was placed on the back burner. On November 13th, I grasped a letter in my hands that literally brought me to my knees. I collapsed alone in the place I had made my home, staring at the words “notice to vacate.” We just needed more time, but it wasn’t in the stars for us. In that moment, I felt a brokenness that is indescribable. My mind was scrambled, unsure of where to even lay the letter down. It took time to come to terms with what was happening. I’m still coming to terms and its been months. I didn’t know much of anything at that time. What I did know was that I had 30 days to find a new home, and that this wasn’t gonna be the end of me.

I mentioned that most things took to the back burner when we moved to the farm, including my own health. I had gained a lot of weight, and our wedding date was sneaking right up. I knew I had to lose weight before the wedding, but I also knew I’d said that a hundred times before. I needed a better reason.

The extended lyric from the song I noted above says, “I created the sound of madness, wrote the book on pain, somehow I’m still here to explain. The darkest hour never comes in the night.” Its true. Your darkest hour never comes in the night. It creeps up on you in broad daylight. So what are you gonna do to be prepared for when that hour creeps in? The answer lies in making yourself harder to kill.

Making yourself harder to kill is all about going there- diving into the depths of your very being and finding what makes you weak, and defeating it. With each defeat, you become harder to kill. I’ve faced many hardships in the past, most of which seem menial now, and with each, I may have been working towards becoming stronger, but not without sacrifice. In the past, I often found mental illness creeping in, stealing my joy, and making a bad situation feel worse. Obsessive/Compulsive behaviors, crippling anxiety, self-harm and disordered eating have all rocked my world. Each one of those demons buried deep inside me. Becoming harder to kill means going there, into those depths, defeating those demons, and proving to yourself that your strength is limitless.

I realized I wanted to go there. In my most vulnerable state, I realized it was time to dig down. I found my reason for creating a better me. I realized how important it was to make myself hard to kill. Only when you force your mind to push your body to a new limit, even if its just one more stair, do you realize your true strength.

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