By Michael Easter
As part of The Comfort Crisis, I spent more than a month in the Arctic backcountry. It was uncomfortable in every way.
- It was freezing cold the entire time.
- Getting everything from water to food took serious effort.
- We had long stretches of boredom because we didn’t have phones.
- The weather was often savage (and dangerous).
- We had to worry about dangerous animals like grizzly bears.
- It was eerily silent.
- And so much more …
But that was the entire point: To do something really hard for a really long time.
And the experience improved my life in every way. I was, unsurprisingly, fitter and healthier when I got back.
More important is what the experience did for my perspective: I had a higher stress tolerance—nothing ruffled me—and I was grateful for so many wonders of life I hadn’t ever considered before. Like hot running water. My thoughts on what fitness is and should be had changed (more on that here).
Because of how profound the experience was, I began traveling to understand the value of doing hard things and voluntarily taking on discomfort as a way to learn and improve your life. Humans have engineered discomfort out of our lives, and this has undoubtedly changed our health, mindset, and happiness.
I chronicled everything I learned in my bestselling book, The Comfort Crisis.
My question has always been, “how do we capture some of what I learned in my travels and the Arctic and insert them into ‘regular’ life?” I think there are some rather simple ways to do that. Stuff that is just a bit harder that you’re used to—but that will radically move the dial. I call this being a two percenter. Read more on the concept here.
But I also think we need to occasionally confront big, epic, prolonged challenges. Like I did in the Arctic.
That’s where 75 Hard comes in. It won’t be nearly as hard as my month in the Arctic. But I do believe it’ll give me refresh on some of the lessons I learned up there. And I won’t have to leave home or buy a bunch of cold weather gear.
For the unfamiliar, the idea comes from Andy Frisella. Every day for 75 days, you must:
- Complete two 45 minute workouts each day, with at least one being outside.
- Follow a diet.
- Not drink alcohol or eat “cheat meals.”
- Take a progress picture.
- Drink one gallon of water
- Read 10 pages of a book.
No alterations to the program are allowed.
Check out 2% to learn more of the details of what I’ll be doing. I’ll be posting specifics of my exact plan along the way.
Outdoor Cardio: Rucking 4 days/week. Trail running 1 day/week. Mountain biking 1 day/week. Swimming 1 day/week.
Strength: More details will be published on 2%.
A modified version of the Tsimane diet. It, in my opinion, is arguably the most effective diet for balancing health and performance. Check eastermichael.com on January 8th to join in.
If you haven’t read The Comfort Crisis, check it out. But I don’t think you’re allowed to read the books you’ve written.
I’ll be starting with some Alan Watts.
Blah. This is the part I’m least excited about. But rules are rules.
Gallon of Water