State of Mind

Posted: June 20, 2010 in It's All Important Stuff

State of mind, I have recently rediscovered, is incredibly important to success, happiness and performance. All of us have lots of distractions and excuses for “not showing up.”

Every work morning I have a conference call at 8 am.  This truly makes no sense to me.  Forty people are on this.  The reason for it is our inability to otherwise communicate what each of us are doing.  This time slot screws up my ideal training time.  And, frankly, I think it’s ridiculous.  However, I  am also one of five people to present on this call each morning.  It is the only air time I have with my boss and 80% of my colleagues.  This is how they judge me.  Yet, every morning I show up in a crappy state of mind and fail to deliver my best.  This is also not smart.

As I have been reflecting on how to be mentally prepared for this each morning, it dawned on me that gaining the right state of mind is exactly what I attempt to do when training and racing.

Driving the race course, setting up transition, fussing about, going to the port a john are all the things I do in order to have that ten minutes of absolute clarity before the horn goes off.  I enter the swim start area with growing confidence, but still very anxious.  In that moment, before the start, I pause to reflect that racing is truly fun.  It is the pursuit of life itself.  It is a metaphor for how I want to live.

Then I visualize crossing the finish line of my ideal race.  I hear the noise of the announcer and the crowd.  I feel the pure pleasure of giving my best and accomplishing my goals.  Then, I push away all else but that feeling and the absolute concentration on the feeling of the water and my plan to reach the first buoy.  At this point the furrowed brow and pursed lips turn to a relaxed face and a smile.  My shoulders go back.  My chin goes up.  I nod my acceptance of the effort ahead and the pleasure of the moment overcomes most anxiety.  It is time to race.

My head has not been in the game of work, fun or training.  I have been every place and no place.  I am changing this.  I have a plan.  My shoulders are going back and my chin up.  It is time to race again.

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Comments
  1. Kevin B Goings says:

    Welcome back.

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