Since you've made your way to this article, it's safe to assume you want to be the toughest individual on the mountain, inside and out. You want to overcome every obstacle and pack out a bull so large that even hauling 100 pounds at a time, you need 4 trips to finish the job. If we've assumed correctly, you need a teacher that's legendary in the field and the mind.
Enter Remi Warren, the famed backcountry hunter who breathed a new life into hunting with his incredible hunting skills, authenticity, and fresh ideas on what hunting entertainment could be. He's part of a select group that ushered in a new generation of backcountry hunters thanks to his wildly popular shows, such as Apex Predator and Solo Hunters on the Outdoor Channel. He's also appeared in many hunting and non-hunting podcasts, including the Joe Rogan Experience, and of course, the MTNTOUGH Podcast.
But we aren't here to talk about the platforms he's been on; we're here to look at why he's on so many platforms, to begin with. What is it about Remi Warren that fascinates people? Beyond his iconic status in the hunting community, we're convinced his sticking power has a lot to do with his mental toughness.
In this article, we look at how Remi grows and strengthens his mental toughness and how he applies it during his hunts and in his life. Remi also shares stories of how his mental toughness saved his hunting career and his wife too. By the end of watching Remi share his experiences or when you reach the end of this article, we hope you're inspired to action in building greater mental toughness and hunting fitness. When you reach that point, take advantage of the MNTOUGH 14-day free trial. Once inside, you'll find all the ways we help mountain athletes sharpen their mental strength every day - from plans and routines that will build up your fitness and test your body and mind. Get it now!
CHECK OUT REMI'S NEW VIDEO ON OVERCOMING SETBACKS
How Does Remi Warren Overcome Setbacks and Adapt To Challenges?
Although Remi advocates mental toughness and would never shy away from a topic due to its important role in his life, he relies a bit more on sharing stories and anecdotes from his life that put quality front and center, as a way of showing his support. relies more on showing and sharing his experiences and true stories as a way of showing support. As much as possible, he's more of a "show don't tell" kind of guy - and if it is a tell, then it has to be the middle chapters of an interesting story.
Luckily for all of us, MTNTOUGH Founder, Dustin Diefenderfer, was able to sit down with Remi and get his take on both - that is, Remi's direct thoughts on mental toughness as well as his stories that indirectly cover the subject. Check out Dustin's interview with Remi here:
We get it, not everyone has time to squeeze a podcast in, or maybe they're not in a good location to make it happen at the moment. It's all good - if you fit into either bucket, we've compiled five mental toughness learnings from Dustin and Remi's conversation and carefully dropped them just below. So until you get to the right time or place to listen and watch, keep reading for 5 undiluted truths about how to toughen your mind.
1. Test Yourself and Find Out What You're Made of
Remi's under the opinion that most folks don't realize what they're truly made of; we'd have to wholeheartedly agree with him. Why? A concoction of fear and self-doubt keeps them firmly planted in their safe zone. This is as true in life as it is in hunting.
A lot of hunters are content with their annual affair in a deer stand, floating 20 feet above the ground for the weekend, and only 200 feet from their car. But what burns them is their dream hunt doesn't look anything like this. What if they could gear up for a 10-day hunt, hitting altitudes of 10,000 feet stalking elk, and tracking sheep?
Remi's got a simple piece of advice for those folks - set a goal. A big, hairy one that's just outside your Truman Show bubble. Don't sweat the details, just lace up and get going. Trust in your grit and discipline to see you through.
Remember, it's not about playing it safe. It's about pushing the envelope, just like Remi. He doesn't go for the low-hanging fruit - he's climbing to the canopy. Set a goal, put on your game face, and go.
2. Embracing the Silver Linings of Failure
While we mostly see Remi's trophy hunts on YouTube and social media, he'll be the first to tell you that his adventures don't spend the entire journey basking in the glory of success. The man has seen his share of tribulations and hurdles in the wild. But here's the kicker - Remi doesn't just stare at a roadblock and turn back. He sees it as a chance to learn, to grow. It takes Jedi-like focus to rewire your thinking this way, but it's completely doable and not confined to science fiction.
