Confessions from a Personal Trainer: I HATE this hill

Confession: I HATE, yes HATE this hill.


  • This hill makes me feel like I have never ran a moment in my life.
  • This hill makes me want to puke.
  • This hill makes me want to give up all things fitness.
  • This hill makes me feel like the worst most unfit human.
  • This hill takes every breath out of my lungs and every ounce of power out of my legs.
  • This hill forces me to dig deeper mentally than just about any other physical work out I do.


No matter how hard it is, I make it to the top EVERY SINGLE TIME. And the view from the top at sunrise is spectacular.


The craziest part about this hill is that running repeats up this hill of death and the sprints across the open field that happen after running up this hill made the biggest difference in my performance at World’s Toughest Mudder last fall.

My legs had the strength, they had the endurance, and they had some spring. But my mind was so strong that when my legs were burning at 3am, 5am, and 1pm, my mind could take over and push me through.

Your mind is truly the one thing you have control over. I can’t control the steepness of that hill but I can control what I say to myself and I usually say “right, left, right, left, right, left” all the way up the hill. Or “pump your arms, pump your arms, pump your arms.”

The days when this hill seems insurmountable are the days when I say to myself “this is so hard, you are so out of shape, you’ll never make it up this hill, why are you here? you should never have signed up for world’s, you’re not fit enough, you can’t do this, you are a horrible person”


Why do we talk to ourselves like that? This weekend I went back to the hill after a 6 month winter hiatus. I knew the repeats weren’t going to be pretty but instead of beating myself up about it, I was encouraging with thoughts like “you’re back at it, you will improve, it’s only the first day, you’re so awesome for being out here” and more. And I felt like I kicked that hill’s butt….even though we all know who really won. 🙂

That hill is a lot like life. We look up from the bottom and we wonder how we’re ever going to conquer it.

  • A job we don’t like
  • A disease diagnosis
  • A dire financial situation
  • Depression
  • Death
  • Losing friends
  • Gaining weight
  • Losing control of our health

So. Much. More

We always have control of our mind and how we talk to ourselves. Never forget that.




  • Don’t forget to check out all the happenings, work outs, book clubs and more events on my Participate page
  • Would you like to get the blogs and a subscriber only Friday Fun email sent straight to your inbox? Sign up for my FREE emails. Just click here. If you are not local to the Minneapolis area, sign up for THIS EMAIL newsletter which is all the same blog content but none of the local event announcements.


Leave a Comment