As you may have read in a previous post, I recently completed a Triathlon…and although it was great to have actually completed this feat, it brought out more of my competitive spirit that had not been seen since I made All State in High School Soccer (yes…soccer). One of my cohorts told me that if there was any type of competitiveness in me, doing a TRI would certainly bring it out! Sure enough, I’m prepping myself to be stronger, faster and more focused this next go-round.
Which brings me to this big point that I want to share: one of the biggest things I learned about myself in that race is that I need to keep it mental. I know this because I ran into issues with
- The Unknown: it was my first race. And regardless how many books I may have read, advice I received from seasoned athletes, training I had under my belt, it was all new. Transitions, the amount of people in my way, bubbles underwater during the swim – although it was great, it was unchartered territory for me.
- Intimidation: hey, it was my first race…This rarely happens to me as I’m one to do everything I can to get myself prepped. But seeing these athletes with their bikes, cool looking tri-tops and (let’s face it) triathlete-looking physiques. I’m no slouch, but certainly not going to gracing any magazine covers (yet).
- Pacing: come on now, it was my first race…! Excitement and nerves got the best of me in certain spots – I lost good form, my flow was a bit off and I let little things get the best of me too often. Had to keep reminding myself to stay calm and carry on to reach my happy race place.
For some, getting mental means getting in that zone where you have everything set and prepared. For me, it means that I’ve prepared enough to stay loose and be flexible with whatever may come my way…
Be it in a race or with business, it pays to keep it mental. You will always have moments where things are completely new to you; when you’re not the smartest person in the room; or when you’re so nervous that your hands get clammy, you start stuttering or speed through to the end of a presentation.
Get mental. Do your prep work. Find out who’s going to be in the board room and get some background info on all the players. Breath. Pace yourself. Breath some more. Find your ‘loose + easy Homer’ place and keep it all in perspective.
What do you do to keep it mental? How do you handle the unknown?