The oft-repeated analogy about putting food in the body being like putting fuel in your car’s gas tank is completely wrong.

Your car can’t run on empty.

But, your body can.

Tired and fatigued, your body can press on to accomplish feats of endurance that so-called modern man can’t conceive of.

Take any story from the early settlers in the West. Or, take this story from Bernard Shank’s Wilderness Survival:

A man was mauled by a bear and his hunting companions took his gun and left him for dead. Enraged, he crawled across half the state of South Dakota so he could find his hunting companions and kill them for deserting him.

The car stalls when it’s out of fuel. The body is different, it’s subservient to the mind. We really don’t know what limitations there are with the mind, but the amazing feats of endurance have roots in the mind’s power to will survival, and they offer us a glimpse of what is possible given the right motivation.

I did Chris Caracci’s Navy Seal Burnout PT tonight. It’s been a long time since I’ve eaten, and I daresay that I didn’t eat the best food today. But I nailed that workout because my mind willed my body to endure. And I was afraid of incurring the ex-Navy Seal’s wrath.

If I’m skating by in my training and exercise, I sometimes find that I’m skating by in life, too—that I’m not pushing myself as much as I could. Maybe you’re like me. Maybe avenues just open up for you when you use physical training to destroy conservatively set mental barriers.

Even if avenues don’t open up, you’ll feel and look a helluva lot better.