90/10 Split - The Mental vs. The Physical

My first post on BlogHer... a monumental occasion... for me anyway.

I began training for a triathlon with Team In Training nearly three months ago, but it wasn't until this past weekend that I realized just how much endurance sports are a mental game. I'd heard the phrase, "I hit a brick wall," but always related it to the physical.

Only that's not the case, not exactly. Certainly, the body has limits. Our muscles can do what they've been trained to do and they do not want to be pushed beyond their limits. They fight back. However, if you let that 10% that is physical win, then improving becomes difficult.

As the mountain before me grew, I looked to the top and only felt defeat. My thoughts pressured me. They told me that I wasn't good enough or strong enough. I couldn't do it. "You'll never reach the top," my 10% told me as my legs burned with each pedal stroke. My breathing labored and my face flushed with heat. That's when I knew that I needed to tune out the voice and simply believe that I was capable. As Coach always says, "It's 90% mental."

My mantra began. "One, two, three, four, Push, two, three, four, Pull, two, three, four, just keep going..." I focused on the area right before me and did not let the looming distance play a role in my ability to climb that hill. Before I knew it, I had reached the top.

Only six more miles to go now...

It was one of the hardest workouts yet. The obstacles I encountered (everything from the hills to a bent bike frame to a flat tire) tried to keep me from the finish. They worked to encourage the 10% that wanted to stop because of soreness and a personal lack of confidence in ability. However, this week, my 90% won. TR[I] because you can do it; TR[I] because others can't; TR[I] because you want to reach the finish, just TR[I].

Pride swept over my being as I reached my destination. I did it... and I can't wait to do it again.

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