Sometimes the Biggest Hurdles are in Your Mind

“A weakened mind always sees everything through a black veil.  The soul makes its own horizons; your soul is dark, which is why you see such a cloudy sky.”  These wise words were spoken by the count himself in the book The Count of Monte Cristo, which we are reading in English.  This quote can be applied to life in general and it can especially be applied to track.  Sometimes the only thing holding you back is your mind.

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For a lot of things in life, if you think that you can’t then you can’t and if you think that you can, then you can.  This happens a lot in track, especially when you start looking at the seed times of the people you are running with.  You look at the times and start bringing yourself down, saying things like ‘I can’t beat this person, they are too fast.’  The thing is though, you might have been able to run with that person, or even win, but because you started psyching yourself out, you didn’t run as fast as you might have been able to do.  I do that a lot before my races, thinking to myself ‘She runs a 57 and she runs a 59, there is no way I can win.’  I get really mad at myself afterwards because if I didn’t bring myself down, I might have been able to run with them and PR but instead I ran a slow time.  Thankfully, one of the guys on my team noticed and gave me a pep talk to snap me out of it and at the next meet I ran 60.9 instead of the 61’sand 62’s I had been getting.

Another place your mind can get in the way is when you are running the 400 and half way through your brain decides to say “Wow you are running really fast and getting tired.  If you want to be able to kick at the end, you should slow down now.”  So then, naturally, my legs listen to that part of my brain and slow down instead of the part that is saying “Shut up! You are NOT tired and you need to keep going.”  Then after the race, you think about it and if you hadn’t slowed down, you would have run a really fast time so you decide to not listen and keep running next time.  Next time, your brain does the exact same thing and your legs listen to what your brain is saying.  Also, on the last stretch, your mind plays tricks with you and makes it look like the finish line is getting farther away and you are just like:

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Although there are many examples of your mind being stupid in track, that is not the only place you find this.  It also shows itself while you are taking a test or something.  You look at a math problem on the test and just think, there is no way I can solve that problem.  You then try to solve the problem but come up with a completely wrong answer.

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Even though it is really hard, sometimes you just have to tell your mind to shut up and leave you be.  -A

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