This post is about the mental aspect of fitness training. But in reality, your thoughts – those mental tapes you play on auto-repeat all day every day – play a HUGE part in every aspect of your life. Relationships, career, health, weight loss, etc are all impacted by what we are constantly telling ourselves.
So as you read this post, even if you are not an exerciser or runner, try applying the same ideas in other places where you are struggling with your current reality. If you need me to spell it out more clearly than that, email me or comment below and I will write a post on turning Limiting Beliefs into Empowering Beliefs.
A big part of working out is for your body, right? But don’t discount what is happening above your neck! The thoughts running through your head can make you or break you.
Imagine this scenario: You are running outside. It’s hot, you are tired and there is a hill in front of you. Your thoughts start telling you “Ugh, I can’t do this! This is too hard! I am too hot. My knees hurt. If I run up this hill I am going to DIE!”
Are you going to run up that hill? No, you are going to stop and walk.
Now imagine that same scenario, but instead of the doomsday report, the mental tape you start playing is saying things like “I can do this! I got this. Bring it ON. My legs are like pistons; tireless and powerful.”
With those thoughts, you will make it up that hill and be pumping your fists in victory when you reach the top!
I have been collecting running mantras for some time now. I know I will need them on race day. I already use them on some of my harder runs, and always to get up those hills! Here are some of my favorites:
(Note: I did not write these myself)
Pain is inevitable. Suffering, optional.
There will be a day when you cannot do this. Today is not that day.
“I did not come 100 million miles to turn back in the last 10 feet.” – Gary Sinise, Mission to Mars
Winners never quit. Quitters never win.
Failure is not an option.
Smooth and Strong All Day Long.
“Pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever.” – Lance Armstrong
“You don’t know what you are capable of until you try.” -Jillian Michaels
“Pain is weakness leaving the body.” – Jillian Michaels
Sweat is Fat Crying.
My feet hurt from kicking so much ass! – Nike ad
You didn’t choose this race because you thought it would feel good. Whatever your reason, it goes far deeper than the physical. -Matt Fraizer, No Meat Athlete
and my current favorite:
And because sometimes, in the thick of it, I am not capable of verbal thought, I employ mental images as well. For some bizarre, rooted in the 1980′s reason, the image I most often call upon to motivate me, is this one:
I’ll be baaaack.
What do you tell yourself to pull through tight spots? What words or images do you use to motivate and empower yourself?