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Mind over body

March 11, 2010

Photo courtesy POPPERFOTO

“First I out wit them and then I out hit them.”

This is a my favorite quote by Muhammad Ali. He may be best known for “swoop like a butterfly and sting like a bee,” but I think the above quote is his smartest.

Ali understood something that is difficult to grasp, or if grasped is difficult to put in practice. He recognized the power of the mind, the fact that it is the linchpin to your body’s actions and the amazing ease with which it can be influenced.

This lesson isn’t exclusive to running. I could just as easily write this on my other blog, which is more business and digital media oriented, but it is a lesson that proves true every time I tie my running shoes.

When I think about failing at my goal, get distracted by negative things in my life or loose mental focus my performance is affected. When I think clearly, positively and coherently my performance improves.

When running, you may be trying to outwit your opponents…”I will draft him until there are only two miles left” or “I’m going to sprint out in front of  her so she thinks she doesn’t stand a chance.” More often though, I find that I am trying to outwit myself. I need to trick myself into thinking I have more energy than I feel like I do. Usually if my mind believes I have the energy my body will follow along, and its almost always the case that I really did have that energy.

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