The Navy SEALs have a saying: Be comfortable with being uncomfortable. They understand that inherent in their job is the expectation that they will be very uncomfortable at times (physically, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, etc.). It is in these times that they must learn to be comfortable with whatever external or internal factors are making them uncomfortable so that they can focus on getting the job done, instead of focusing on their comfort level.
As hunters, while we may not have to deal with the kind of discomfort that a Navy SEAL has to deal with, we do have do deal with being uncomfortable on a pretty regular basis. Whether it is bad weather, a cold morning, sweltering heat, physical exhaustion, hunger, or discouragement, a hunter has to be able to find peace so that he or she can focus on the task at hand: filling that tag.
Here are a few ways to practice being comfortable with being uncomfortable:
1. Simulate discomfort while training
You should already be training hard, but sometimes you may need that extra push. Next time you are training, do interval training for 15-20 minutes before you do anything else. This will shock your body by forcing it into a pre-exhausted state. Your workout will be more difficult than normal because your body will have already depleted the energy sources that it is used to tapping into. This will force you into a mind-over-matter scenario. When you finish your workout, you will have overcome the discomfort and finished the job.
2. Reward yourself
Set goals and reward yourself for accomplishing those goals. Rewards cause us to see past the work and see the reward at the end. Hunters are reward-driven people by nature so rewards have their place in the hunter’s training regimen. The animal in the dirt is the reward you work for all year; simulate this by giving yourself a reward after reaching your fitness and training goals (buy something you have been saving for, go out for dinner, get your favorite drink at a coffee shop, etc.). Just make sure the rewards don’t come too often or they will lose their effect.
3. Spend time outdoors in poor conditions
Safety is key here, so whatever you do, be safe. Go on a hike, scouting trip, or camping trip when the weather is not ideal (cooler temps, rain in the forecast, etc.). Being outdoors when the weather turns south will help you to be accustomed to being uncomfortable. However, I repeat: be safe!
These are just a few examples of ways to get used to being uncomfortable. The more accustomed you are to being uncomfortable, the more capable of focusing you will be when things go south. Don’t let lack of preparation be there reason you missed out this year. Prepare your body and your mind for the worst so that you are ready for whatever may come.