Everyone needs a. The motivation to push through.
What would Dirty Dancing be without “Nobody puts Baby in a corner,” or Top Gun without “I feel the need…the need for speed!” Besides revealing my undying love for classic 80’s movies, these mottos are two that I use when I need that extra push and motivation to get me through a tough training run, long cycle event, or tri.
When we get tired, when it hurts, or when we find ourselves off our goal-pace, it’s easy to start beating ourselves up mentally. The negative self-talk can set in, making a difficult task even more challenging and bringing down our performance.
Instead of falling into this damaging pattern, be prepared.
- Identify some key words or phrases that you can bring to mind in these crucial times to help you maintain or reclaim a positive mindset.
- Find your personal motto or mantra—the one or ones that work for you, that give you that little extra burst of energy. Some have used, “Just keep swimming” (for all you Finding Nemo fans), or as my cycle coach used to say, “It’s just like riding a bike.” It can be as simple as “GO” or “Just do it.” Positive affirmations like “I am…strong/powerful/unstoppable” or “I rock!” are good choices for many.
- Try to find a mental image that goes with your cue words and helps psych you up.
When I use my mottos, I bring to mind the scenes from the movies and run them through in my mind. I see and hear Patrick Swayze deliver the Baby line, and I capture his conviction, courage, and resolve.
Your motto trains your mind to endure pain and fatigue
You may see yourself crossing the finish line strong as you tell yourself, “Keep going.” The more vivid you can get your image and the more your words resonate for you personally, the more powerful they will be.
And to help you remember this mental skill when you need it most, use the marker with which you write your race number on your body to write your key word (like “unstoppable”) on your hand or arm, where you will see it during the event.
Remember that mental training and preparation can be just as important as physical training for enhancing our performance and enjoyment of endurance sports. So, what’s your motto?