Monday, June 22, 2009

Push the mind.....

....and the body will follow. (PTMATBWF)

My tri buddy Eric B. sent me that message as I drove down to southern Ohio for the Triple T. It served me well on the last day during the half marathon. When I returned home I sent him a message asking where he found this saying.

His very modest answer, "I did." I did a google search of the phrase and sure enough, there were several hits of topics close to the phrase but none exact. Eric's phrasing is perfect in my opinion.

I pushed him further as to where the phrase came from. He had been reading a book about the Navy SEALS when it came to him. To be a good soldier, especially at that level, one must be prepared to go above and beyond. To be a great soldier (armed forces special forces like Delta, Rangers and SEALs) may require a soldier to push so hard that the outcome is one of two: completion of the mission or die trying.

Okay, I know this is a little extreme for triathlon or any other sport but let's take it in perspective. Many athletic events are all about pushing ones self to the limits or reaching personal goals. No where is this more evident than triathlon and running.

Look at these two pictures....stern concentration and determination on their faces.

I'll also include cycling because I have a personal bias towards it even though it does not receive the mainstream recognition since Lance Armstrong retired. But there is something to be said about riding 100 miles in one day, especially when most people can't imagine driving that far in a car.

Even in professional sports I can appreciate the talent the top athletes display and they do push themselves damn hard, but the industry is so tainted with drugs and thugs that I can barely stand watching any of that shit. There is something to be said for real athletes who push themselves to the edge for pride and honor instead of the big paycheck. "Pay me mo' money because I am that good" F' you all you spoiled little prissy

Give me an age grouper who pukes his guts out after an Olympic triathlon on Sunday then goes to his office job on Monday with nothing but a pat on the back and a sense of fulfillment in his heart. I will also cheer louder for the back of the pack runner who is completing their first 5k, 10k, half or full marathon. They have won over my respect.

Okay.....time to pull it back now. Just had to get that out a little......damn pretty boy Favre needs to STAY retired......bit so that I can get back to writing about.......and tell Manny to grow up, damn finger nail biting, dread lock wearing Marley wanna be who actually looks like a Predator.....pushing the mind.

So a couple of weeks ago Aimee and I attended an event where Ray Zahab spoke. Ray was one of the runners in Running the Sahara. I wasn't quite sure what to expect but he was an excellent speaker. At first I thought he was just going to tell us about his wild and crazy adventures, but he tied everything together with a purpose and lessons learned.

I realized, "Well try running across the Sahara or Antarctica and see if you can't learn something about yourself or the others around you." Talk about pushing your mind. This guy had to fight two occurrences of dysentery, sand storms, blisters, high heat and dehydration with no rest days. Across the Sahara they were out there for 100

Push that!

Now hang onto your pants....I'm finally going to tie it all together myself with the help of Ray.

His most memorable quote...........

"Running is 90% mental, the rest is all in your head."

Push the mind....and the body will follow.

The mind is a powerful tool. You take it with you where ever you go. Do not listen or believe what you body or anyone else is telling you, especially if the word "can't" is involved.

Thanks to Cyndi and Eric for "pushing" me to write this post. Sometimes I just need a little help from my friends.

Game On.


Trisaratops said...


Good quote! I once dated a SEAL. Intense might be the understatement of the century! ha ha

Anonymous said...

LOVE it...I especially love "Running is 90% mental, the rest is all in your head."

I am reading 'The Extra Mile' about ultra runner, Pam Reed. To me it's not that she has 'won' so many races and that she is 'the fastest' at ultra distances -'s how she 'plays the game'. It's how she gets through the challenge, the thought that is involved, how she pushes her mind to get her to the end...that is where the respect comes in. As you mentioned, the majority of today's pro athletes are all about the money and winning. Winning is not so impressive unless you've done something extraordinary to get there - and that's where the mind comes in to play.

Good stuff!

Ms. V. said...

Bring the mind. It's the only thing you have control over! Garbage in, garbage out..>Good in, good out!

Great motivating post!

Caroline said...

As a former competitive swimmer, I have a complete bias to the swim portion!! I have not yet begun life as a triathlete...but have often considered it now as an adult. I hate to admit, I would have some major shape and conditioning to even get in a mile LOL! I completely rely on my Topricin all natural cream to help with everyday aches and pains...and seriously would have to consider a case of it for training :) Thanks for the mojo- keep it up- have ya bookmarked! Caroline

Cliff said...


Thanks for the reminder...yes the mind does wonder and the body always complain...