I believe that the only way to approach our physical endeavors is with passion. Like we mean it.
Many years ago, before I ever laced up my skates to play roller derby, I began the pursuit of trail running. With gusto. For like, the first five minutes. And then, my passion starting morphing into defeat. Things hurt. I was breathless. Why wasn’t I good at this simple thing, running? What a loser.
Since giving up was not an option, I decided right away that I wasn’t going to let this negative self-talk infiltrate my trail running dreams. I began using mantras: short, sweet, encouraging phrases I repetitively said to myself (usually silently, in rhythm with my exhale breaths) during my workouts.
Guess what? They work. Mantras have added miles to my runs, speed to my skating, strength to my training, and confidence to all of my fitness (and life) adventures.
Fake it until you make it
Give yourself the gift of encouragement. Cheer yourself on, whether you believe the words you’re saying or not. You’ve put on your workout gear. You’re doing it! You have a plan (whether it is your Derby Lite class, your power walk, your strength training day), and that plan does NOT include self sabotage.
Tell yourself you are awesome. Tell yourself, “I’m moving. I’m perfect.”
If you say your mantras enough, they will become your truth.
One of my favorites, which is incredibly simple and effective, is “Yes. Yes. Yes.” with each exhale during a challenging portion of my workouts. When repeating this to myself, I access more energy, more strength, and more capacity for accomplishing the tasks I am attempting.
By virtue of being human, we are equipped to take on physical challenges and survive and thrive. We are built to move. Most often it is our mind that truly holds us back during our physical pursuits.
Eliminating self defeating, negative thoughts from your mind’s vocabulary will unquestionably reveal the athlete in you. Yes, you. There is an athlete inside every single one of us. She may be hidden beneath your self doubt, but she is THERE, and you will get to know her well when you treat yourself with the kindness and support that your inner athlete needs.
My go-to mantras during training:
Yes. Yes. Yes.
I’m an athlete!
Of course I can. Of course I can.
I’m moving, I’m perfect.
Impossible is nothing!
Lisa “Olive Spankins” Bassett is a roller skating, mountain biking, wine drinking, good-food eating animal lover who lives in beautiful Durham Maine with her two dogs, two cats and Chef-Husband. She is the Derby Lite: Portland Maine Pivot Partner, former Maine Roller Derby Training Head & competitor, and is AFAA certified in personal training and group fitness.