Loos’d Of Limits
“From this hour I ordain myself loos’d of limits and imaginary lines.”
Mental fortitude. Many motivational quotes allude to the mind’s remarkable power over body. I read one recently: “Your legs are not giving out. Your head is giving in. Keep going!” This made me realize I’ve had both these moments in racing. Ones in which I’ve kept a positive perspective over exhaustion and discomfort; and ones where I’ve slowed to a crawl because I felt mentally defeated. Seeing the effect of these attitudes on my running teaches me the importance of preserving a healthy mindset. Free your mind from its perceived limits and your body will respond.
Perceived is key here, I believe. Balancing realism and a dream is important. I have lofty goals. Does it mean I’m physically capable of all of them in the near future? Not necessarily. One day, perhaps? Hope so! It’s a process: Have a dream, set a goal, practice and strive, reassess, and move forward. Goals are dynamic for a reason. They change as we evolve.
So, in order to help me achieve my marathon goals – any life goal, really – I’ll be working on my brain as much as my body. I give myself permission to dismiss unfounded doubts and demolish perceived limits. I must remember discomfort is not evil, it is the sign of growth. I will remind myself that being scared or afraid to fail means I’m on the verge of incredible change.
Still, none of this will prevent people from sharing their opinions on the matter. I value solid advice and constructive feedback. My mind is open to adapting and considering alternative methods. That doesn’t mean I’ve compromised my goals. I simply need to remember that no matter the advice, or the person sharing it, they are not an authority over my abilities. Only I can accurately interpret how that information fuses with my personal motivations and ambitions.
Though I may hear the NYC course is “too crowded” or “too hilly” to attempt a Boston Qualifier, I know how the city’s powerful energy affects my motivation. I know I’m not afraid of a hill; it actually provides relief. I know the emotional charge of seeing that finishing incline in Central Park, where I’ve run thousands of miles, is a homecoming.
I’m ready to wage the war in my brain. The doubtful thoughts will come. The negative opinions will surface. No big deal, right? What seemingly limits me today shall be beneath my feet tomorrow, lifting me to a stronger version of myself.