I remember the time specifically when I realized I could be better than I was. It was grade 9 and I was running in the 800 M Track & Field City Semi-Finals. I always competed but was never relevant in placing.
I for once took our coaches advice about visualizing the outcome and playing it in my mind the night before. It was on the 3rd turn with 200 M left that I felt I may have some gas left in the tank and could pass other runners. Let me be clear, I was not up all night thinking about it. It was 10 min.
Wouldn’t you know it, on race day at the 600 M mark, like a birdie sitting on my shoulder, I had a nudge to run as hard as possible to the finish. I remembered seeing the way to the finish. The 800 M is often a big lumpy crowd of 10-15 runners. I was in the last 3rd and I shot myself up into 4th place and passed a friend who ALWAYS beat me. He was surprised, so was I. I never lost to him again.
Up until that point, I didn’t believe in myself. I had not seen it happen, I had not experienced it. From that point on, I got better every year.
Imagining your way before it happens, gives mental breadcrumbs to follow.
2. Positive self-talk
Strong, Relaxed and Grateful was something I said to myself much later in life when I gutted my way through a very challenging day in an Ultra race. If I had that mantra 20 years before, it would have made a huge difference.
Be kind to yourself when things don’t go your way. Make small incremental improvements and learn from mini-failures and be grateful for the lessons that lead to long-term success and fulfillment.
Find your corner in the next race you run.
The kick in the pants you need. Sign-up for a better start to your work day.