I have a tendency to build things up in my head – to stress too much about things that shouldn’t be so stressful. At some point or another, this has applied to all facets of my life, but most especially to my training. I see a really hard workout and I stress. I see a long swim set and my anxiety instantly builds. I see a long run and “panic” sets in. Its just how I am wired.
Sometime towards the end of last year, I was in the middle of a really hard run set when I stopped dead in my tracks feeling like I couldn’t possibly go another step at this outlandish pace my coach had scheduled for me. Annoyed with my coach for having such high expectations of me, frustrated with myself, and feeling defeated, I had a pity party for myself which lasted approximately 15 seconds. At that point, I gathered myself, took a deep breath, and said these 10 words aloud:
“Don’t make a bigger deal about it than it is”.
I continued with my set, finished all of my intervals at or below my scheduled “outlandish paces” and felt like a million bucks. I had defeated the devil that appears when things get tough. I repeated those 10 words no less than 5 more times to myself during that particular workout and have probably said them to myself and aloud at least 100 times since. I say them pretty much before every swim session. 🙂
My new mantra also reminds me that triathlon is, when its all said and done, just a hobby for me which is easy to forget when you’re surrounded with people who take this sport very seriously. More often than not, my new mantra frees my mind of unnecessary stress which often hinders me from performing to my potential. It allows me to achieve what I set out to achieve on that particular day. But the flip side is that these 10 words also allow me to be more accepting of myself if things don’t go as planned. I have learned to wrap up a bad workout or race with a nice little bow, move on, and “not make a bigger deal about it than it is.” I have become more accepting of my weaknesses which has opened up a whole new world of opportunity to improve on them.
No matter what words you chose to use, I hope you have a mantra you can use to defeat your ugly devil when life, kids, work, family, friends, workouts, pets or anything else make you think you can’t possible keep moving at that “outlandish pace.”