Back on earth, this is the premise of a growth mindset. Although it looks and sounds like a stereotypical phrase you'd hear overused in a corporate cubicle, it's a powerful practice all the same. The application looks like this: remember that time when the wrist of Remi's dominant hand decided to rebel, needing not one, but two surgeries?
For most, this would be a cue to hit the pause button, and let the dust settle. But not for Remi. He found a workaround, mastering the art of pulling his bow using a mouth tab.
With the risk of diminishing the importance of the point, an easy way to think about this technique is living the proverbial phrase "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade."
3. The Power of Pessimistic Optimism
Dustin and Remi chewed the fat on the topic of 'pessimistic optimism.' It sounds like an oxymoron, the kind that requires two Advil to properly grasp. We've done the legwork of interpretation so you don't have to - pessimistic optimism is all about harnessing positivity, even when the clouds are grey... Remi has this one down to a science.
His mindset is simple: if those early hunters could brave the elements and live to tell the tale, surely, with all our fancy gear and high-tech boots, we can do the same, if not better. It's all about perspective. In Remi's world, tough situations are just benchmarks set by others who've had it worse. If they made it through, so can you.
4. Making Your Mind a Friend, Not a Foe
This one dovetails nicely into the last point, but there are seemingly subtle, but surprisingly profound differences when you hear Dusting and Remi talk about your mind. In the wild, it doesn't take much for your mind to start playing tricks on you, this is especially true when the going gets tough. Convenient, right?
The nugget of wisdom in there is just as important as a bow and arrow in the backcountry. It's the built-in alarm that when stuff seems too difficult, your mind will automatically throw some gasoline on that dumpster fire.
For instance, ever been in a stormy, snowy mess and thought your hunting trip's gone to the dogs? That's your mind playing games, convinced there's no point scaling that mountain or glassing elk. The weather's so foul, you're sure nothing would dare show its face...
Remi would tell you to kick the defeatist attitude to the curb. Depending on the outlook you embrace, your mind can be your best buddy or your worst enemy out there. What if this exact storm was rolling into town while you were driving, would you have the same panic? Hell no. You might even roll a window down and whoosh your hand through the air.
You could even practice reframing it as an awe-inspiring experience that 99% of the world will never have the chance to see or fully grasp; start approaching your mind like this and you'll begin to drown out the noise of catastrophizing.
5. Start Small, Aim Big
During Dustin and Remi's conversation, they touched on a mammoth observation. Western hunting is held in high regard by nearly every hunter. From coast-to-coast, it's on most backcountry hunters' bucket lists. For those on the East Coast, because of the logistics of making this dream a reality, they're left itching for the opportunity to hunt out West.
But here's the twist - they build it up as a 14-day, roughing-it-out, full-throttle wilderness experience. That bite is far too big to swallow, but before they can grasp it, they're paralyzed by scale, leaving them rooted, and unable to make a first move.
That's it - that's the insight - they end up stuck between two types of shame, where starting at anything less than massive is perceived as a weakness, yet going for the unfathomable and likely failing brings even greater shame. So rather than take any chance, they never risk it for the euphoric reward. Rather, they simply vibrate at a frequency of dysphoria. For the record, this is a wildly inaccurate line of thinking, but it's still a pervasive one.
Remi, ever the voice of wisdom, assures that starting small isn't starting weak. There's no need to cannonball into the deep end of backcountry hunting.
Start with the basics. Maybe buff up your fitness a bit. Take a few hikes. Master survival skills like fire-starting or setting up camp. The key is to nibble on the elephant one bite at a time. Aim big, sure, but remember, each tiny victory is a step closer to your grand goal.
Of course, there's a truckload more wisdom from Dustin and Remi in the podcast. From overcoming setbacks to tackling challenges, they've got it covered. So, if you haven't yet, give it a listen.
How Strong Is Remi Warren's Mental Toughness?
