January 21, 2019

In need of a little friendly competition? By Nicole Bryan

Up for a little friendly competition?

Choosing to participate in a race will inspire your workouts and motivate you to work harder. Bringing some friendly competition into your exercise routine will peak interest, and you’ll be less likely to miss a workout when your ego is on the line. Let nerves and jitters of a little friendly competition inspire a source of empowerment to better fitness.

Here are just a few reasons why racing should be on your list of exercise goals:

Competition builds confidence that spills over into all aspects of life. Improved confidence and self esteem means you’re more likely to set goals in other areas of life. Learning how to tap into an inner strength, determination or perseverance to cover that last mile or last lap will give a boost of energy to accomplish other non-fitness dreams.

Competition keeps you coming back for more. There will always be an aspect of our participation we could have done differently; maybe prepared a little better, executed with greater precision, thought out a more effectively.

Competition promotes additional healthy behaviors. Racing is just one aspect of fitness. When working toward a competition other areas creep into consciousness for example insuring better sleep, better food choices, and better time management.

Competition eases stress and leads to mental or emotional clarity. Sometimes the physical fatigue of racing allows us to be still enough for our psyche to process emotional happenings of life. This is a good thing and results in feelings of rejuvenation.

Competition encourages new friends. Competing alongside a fellow athlete creates an instant bond and understanding of effort, dedication and sacrifice. The kindness and generosity in the spirit of good sportsmanship often seen in competitions results from an automatic camaraderie rarely experienced in other settings.

Consider adding in some friendly competition to your workout regime. Once a year or many times each year, preparing for a race will fire up motivation and quality of exercise. Attending a few events or competitions of interest to observe as a spectator is a great step toward determining if it’s for you. Enjoy the motivation and commit to participate the next time around, and pass on the inspiration.

Find your Athlete by Nicole Bryan

Find the Athlete in YOU

When watching athletic events on television, ever wonder how the competitors deal with the stress, pressure and energy of it all? Athletes work day in and day out, not only on physical strengths, but just as important to their performance is their mental strengths. There is a certain mindset and perspective that leads athletes to greatness. Some people adopt a fearful or anxious reactive perspective. For example, what if something bad happens? What if it rains on the day of my marathon? Successful athletes adopt a perspective that focuses forward. For example, what do I need to keep moving forward; water, calories, etc.

Successful athletes are very efficient about getting their needs met. Instead of focusing on how bad muscles are feeling or tired they are at for example, mile 20 of a marathon, successful athletes focus on what they need to get through the next time, match or game. Focusing forward also empowers the successful athlete to keep at it. What’s your perspective?

Keep moving forward. Don’t over think, over analyze, dwell on what was or could have been. Simply keep it moving forward. One step, mile, lap at a time.

Talk nice. Positive self talk goes a long way when things get tough. Have a mantra in place which you repeat over and over again during training or workouts to use as your go to during an event. For example “I am strong and steady.”

Find your zen. Relaxing into your sport or event will allow your mind, and in turn your body to ease tension to simply take the next step forward. Take in the scenery or try to empty your mind and focus only on the athlete in front of you.

Don’t fight the uncomfortable-ness. The purpose of having a goal is to force us to stretch. There will be uncomfortable times, there will be doubt, and there will be challenging times. Accept it and move on.

Train hard, and visualize harder. No doubt that if we don’t put in the time to log miles or hours on our hobby or sport that we physically will be unable to achieve our goal. However, setting aside specific time to sit in silence and visualize completing our goal will provide direction for our mind. Picture every detail of your goal and do it daily.

Be prepared for the good, the bad, and the ugly. Most times a single event will have many emotions tied to it. And most likely we’ll experience a wide array of all of them. Have a plan how to break the mental pattern of negativity and doubt. For example, singing your favorite song in your head, remembering a special someone or simply blanking your mind and focusing on an object around you. Choose anything that will break the mental self-sabotaging pattern.

Performing or reaching a goal like an athlete means thinking and acting like an athlete. Don’t settle for less.