REAL RESULTS member and REAL 90 alum Veronica Alvarado came to me with the idea of writing a blog post about Coach Bryan Nelson’s mental strength. I witness this man leading on a daily basis. He is a great friend and mentor. We have crossed the finish lines of 24 hour races side-by-side. I have run up mountains in the middle of the night, following Bryan’s lead to the summit. I have huddled next to him in order to fight off hypothermia on more occasions than I should admit. When Veronica said she wanted to get in his head, I said “Good luck! It’s going to be scary.” This is what Veronica found, in her own words. – Coach Francis Hoare
If you start your day early – and I mean REALLY early – at about 4:45 a.m., you will see this bearded man in the corner with fellow REAL RESULTS members sweating, grunting, training and leading. That man is Coach Bryan Nelson.
Like Batman helping the victims of Gotham, while the sun is still down, Bryan is helping people get fit, healthy and happy. Also like Batman, Bryan is a superhero. His superpower… managing his mind.
Aside from being a father, husband, CEO of two growing gyms and overall badass, Bryan joins the ranks with the Beard Domination team that conquered the 2015 and 2016 World’s Toughest Mudder 24-hour obstacle course race. Bryan trains and races alongside REAL RESULTS Coach Francis Hoare and REAL RESULTS members Keith White and Mike Busby. In both the 24 hour races Bryan was hurt, tired and dealing with the elements, but that didn’t stop him from leading the guys to a shirtless finish that ranked them 4th in the world and the top American team.
The Strength of a Team
He explains his mindset during the 2016 race, “I am a firm believer that our tolerance for pain is only that of which we have experienced. Knowing that we had experienced this misery [in 2015] and survived, helped push us through. With my bearded brothers at my side, no matter how bad I felt, I always knew that the other guys were hurting just as bad or even worse. Knowing they were counting on me just as I was counting on them made it an easy decision to keep moving forward.”
“We all fight our own battles. Most of them go unnoticed by the world. When you’re going through these your past experience is your weapon and those closest to you, that you know you can rely on, are your allies to help get you through. Don’t be afraid to draw upon them.” – Bryan Nelson
The Strength of Staying Positive
Bryan had to change his outfit in a telephone booth and put on his cape on other occasions as well. Three years ago he was leading a training run for the Spartan Beast when one runner had a really bad accident (crash) and called him. Bryan carried her two miles down the mountain. The other runners had no clue what to do, but Bryan kept a clear mind.
Bryan reasons, “This may sound bad, but that was a good day. That day everyone that was there became a little closer as friends. After I got the call, I rounded everyone up and ran the couple of miles back to our teammate. We quickly assessed the situation: in no real danger, nothing broken, but not able to walk.”
Bryan scooped the runner onto his back and began the trek back. He adds, “It was a pretty grueling two miles across open desert, but what I remember isn’t the pain. I remember how we were all laughing and making the best of the situation. I am just glad we were in good enough shape to be able to help. It is one of the reasons I train.
The Strength of Being Proactive
How does Bryan juggle everything? Bryan shares, “Sometimes I ask myself the same question. I live and die by my Google Calendar. I block out everything – workouts, clients, family time, meals. The key to this though is being flexible. Nothing ever goes as planned. If you live your life as planned as I do and are not flexible, it will drive you crazy.”
You may say, “I am not at Bryan’s level” and start searching for the secret sauce, pep talk, juicy tricks and tips to manage your mind, change your habits and surpass your limits…the works. All Bryan has for you is leading by example. He reveals, “I really don’t have a pep talk. I lead by example and suggest making changes to your lifestyle one at a time. It is very easy for people to get overwhelmed. Start a new training program, start a new diet, sleep more, prep food, stop destructive habits… the list goes on and on. If someone tries to take on all these areas at once, they will fail more times than not. Small changes over an extended period of time add up to incredible results.”