By Olympian Courtney Thompson
“You should exercise unrelenting discipline over your thought patterns. Cultivate only productive attitudes… You are the product of everything you put into your body and mind.” -I Ching
In my experience, it’s pretty safe to assume that everyone wants to be confident. No matter what you are doing: Playing a game, giving a speech, on a date, or taking a test at school, it’s going to be infinity more enjoyable when you feel good about who you are in that moment. In other words, confident in your own skin.
I know from personal experience how painful it is to NOT be truly myself in a given moment. It’s a feeling, in my opinion, significantly worse than losing or failing or any of the things we spend time worrying about.
This is my challenge to the athletes I work with: Fight and work towards being your true self, nothing more and nothing less, in every environment you...
Picture this: It's 10 years from now and you are up for a promotion. You should be elated, but instead just feel exhausted by your 50+ hour work week. You glance in your reflection in the window. Even through the smudged glass, you see the deep line that has made a home between your eyebrows.
When did that happen? You ask yourself.
Then it sinks in: you’re unhappy. You haven’t been happy for a long time. This heavy realization begins to weigh on you as you consider the "what if's" of your past. You ask yourself, What if I had traveled more. What if I had taken the job I actually wanted. What if I had taken that year off to spend time with my family. What if...
What if you had made your life decisions based on the parts of yourself that you wanted to preserve. What if you had chosen the life course that would best reflect the strengths in yourself that you value, not your parents, friends, or professional community. The strengths in yourself that you value.
Change happens on a cellular level. The gist is this: we all get hooked on hormones. For example, if you are used to being stressed all the time, your cells not only adjust to the high levels of cortisol (that’s the “stress hormone”) in your system, but you actually begin to like it, and then need it.
In short: you get “addicted”.
Ever feel weird while or shortly after relaxing, after experiencing a lot of stress? It’s because you’re on withdrawal; your downtime has literally become your rehab.
The same thing happens when you workout a lot: you get used to working out, your body produces and gets used to “consuming” dopamine and serotonin, and then proceeds to whine about not having those hormones when the workouts stop.
Personally, I've always had a hard time taking a real vacation (to the complaints of my wife). Going from high stress/high stimulation environment to peace and quiet was unsettling.
I was programmed for stress...
Ursula Grobler has a strong love of the game. In hearing her speak, it's easy to see she has a true passion for her sport and there's no doubt that that passion is a strong driving force behind her success.
Last week, I reintroduced Ursula Grobler, 2010 Erg World Record holder, and gave you a peek into an interview I conducted with her about how mental training impacted her outstanding erging performance. (If you missed that article, click here.)
I wanted to continue that thread by sharing a few more portions of that same interview with you.
A member of Ursula's crew stood by and video recorded Ursula as she pushed herself through Ergomania in 2010 and surpassed the previous record by a full two seconds, a seeming eternity in the sporting world.
Watch the video (Ursula is the one in the white shirt, fourth from the front, with the colorful socks :) ) and take special notice of how relaxed she is even though...