It's difficult to articulate, and we've tried already once in this article, but we'll have another go. Remi isn't the "all talk and no trousers" sort; the man has tales to tell that are befitting of that label, but everything he shares is a real-life, lived-it-myself kind of story that underlines his grit.
Need proof? Two Remi Warren stories come to mind, how the man became an excellent one-armed bowhunter during a serious wrist injury and his almost unbelievable story of the time he became a one-man search and rescue team to find his wife that went missing in the desert.
Remi's Infamous Wrist Injury
In the unforgiving wilderness, a die-hard hunter's worst nightmare unfolded for Remi Warren. As he speaks with Dustin, he talks about the shredded tendon in his wrist and how it immediately shut down his hunting pursuits, an injury so severe that it called for surgery. Remi's doctors removed tendons from his forearm to rebuild the damaged tendons in his wrist. To make matters worse, the first surgery didn't take, he ultimately found himself back under the knife for a second operation.
A major setback for most, but as you know, it takes far worse to break Remi's spirit. So post-surgery, Remi found himself caught in a hunt of another kind: a quest to reclaim his bowhunting skills. With his dominant hand out of commission, he was on a mission to prevent his bow from becoming a dusty relic of the past.
Right away, Remi was scheming ways to overcome his wrist injury. His grit led him to a novel solution.
How Did Remi Warren Overcome His Wrist Injury?
Remi Warren overcame a serious wrist injury to continue hunting by learning the mouth tab technique and making adjustments to his setup. This includes reducing poundage on his bow from 70 to 60, shortening his bow's draw length, and using heavier arrows. All without compromising safety or accuracy.
It's safe to say that Remi's determination and resilience were instrumental in this process to pursue what he loves so much. His journey was far from smooth, he notes that the change required extensive adaptation.
Learning to aim and shoot using his mouth demanded a complete overhaul of his hunting style - again, this is a man that's famous for his bow - he's put in his 10,000 hours to master the skill.
The new approach meant he needed to build new muscle strength, particularly in his neck, transforming himself to meet the challenge head-on. And it serves as an inspiration for anyone facing similar obstacles in their lives.
But for Remi, every setback was a setup for a comeback. The injury that could have ended his hunting career was just another test of his mental toughness. Today, not only is Remi back in the game, but he'll look back on the entire process as a good excuse to add a new bowhunting skill to his repertoire. This is the essence of mental toughness - turning adversity into strength.
That One Time Remi Warren Saved His Wife's Life...
This next story sits firmly at the intersection of Remi Warren's unforgettable experiences and the merits of mental toughness. The headline "Remi Warren once single-handedly found and rescued his in the deserts of Nevada, 3 days after she initially went missing." But let's rewind a bit further back though.
Danielle, his girlfriend at the time and now indebted wife, was visiting her father in Nevada. She decided to go for a run and simply vanished. It's enough to break a man, even Remi will tell you that. Upon hearing this distressing news, Remi took immediate action, enlisting the help of his brother and a close friend along the way. Aware of the extreme conditions of Nevada's unforgiving landscape, where the days are blistering hot and the nights are chilling, he knew time was of the essence.
Search and rescue teams were on the scene as well, bringing off-road vehicles, canines, and even a Black Hawk helicopter. While they scanned the suspected hiking trail with no success, Remi refused to stand idly by. Theories of a possible abduction started to surface, hinted by a suspicious vehicle in the area at the time of her disappearance, adding to the alarm.
However, it wasn't fear that took the reins, but Remi's resilience, prompting him to head into the wilderness to find Danielle. Setting out in the night, Remi talks openly about the inner turmoil he was facing at this point. He's hiking in the dead of night without a moon overhead, worrying about finding Danielle deceased, or simply not being able to find her altogether. His description portrays something like a sensory deprivation tank, where everything surrounding you is so muted that the only thing you can hear is your mind.
