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Project Iceman Film Review – A Yes Theory Production

“Limitations are only perceptions.” – Anders Hofman 

Project iceman is a documentary film following Anders Hofman and his journey to complete the first-ever full-length triathlon in Antarctica. 

Following a hair-raising breathwork session with more than 1,600 keen viewers (arguably the largest breathwork session held in a theatre?), the film started, and the emotional rollercoaster began.

One year before project iceman commenced, Anders Hofman plunged into a cold Copenhagen harbour, lasting a mere thirty-five seconds before turning a chilling red and reaching for a towel. Would it be possible to swim 3.9 km in even colder temperatures one year later?

Well, it turns out the swim was arguably the easiest of the three disciplines – that’s when Hofman and his hand-picked team weren’t avoiding killer seals (the black wetsuit looks like injured wildlife, also known as easy prey). Alongside a swim in below-freezing temperatures, Hofman would need to complete a 112-mile bike ride in the snow, followed by a full-length marathon. 

That’s a tough feat on the best of days, never mind in the treacherous and below-freezing temperatures of Antarctica. 

With a window of 36 hours to complete the triathlon and a team of experts by his side, the possibility of completing the event was still somewhat chilling… We sat on the edge of our seats as we watched Hofman’s journey unfold.

I was lucky enough to watch the premiere in London last Sunday, an event hosted by yes theory. This is my review of Project Iceman, a movie that quite quickly turned from Iceman to survival.

Limitations are only perceptions 

The premise of the movie is the belief that limitations are only perceptions. It’s an ideology instilled in Hofman and almost as permanent as bone.

Bored of hearing people say you can’t do things just because you can’t, Hofman decided to begin the impossible, or what he’d go on to call project iceman.

Chills rippled through the theatre as Hofman swam, biked, and ran obscene distances fuelled by ambition and the desire to prove that limitations are only perceptions. And what a ride it was (when he wasn’t falling off the bike).

Support, family, and human connection 

There were some truly beautiful moments and memories shared by Hofman’s sister and brother, strengthening the bond of family and the irreplaceable support that loved ones bring.

In some ways, it represents the two extremes – Hofman’s brother and sister are facing the challenges of adulthood, while Hofman encounters the seemingly impossible, but in some ways, as Hofman described it, they have a much easier route (other people have been and done it before). 

These emotional moments tug on the heartstrings – a clear reminder that we all struggle from time to time, whether you’re unsure of how to navigate your career or you generally feel lost and don’t know what’s next.

We also get to witness the intense financial pressure of the iceman event. Hofman takes out loans with interest to fund the project, securing funding by winning the support of the investors. Still, things are a little rocky. And that’s when Yes Theory and Seek Discomfort come in.

Seek discomfort is all about pushing your boundaries and venturing out of your comfort zone to grow as a person. It just so happens that the Iceman made for the perfect first Seek Discomfort sponsorship. 

We also get to hear the Iron Cowboy’s thoughts on the iceman challenge – it’s an idea he previously toyed with but couldn’t figure out the logistics. It’s honest, raw, and insightful.

Project iceman to project survival

After tackling the swim and warming up the best he could, Hofman begins the bike leg – what would become the most difficult event of them all. In comparison, it makes the thirty-five-second plunge into a harbour back in Copenhagen in 2019 look like a regular Saturday afternoon. 

But on the bike leg of 112 miles on the snow, things quickly went from bad to worse.

The wind picked up, the snow began to fall harder, and Hofman and his team took shelter. In almost an instant, project iceman no longer mattered. For now, at least, it was a matter of survival…

Somewhere in Antarctica, Hofman and his team are trapped under the snow in a tent and out of supplies. One team member begins to shovel snow in an attempt to free themselves from the tent. If he accidentally hits the tent with the shovel, it’s game over. 

While this is going on, the main crew back in the boat are facing their own problems. The captain of the ship changes tone in an instant and tells the cameraman to stop filming. The lines holding the ship stationary begin to snap, and if they don’t act soon, they could be in severe trouble. Mayday is called in, and once again, the film no longer matters – it’s a matter of life and death.

Project iceman is more than a story about a man attempting the impossible – it’s about working together to survive. We need others more than we’d like to admit, not only when faced with death, but something as simple as daily struggles, however that manifests. It’s a movie about overcoming obstacles and breaking the barriers of what most people think is impossible.

To conclude

After the film, Ammar Kandil (yes theory) and Anders Hofman asked the audience to think about their own iceman. I would encourage you reading this to do the same!

