This evening, in the NYAC club house, Meb Keflezighi lit up the room with his story. An inspiring clip of his Boston Marathon victory projected as he chronicled the suffering he overcame to cross the finish line first; to be the only American to win a Boston Marathon in my lifetime.
In life we don’t enjoy discomfort; as an athlete we have to go beyond it.
I have seen that clip a million times. I saw triumph, the riches of a hard worked-for dream, the hope of an entire nation, the support of each victim from the year before. Meb detailed more of the story – a man that transcended pain, not one that escaped it.
I’ve survived the past 12 years off raw talent and good coaches. But, I’ve been a big baby about pain, and defeat… and the thought of defeat.. and defeat combined with continued pain….
Last week I spoke with my sports psychologist about changing this negative energy into positive, about countering each pessimistic thought, visualizing victory, and determining my internal motivation.
Here is what I came up with –
My internal motivation = everyone is hurting, glory is waiting when I cross the finish line first.
Mantra = suffering is my STRENGTH. relish it.
For every desire to dropout when it hurts I will visualize myself doing a victory lap (top 3) after the Olympic Trials 10K.
For every moment of weakness I will think of my idol Annie Bersagel, who would nearly pass out after each race from pushing herself to the max.
I shall become a pain sorcerer.