You can easily see how this could be a crippling experience when trying to find your missing loved one. Doubts plagued him - Could he find Danielle unharmed? Could he find her at all? He powered through the discomfort, clinging to his mental fortitude, and vowing to stay until he found her. And thankfully, his perseverance would pay off.
In a testament to his sharp observation skills, he's a world-class tracker and hunter after all, Remi noticed anomalous scuff marks. He followed the tracks and sometime later he sat down and shouted out his promise to persist in finding Danielle.
Moments later a faint voice responded saying his name. Remi thought he was going crazy and hearing voices, but he had to follow where he thought the voice was coming from.
He began to move and called out her name once more. No response this time. The sanity self-doubt was getting stronger - was he just imagining what he hoped to hear? He kept moving though and called her name once more. A level louder but still faint, Remi heard his name once more.
He flipped on his flashlight and pointed in the direction of the voice where he saw Danielle 300 yards below him. She was extremely dehydrated when he found her. She was confused and hallucinating - unsure where she was or who she was, and uncertain if Remi was truly there in person.
On paper, Remi's tracking and survival skills were built for search and rescue. He's a world-class expert. However, that all goes out the window the moment you bring family into the equation, turn over the hourglass, and only have three possible outcomes: life, death, or missing. You need a lot more firepower than a high acuity for tracking. Remi's mental strength, in addition to his backcountry skills, allowed him to focus on the task and not get caught up in fear and anxiety, even though both would be warranted given the context. His tenacity led him to Danielle, saving her life. It's an inspiring testament to the power of mental toughness in the face of unthinkable odds.
If you're inspired by the journey but also feeling doomed you weren't born with Remi-like mental toughness, you should know this quality is something you can train and improve. If you're ready to stop watching from the sidelines, here's how we do it.
Can You Build Mental Toughness With MTNTOUGH?
In backcountry hunting, resilience is the X factor that makes everything fire effectively. Sure, you need the muscles and gear as well, but the unsung hero of the mountain athlete is their mind; it's what makes a good hunter great.
At MTNTOUGH, we value mental strength as much as physical, and if you're scratching your head on this stance, recall Danielle's story. Mental toughness is a muscle that needs regular workouts just like your biceps and quads. So, we've got you covered from head to toe, inside and out.
To take your hunting success and daily life to the next level, you'll need to start with a crystal clear understanding of what mental toughness is and debunk the myths around it. We’ll guide you through this maze and give you a clear picture of what you're signing up for.
Want to level up as a team? Join our MTNTOUGH Mindset course. It's a 10-day crash course that will buff up the muscles of your mind, readying you for all of life's challenges.
3 Paths to Increasing Mental Toughness
Building mental toughness is a journey, not a sprint. It requires cultivating habits that become as natural as breathing. This takes time, grit, determination, and unwavering resolve. Jumpstart the process today by incorporating one of the following tips inspired by Remi Warren himself.
1. Be Comfortable With Discomfort
Like forging steel, greater resilience is all about tempering it in adversity and teaching it to remain unmoved in the face of discomfort. When Remi Warren was sidelined by a wrist injury, he didn't toss in the towel. He simply swapped out his hands for his mouth and kept drawing that bowstring back.
Like any muscle, to make it stronger you need to place it under stress and flex it in situations that are unfamiliar, unsettling even. Only by grappling with the tough stuff can you fortify yourself, transforming discomfort into a normal state.
The phrase "comfortable with discomfort" is more than a catchy motto on an inspirational poster. It's a lifestyle. It's about weathering the storm, enduring the burn, and keeping your eyes fixed on the prize. It's about building that willpower to stick it out, to relish the grit and the grind.
Our man Remi is the embodiment of this philosophy. Faced with a debilitating hand injury, did he give up? No, he taught himself to shoot with his mouth, turning adversity into advantage. That's the spirit of MTNTOUGH. You can do this too.
2. Fight Negative Thoughts
Conquering the inner critic is a cornerstone of developing resilience. It's that pesky voice whispering 'can't' when you're on the brink of scaling new heights, and the same voice that tries to make you spiral when faced with terrible situations.