It doesn’t have to be as extreme as a full-length triathlon in Antarctica… It could be the desire to start a business, maybe you want to run a marathon, or perhaps chasing a lifelong goal of becoming a writer, an athlete, or pursuing your dream of becoming a singer.

If you get the chance, I’d highly recommend attending one of the premieres. But if that’s not possible, it’s definitely worth a watch once it lands on either YouTube or other streaming platforms.  


Matthew Mace is an avid cyclist, runner, and freelance content writer with a keen interest in psychology and injury. He studied sport and exercise at Durham University and now writes about cycling,  wellness and mental fitness.


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Mental Fitness Training

Mental Fitness Training: A Basic Guide for Beginners

What is mental fitness training, and who is it for? Here’s what you need to know. 

These days, the phrase “mental fitness” is thrown around more than a basketball in the final quarter of an NBA finals game.

Despite this, very few people know what mental fitness actually means. 

Mental fitness is your state of mental well-being – your ability to make good decisions, your awareness, and how you respond to the complexities of life.

When you achieve optimal mental fitness, you may catch yourself humming a song, looking forward to your next workout, and feeling less exhausted and more calm. You’ll also be better prepared to deal with daily challenges, obstacles, and emotional situations.

But how do you achieve this state of optimal mental fitness? It’s all about exercising and taking care of the brain. Just like you schedule a weight session to boost your brain health, you should be doing the same, if not more, for your mental health. 

What is mental fitness training? 

Mental fitness training is all about keeping the brain and your emotional health in good standing.

This training can be approached in numerous ways. However, it all comes back to one key point: improving and maintaining your mental and emotional health.

You can develop new skills and strategies to improve your mental fitness, from practising mindfulness to focusing on awareness. But don’t worry, we’ll cover all of the training details below.

What are the benefits of mental fitness?

Improving your mental fitness and developing mental fitness skills is likely to help you in other areas of your life.

For example, better mental fitness may:

  • Increase presence and focus: reduce distractions, and be more productive and attentive at work and in your relationships.
  • Improve emotional well-being: gain control over your thoughts and don’t let situations out of your control affect you at an emotional level. 
  • Increase resilience: cope better mentally and emotionally following a crisis or when things get tough, whether that’s in life or sport.
  • Allow you to develop new healthy habits: build new habits, whether reading more books, meditating, or being more active.
  • Improve your sleep: reduce stress and anxiety and work towards achieving better quality sleep.

How do I train my mental fitness?

There are numerous ways to train your mental fitness. But there are a lot more moving parts compared to, say, your typical workout session.

You don’t need to perform these in one go, but scheduling the following activities into your lifestyle will improve mental fitness:

  1. Practice mindfulness, meditation, and begin challenging the mind
  2. Regular exercise
  3. Follow a healthy diet
  4. Learn new skills 
  5. Focus on awareness 

Keep reading to discover more about each mental fitness training activity.

Practice mindfulness, meditation, and begin challenging the mind

Tuning into your body and practising mindfulness is one of the best ways to improve mental fitness.

Distracting yourself from the world and being at peace is a rarity.

Meditation and mindfulness practices are becoming more popular. But many people don’t know where to begin.

Alongside relaxing the mind, you need to challenge the mind to develop mental fitness and resilience. These two components are key – making you mentally stronger overall.

With the Rewire Fitness app, we have an entire library full of mindfulness and recovery sessions, from guided stress relief sessions to binaural beats and quick 2-minute sessions to get you back on track and focused on what’s important.

Regular exercise 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends adults get at least 150-minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week.

These guidelines are mainly for physical health, but the mental benefits (reduced stress, anxiety, and improved well-being) are also important.

Examples of exercises may include brisk walking, running, cycling, weight lifting, rowing, or any other moderate-intensity exercise. There are loads to choose from, so you’re sure to find something that suits your lifestyle.

Follow a Healthy Diet

You don’t need to follow the strictest diet in the world, but you should adopt a healthy and sustainable relationship with food.

Eating foods high in refined sugars too often may cause harm to the brain, promoting inflammation and impairing brain function, as mentioned by Health Harvard.

Set your body and mind up for success by eating whole foods, limiting processed food and foods high in sugar and saturated fats, and drink plenty of water.

What you eat affects how you feel – treat your body like a Formula one car and less like a Fiat, and you will see an increase in mental fitness and overall well-being.

Learn new skills that challenge your mind  

We’re not asking you to play the orchestra, but learning new skills improves cognitive functioning and may improve mental fitness.

You could adopt a healthy habit of reading for thirty-minutes daily, you could play chess, solitaire, or perhaps you could even learn a new language. Find something you enjoy that stimulates the brain, and it’ll take care of your mind.

