Did I mention that I had a bad day? That I couldn't shake my mental rut? How I mentally had a come-apart and wanted to quit racing and training. And that I let it affect my race and the next many days of my life? So much so that I wanted to quit the job I love. And that I wanted to boycott Olympics and move out of the country?
Oh, and did I mention that next week I'm supposed to give a presentation at a tri camp on MENTAL FITNESS?! Ha!
I've actually been studying the ins and outs of mental toughness for the past few years. I have seven books on my shelf dedicated to the mental/emotional side of competition. I've bombarded a local sports psychologist with questions on how to get mentally fit. I've watched YouTube videos and listened to podcasts. I've practiced breathing and imagery and mantras and motivators. I love it all and use it all.
I could say that your next best race is only a movie away. Or that everything you needed to know you learned from a movie. Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz you've had the power all along. You just need to know how to cultivate your skills and when to use them.
For almost every iron distance triathlon, I've taken a movie-inspired PEZ along for the ride. I stash them in my Bento box. I've taken along Wonder Woman, Princess Leia, R2D2 and Elastigirl. Some face forward, some face me. Remarkably, I've never eaten the candy on the ride. BUT, I have been known to talk to them around mile 95. They're little reminders on how to keep my brain in the game.
I haven't decided on who to take for IMNC, but here are some options:
DORY - from FINDING NEMO & FINDING DORY Dory is OPTIMISM. She's talkative and fun and warm and friendly. She the Good Samaritan of the sea - likely to help you in your time of need. She has a sunny personality despite suffering from short-term memory loss. And maybe that positivity is a result of that memory loss. She'll sing to you: JUST KEEP SWIMMING, JUST KEEP SWIMMING. She's your mental pep talk.
I need more DORY in my life. Sometimes I can be so hard on myself. In a race, I can really beat myself up for not doing what I "should" be doing. Especially on the run. At that recent race, I gave myself a pep talk from time to time. You can do this. This is just like France! You love this. Take in the moment! Enjoy this day. I imagined what I'd say to my athletes: BE YOUR OWN AWESOME! REJOICE! You are amazing. You are doing this! Keep up the good work. You are so strong.