Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Failure is NOT an Option

Saturday I had 2 hours of hilly mountain biking to do, and I was excited to tackle *my* hill again. Only this time, I was gunning to get past my fear of falling down (and while I was at it, not actually fall). Hahaha!

I remembered what I had thought about the last time I had biked up that hill -- if there had been a couple of bears behind me that day, I KNOW I could have pedaled up no problemo. I wouldn't have had my head clogged with mental static; I wouldn't have had my head filled with fear, worry, anxiety.

I wouldn't have fallen off my bike.

I would have climbed the hill.

These thoughts were floating around my brain Saturday afternoon as I started the climb. I also thought about the dynamics of motivation -- sometimes it is not enough to simply *want* something bad enough to realize it. Sometimes, you have to grit your teeth, squeeze your eyes, and muscle your way to it...

The steep part of the hill was approaching. The same part that caused my heart to pound and me to tip over last week. Already, I was looking ahead to the same rut that I couldn't get over, and all these negative, fearful thoughts took over my mind:

"Unclip now, so when you go to fall, you won't hurt yourself."

"There's that rut, Oh my God, I'm not gonna make it, same as last week!"

Suddenly, a stern voice sounded in my head, and an image of a crew cut army dude popped in my head: "FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION!"

Quick as a wink, my entire perspective changed. Instead of focusing on the rut where I fell, I searched out another route -- there WAS another route up! It was to the far left of the road -- a skinny little path that had a drop off on one side -- but it was a path.

With this inner boot camp voice resounding in my head, I concentrated on pedaling steady and continually. Gone were the fears of falling. Gone were the feelings of frustration and giving up. Instead, my mind was filled with one thought, one purpose -- climbing that hill. In that instant, the unconquerable became the conquerable. :) :)

As I chugged up the hill, I marveled at how powerful the mind is. How a simple thing like changing the way you look at a situation can alter the outcome. WOOHOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I had so much fun, I went all the back to the bottom and ended up doing 2.5 repeats of the hill. :) :) :) :) :)


Keith said...

The first time at anything is always the hardest. And you are totally right, it's a complete mind game. Success is the sweetest tasting thing there is.

Beth said...

Nice work! The mind really is a difficult thing to concur but you seem to be doing a good job of it!

Jenna said...

Brain Sport. That is the name of our local running store. I think it applies to much.

way to go!!

Cath said...

Get you - nice work! See you THursday :) xxx

Missy said...

Mental game is killer, really a game changer! I suck at MTBing, really and truly.