Enter the concept of pessimistic optimism - a pragmatic approach to silencing those doubts. When a challenge looms large, remember countless others are navigating similar or even tougher trials. If they can rise above, so can you.
Tools such as meditation and mindfulness are also allies in the battle against negativity. They help to declutter the mind, creating space for clear thought and decisive action.
Honing the art of optimism isn't about throwing on rose-tinted glasses. It's about arming yourself with a winning mindset, a potent weapon against negative thoughts.
Remi, rather than entertain the negative thoughts and fall into despair, he rallied. Turning fear into action only deepened his conviction that come hell or high water, he was going to find Danielle.
It's also worth noting that mental exercises such as mindfulness and meditation can be effective soldiers in your battle against negativity. They offer a calm amidst the storm, aiding in the clearance of the mental fog of defeatist thoughts.
3. Lose the Lone Wolf Mentality
We've all heard, "You are what you eat" and undoubtedly this is true. There's a similar phrase that we'd like you to consider adopting, it goes, "You are who you eat with." That is, who do you have sitting at your table and breaking bread? Better yet, who should you have at that table?
If you're hunting for mental resilience, it's not a lone wolf kind of endeavor. To build an unyielding mind, you need to run with a pack that embodies the same grit.
One of the most valuable aspects of MTNTOUGH is the community. There, you'll find ideas being exchanged, a supportive network, accountability, and a shared celebration of victories at every turn. Hands down this has direct and significant sway on mental toughness, inside and outside a fitness scenario.
Take TOUGHFEST for instance; a community-centered event in partnership with strong minds at MTNOPS. Throughout the day, a community of hundreds will come together for fitness, feasting, and fun. And most importantly, we're going to make over 8,000 meals in 2 hours for children in immediate need. You need a community to do that.
Think about Remi's rescuing his wife. Remi's instinctual reaction to the news that Danielle was missing was to grab his gear and grab his team. It goes to show that even guys who have TV shows dedicated to braving extended backcountry hunts solo know the power of surrounding themselves with people that hold similar values and goals. They recognize an individual's mental toughness can be sharpened or dulled by those around them.
Joining The MTNTOUGH Community
Feel like making a change in the mindset department? Look no further than MTNTOUGH+. Chocked full of mental and physical programs that motivate and foster self-discipline, there's no better place to start and stick to reaching your mental toughness goals. That's because MTNTOUGH was meticulously designed by ex-Navy SEALs, Army Rangers, and top-notch fitness gurus, all of whom share in Remi's love of the outdoors.
For the community, they first see and feel the physical progress of the MTNTOUGH journey. But soon, the ripple effect of newfound strength seeps into every facet of their personal lives. The same confidence you'll gain for the backcountry will become a beacon guiding you past day-to-day challenges.
MTNTOUGH programs have been the bedrock of special forces, firefighters, and fellow hunters. These trailblazers have put their faith in us, a responsibility we do not take lightly. And since the pioneers remain and continue to bring their crew into the fold, we where this with pride.
A world of transformative content awaits you. Kickstart your journey to the top with a 14-day free trial. Dive into the content vault and get access to pre-deployment workouts and a wealth of bonus content. The power to reshape your hunting and real-world experiences is here.
Mental Toughness Is The X Factor
Drawing from the life of Remi Warren, it's clear that mental toughness is not just a key player but the MVP in separating the good from the exceptional. Especially in the grueling world of mountain hunting, it's this mental grit that distinguishes between a weekend warrior and a legendary figure in the field.
In life and hunting, Remi always puts his mental toughness into action, allowing him to overcome colossal obstacles and even play the leading role in saving his wife's life. His experiences underline that mental strength isn't just about physical prowess; it's about the resilience and tenacity deep within us.
Like Warren, you have the potential to cultivate this mental toughness within you. It's not a trait reserved for the elite few. It's a skill that can be trained and honed, just like any other. MTNTOUGH provides the tools you need to bolster both your physical and mental toughness, see what all it contains with a 14-day free trial today.