It is a race week here, and I'm working to get myself revved up and ready to go on Saturday! That got me thinking about my "mantras" -- those little things that we say to ourselves to get us fired up, to help us stick to our plan, and to get us across that finish line. A mantra can be a comfort when things get tough out on the race course or during a hard workout. It can help us refocus our energy away from something negative toward something positive. A mantra can help us recall past events or workouts that boosted our confidence.
So, the trick to these mantras - they are short, they are easy to remember, and they are POSITIVE! I believe in positive affirmations rather than negative ones. It's easier to dig deeper and keep going if I remind myself that I'm strong, powerful, capable, and having fun!
Here are a few of mine:
1) "If you believe, you will achieve"
This has been my mantra since my swimming days. It is simple and powerful. Believe in yourself and you can do anything! When Gilly sent me the story of the bumblebee and the racehorse last year, I was reminded of this mantra. The bumblebee believes it can fly, and so it flies, despite all the reasons it shouldn't be able to. My RoadID has a "Believe" charm so I always have a reminder.
2) "I can do anything for X (minutes / miles / etc.)"
When things get really tough, I like to remind myself how close to the end I am. I've gotten through many tough workouts and races, and I know that I can do it again and again. I'm pretty sure it was Coach Joe who got me started with this one.
3) "Smooth and Strong"
When I'm on the bike especially, this one keeps me focused. It has been a real struggle to maintain consistency on the bike, so I've been trying to stay focused on being both smooth (pedal strokes) and strong (powerful!) as I bike.
4) "I love this." "It is so amazing to be out here!" "I am so lucky!"
Any version of these helps to remind me that triathlon is a treat and that I am happy to be racing. If I feel a negative thought creeping in, I try to turn it around as quickly as possible with one of these. I focus on the beautiful scenery. Or I smile. And I double down and push a little bit harder.
5) "Leave it on the course."
Especially as a race nears its end, this is something I like to remind myself of. There is nothing worse than feeling like you could have pushed harder or dug deeper after a race is over. It is hard to get to that point where you don't really have much left to give, but I'm working on finding it.
So, what are your mantras? Do you have one?