But it doesn’t end there – we also help you increase mental resilience with training exercises to help you build mental fitness, preparing you for those tasks that matter most, whether the last few miles of a marathon or the resilience needed to study for a test.

Focus on Awareness  

Take a deep breath and practice awareness daily.

Be honest with yourself – how do you feel, what’s your current emotional state, and are you ready for the day?

The Rewire Fitness daily readiness assessment is a short 90-second assessment that helps you determine how ready you are to tackle the day. 

We measure your awareness, reaction times, heart rate and sleep (if a compatible device is connected) to determine your daily readiness.

We then provide you with personalised recovery suggestions to help you increase mental fitness, clarity, and productivity. 

Want to find out more about our readiness assessment? Read our blog post on readiness tracking: how and when to use the different aspects of Rewire


FAQs 

How do I train my mental fitness?

You can train your mental fitness with structured training for your mind – think cognitive training, reaction tests, and other neuro-training methods that will test your mental resilience and will help you build mental fitness.

What type of workout is best for mental health? 

There are many ways to train the mind for better mental health. To get started, we recommend practicing mindfulness and awareness – these will pay dividends towards your overall well-being.

Which exercise is best for anxiety? 

Meditation is often considered one of the best exercises for anxiety. The Rewire Fitness app also provides tailored sessions to help you reduce stress and promote a positive mindset. Download the app and give it a try for free!

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4 Ways to Boost Mental Fitness

1. Mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness is a great way to build mental fitness because it means tuning in to our bodies. The real skill we are trying to develop here is the ability to notice when our thoughts distract us in order to build awareness of the world around us.

Integrating a mindfulness session into our daily routine can help as regularly train our mental fitness. Find what works best for you! Whether that be a quiet five minutes of box breathing with Rewire or half an hour of deep meditation.

Regular mindfulness practice can increase our awareness, which in turn allows us to increase our willpower and build our mental fitness.

2. Physical exercise

Similar to how mindfulness can relax our body, working out can relax our mind. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress and reduce tension, like these hip mobility exercises.

Since the mind and the body are interconnected, training the body and focusing on building cognitive resilience can help us improve our mental fitness.

The Rewire App offers different sessions that can help you achieve a wide range of goals. For example, the pre-workout priming sessions are designed to enhance your workout by priming you for optimal performance.

3. Diet and hydration

Eating the right foods and making sure we get enough water is especially important to ensure our minds and bodies receive the nutrients and energy they need to reach optimal physical and mental fitness.

Check out our article on the foods to fight fatigue.

4. Awareness

Training our mental fitness is key to establishing a strong mental health foundation. To achieve optimal health, both physical awareness and mental awareness are important.

Both training and recovery are important for the mind as a high-level holistic approach to mental fitness.

When we are aware of the challenges that face us, body and mind, we can equip ourselves with the right tools to support us. Building mental fitness means we are fit to face these challenges and being aware of our readiness to face them is essential for a successful outcome.

Rewire’s Readiness Assessment is an easy way to add value to your morning routine.

Feeling strong? Rewire will push you beyond what you think you are capable of.

Feeling drained? Rewire will create a personalized Mindset Recovery session for you.

Give these a try to boost your mental fitness:

1. Set your intentions – build on your mindfulness and awareness by creating intention.

You identified that you feel overwhelmed at the beginning of the day? Sit yourself down in a calm environment and write down your to-do list, prioritize, and then complete something small. This will allow you to get the ball rolling and start your day on a positive note.

2. Social interaction – building and maintaining meaningful relationships helps grounds us, secure our values, and build a supportive network.

Meeting new people and exploring different cultures is a valuable way to expand both our social circle and challenge our thoughts and beliefs.

3. Step out of your comfort zone and try something new – what about giving Rewire a try? Improve your mental fitness and build mental resilience with the Rewire App. Start free today!

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The Holistic Connection: Mind/Body Connection

What is the Mind/Body Connection?

The connection between our minds and our bodies is the link between our thoughts, emotions, and attitudes and our physical health. This means that what we think has an impact on what we do.

In 2008, a scientific study proved that the mind/body connection was no longer a theory and countless other studies support this claim. Littrell (2008) found that stress decreases the activity of some white blood cells and Ramirez (2020) stated that the mind can heal the body.

How Can I Achieve a Mind/Body Connection?

Neuroscientists Richard Davidson and Amishi Jha and clinical mindfulness expert Jon Kabat-Zinn all support the scientific evidence that prove how stress and anxiety can affect our physical health. There are many different ways for individuals to explore this mind/body connection such as meditation or yoga.

