Mantras, miles & meditation

Posted on April 24, 2011

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Today I chatted at length with the very inspiring Aden Hopkins from Caveman Fitness. We talked about my recent Life Coaching course and my now wanting to study Sports Psychology.

Why he asked? For what reasons …

I answered with the simple truth that I am forever intrigued by the power of the mind. I know from my own experience of climbing high mountains and running long races that success is as much, if not more, down to the power of the mind over physical fitness. Legs of steel and big lungs simply aren’t enough. I want to learn more about this, master all the tools and techniques to help others find this mindset and build on my own little repetoire of mind games to overcome challenges.

It got me thinking about what tools I have often used to date and one of these is mantras … literally short sayings I will repeat in my head over and over, often to the rhythm of my foot strike. A mantra instills belief in you and, in running or anything in life for that matter, if you don’t believe in yourself, you are defeated already. Mantras keep you calm and on target and diminish doubts and distractions. And perhaps most importantly, mantras focus on the positive …. replacing negative thoughts with positive experiences. In fact, the Sanskrit word ‘mantra’ literally means ‘instrument for thinking’ which is why they are often used in meditations.

So how do you come up with your personal mantra?

  • It needs to be short, positive, energetic and instructive and
  • it needs to have the ability to divert your mind from thoughts that reinforce pain to those that enable you to transcend it

The one used last year when I ran Wadi Bih solo was ‘Pain is temporary, pride is permanent’ …. these words will forever be etched on my mind! This past weekend, when running up Jebel Hafeet in the scorching heat, I used ‘Kill the hill’ …

Others I like;

  • Just stay calm
  • The strong get stronger
  • Run fast, go past
  • Make it or break it
  • Run relaxed, finish strong
  • Inhale confidence, exhale fear
  • Better, tougher, faster, stronger

But perhaps the greatest mantra of all can be borrowed from the greatest of sports brands, adidas.

‘Impossible is nothing’

No explanation required … just repeat, repeat, repeat, next time you face adversity at work, rest or play

… it can’t fail to drive you to succeed.

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