Workout of the Day

That Next Tree


When I was training for my first trail ultramarathon, I stumbled on a little way to trick myself into continuing to run when my body and mind were ready to call it quits. I would pick a landmark that was within sight -- usually a tree or a bend in the trail -- and tell myself that all I had to do was make it to that spot. Of course, as tired as I felt and as much as I wanted to stop and walk, I was always physically (and mentally) able to make it to that next tree. Then, once I made it to that tree, I picked a new landmark and told myself “okay, that wasn’t so bad, now just make it to that next tree up there.” The trick is stupid simple, but it works.

I’ve since applied this little trick to much more than running. Writing, reading, planning, phone calls, emails, training -- you name it. Pick something manageable, a literal or metaphorical step forward, and cover that distance. Then, reassess. Chances are, you’ll find that the distance to “that next tree” wasn’t so bad, and you’ve got a little left in the tank. Wash, rinse, repeat.

The fear-bound and comfort-seeking mind will play tricks on you. It’s only fair that you have a few tricks up your sleeve that you can use to play back. Use this simple exercise in reframing to get yourself unstuck and moving forward.

- PS


  • With a continuously running 20 minute clock, for quality and reps:

    • 30’ handstand walk

    • 30 pistol squats (15/leg)

    • 3 rope climbs

    • Max time L-sit hold

    • -repeat-