For a very long time, I thought I did not believe in mantras. I've read the articles and heard people talking about mantras, but it just seemed weird to me.
I should probably clarify. The articles I read talked about "planning" your mantra and making sure you know what you are going to say when you need that extra boost.
In my mind, that was contrived and, frankly, sounded hokey. I need to sit down sometime and think about what I will say to myself when I am at mile 10 of a half marathon? Or in the middle of a big hill in Parkersburg? I don't think so.
I didn't give it much thought until recently when I was doing my speed workout. (You all know I hate speed workouts.) In the third "lap" I was pumping my arms, rolling my feet and trying so hard to go even faster. In my mind I kept repeating "You can do it! You can do it! You can do it!" over and over and over for the entire 3-minute lap.
During my 2-minute rest it dawned on me: I have a mantra!
The more I thought about it, I remember using that same chant in the last quarter mile of the Air Force Half when I was trying to pass a woman who wouldn't let me pass. And I remember thinking it while climbing the Eden Park hill in the Flying Pig Half Marathon.
I didn't have to plan it in advance -- when I needed a mantra one came to me. And it worked!
Do you use mantras? If so, how did you come up with it?
Tomorrow I'll post about my friend Deb's mantra during the Flying Pig.