I have thought a lot about mantras. Everyone says that you should have a mantra – something that will get you through a tough workout or training session. Words that will rekindle the fire and allow you to regroup and finish the task with renewed strength.
I’ve come across some really good ones that I often borrow – my favorite is triathlete Chris McCormack’s “Embrace the Suck”. It reminds me that success is not easy. That even world champions like Macca have to talk themselves through the worst of it. Importantly, in triathlon, that the people who can endure multiple levels of suffering are the ones who are successful.
But I wanted to have my own, meaningful mantra. My own words.
So it came to me in my basement one dark winter night. If you don’t know, many of my training hours are spent in my basement either on the treadmill or on my bike (thanks to the Green Monster trainer). It’s not glamorous, but the basement strategy has improved my fitness tenfold. Anyway, I was on my bike late at night, sweating profusely, legs burning, going nowhere fast, wanting to stop when it came to me as I was negotiating with myself to get off the bike. No, I said outloud:
THIS is where you want to be.
I knew that even though it was painful, I wanted to be on that bike at that moment. I wanted to become a stronger cyclist. I wanted to be a better triathlete. I wanted better fitness. Even though I was so tired I wanted to cry, I knew that I wanted to be there – that I had to be there.
So the next day I printed off my mantra and hung it on the wall in front of my treadmill. I also posted the USAT logo with the Age Group Nationals date to visually remind me that I really want to train well for my “A” race in Milwaukee….I want to be THERE on August 11th and race-ready. When I’m sluggish, wanting to bail out on a workout I say “THIS is where you want to be”. When I’m in a race and start to question why in the world I PAID to torture myself out on the course, I quickly stop myself and say “THIS is where you want to be”. It works. It snaps me out of the negative zone I’m starting to fall into and I regroup. Well, it probably doesn’t hurt that I often follow it with “Suck it up and get over yourself". Whatever works, right?
THIS is where you want to be
Sprint Triathlon Age Group Nationals
August 11, 2013