Rewire’s integrated resilience training system can be used to train both the mind and the body, and works towards strengthening the mind/body connection. Our Neuro-Training protocols are backed by over 10 years of scientific research and have been shown to reduce perceived level of exertion thereby increasing physical performance and mental resilience over time.

What Does ‘Holistic’ Mean?

The holistic approach focuses on the interconnection of the individual aspects. This means that the whole person is considered when tackling a problem.

For example, Rewire uses physiological data including heart rate, sleep and training metrics along with cognitive and emotional measures to provide you with a holistic readiness score that represents the whole you. The Readiness Assessment that calculates the readiness score is holistic because it uses a set of data points including cognitive, physical, and emotional measures to get the complete picture.

Try it For Yourself!

Rewire’s recovery system includes evidence-based protocols to promote mind/body recovery, improve mindset, manage stress and prepare for training and competition.  

  • Guided Breathing
  • Binaural Beats
  • Self-Talk
  • Subliminal Priming
  • Visualization

Interested but not yet ready to subscribe? You can try a Mindset Recovery Session for free, no commitment, and any time over on our YouTube channel. Try this Rewire Guided Breathing Session with box breathing and binaural beats and, when you’re ready, start free today!

Sources

Littrell J. The mind-body connection: not just a theory anymore. Soc Work Health Care. 2008;46(4):17-37. doi: 10.1300/j010v46n04_02. PMID: 18589562.

Daniela Ramirez. (2020). Exploring the Mind-Body Connection Through Research. [online] Available at: https://positivepsychology.com/mind-body-connection/.

www.youtube.com. (n.d.). Is the Mind-Body Connection Scientific? [online] Available at: https://youtu.be/f3G6SAPEMuk [Accessed 8 Apr. 2022].‌‌

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Mental Fitness Q&A

What is mental fitness?

Let’s think about it this way –

If physical fitness is a state of health and well-being, particularly the ability to perform physically, then mental fitness is a state of health and well-being that allows us to perform well mentally (how we think, behave, and feel).

Just like we exercise to train our bodies, it’s important to make sure our minds are in good shape too.

Mental fitness trains our mind to respond to situations better. When we complete challenging tasks or think critically, we engage our minds and therefore improve our mental fitness in such a way that we increase our willpower and expand our mental dexterity (the ability to be flexible in our thoughts).

Why is mental fitness important?

Mental fitness is often overlooked as it is not something we can see, touch, or measure like physical fitness. When we’re mentally fit, we interact differently with the world around us.

When we have a higher state of mental fitness, we are ‘fit’ to complete our daily tasks and enjoy what life has to offer. When we are fit mentally, we are able to understand and respond to social and emotional challenges instead of passively reacting.

Optimal mental fitness can:

  • Decrease stress
  • Increase positive emotions
  • Improve sleep
  • Create a sense of achievement
  • Improve cognitive function
  • Increase confidence

Users of Rewire have reported being 55.6% less stressed since using the app!

What is the difference between mental health and mental fitness?

Mental health is a spectrum of our emotional well-being and therefore everyone who has a mind has mental health.

When we see mental health as a state of being, then mental fitness is how we act and react within that state.

Mental fitness is about growth. Regardless of where you are on the spectrum of mental health, you can improve your state of emotional well-being.

How can I practice mental fitness?

1. Think critically.

Challenge the mind and build resilience through engagement.

One way to do this is with Neuro-Training. The science behind Neuro-Training is a protocol called Brain Endurance Training (BET) which has been proven to improve athletic performance by targeting the part of the brain responsible for managing fatigue and willpower. The Rewire App has three different types of Neuro-Training sessions depending on your readiness to train.

Check out our article on Neuro-Training for more information.

2. Strengthen the mind/body connection.

Since our physical and mental fitness are so closely linked, improving our awareness of the mind/body connection can help us build cognitive resilience and mental willpower.

Rewire’s Readiness Assessment measures your readiness to perform, including cognitive, emotional, and physical elements. The assessment is used to assess your areas of need and provide a personalized recovery program to ensure a holistic approach to physical and mental fitness.

3. Practice mindfulness.

Being able to notice when our thoughts distract us is a powerful tool in building mental fitness.

Ways to improve mental fitness in your everyday life:

  • Focus on one task at a time
  • Increase positive self-talk
  • Try something new
  • Make Rewire part of your routine

Are you ready to try something new? Why not Rewire?

With the Rewire App, you can train both your body and your mind. The integrated resilience training system uses protocols from NASA, the Navy SEALS, and Neuroscientists to help you optimize your performance every day.

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