Posted by: Steve Lackey on Sep 01, 2008
A few months ago I wrote about swimming an entire 60 minute workout without goggles - just opened my eyes in the pool and embraced the freedom of swimming without goggles - until I got out and realized the chlorine had melted away half of my contact lenses (not recommended as I had a headache for two days). Still, I was pretty impressed with myself for sucking it up and getting through the ‘adversity' of that particular workout.
I was reminded of this when I saw Michael Phelps win gold at this year's Olympics in his premier event - the 200 meter butterfly. He could not have looked less satisfied - tossing his cap and goggles onto the deck as if they were not worthy of being in the pool. Turns out, upon entering the pool his goggles filled up with water and stayed that way for the entire event. For just over 1 minute and 51 seconds he crushed all challengers - essentially with his eyes closed.
The average person would be quickly consumed by the negative vibe associated with something going wrong - especially at a time like this (an Olympic finals event). And I guess that is why people like Phelps are able to consistently perform at the level they do - they seem to have an uncanny ability to block out anything that is not moving them in a positive direction - they inherently, and seemingly proactively, eclipse any potential negative energy - at least for as long as they need to get to the finish.
I am sure this is the same type of positive consciousness that elite gymnasts dip into when they fall of the balance beam and then get up to continue executing severely complex techniques with perfection to complete their routine. It has always amazed me.
On August 24th we will kick off the 2008 Ramblin' Rose Women Only Triathlon Tour in Winston-Salem, NC. With over 50% of the participants being first timers, the value of embracing this positive mindset will be significant for all involved. And as anyone who has witnessed one of these events knows, there is plenty to go around as hundreds of mothers, daughters, sisters, and grandmothers cross the finish line beaming with pride and accomplishment. This too, consistently amazes me. www.endurancemag.com/ramblinrose
For our cover story, Charlie Engle, along with his partner Marshall Ulrich, is about to embark on a mission that is certain to test his positive consciousness as they strive to cross the US from San Francisco to New York City in 45 days - on foot. Imagine what your perspective would be after running across the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range only to find, once on the other side, that you see nothing but desert as you start into Nevada - with 80% of the country still left to cross. Is it:
"Holy crap, I just ran across the Sierras! - I am awesome!" or perhaps,
"I'll never make it across this miserably endless desert".
Which way would you see it? [Their run starts on September 13th.] www.runningamerica08.com
Some would argue there is a collective energy - a collective consciousness - that exists for us all to tap into - that affects all of us. The more positive energy we put out there, the more there will be for each of us. Our Endurance Magazine Citizen team will be looking for some of that energy at the Duke Half Ironman (especially on the run portion) this month. If you have a moment on September 14th, feel free to send some our way.
Inspire. Perform. Endure.
PS - Rule #63: Never pass up an opportunity to compare yourself, no matter how far-reaching, to the most decorated Olympian of all time.