My mantra

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I've read in a couple of different places that runners should have a mantra -- something to say when they feel like they can't lift their legs to put one foot in front of the other, or something to focus on when the lungs are burning and the brain is going haywire. It's supposed to be something simple -- easy to say, easy to repeat, perhaps even easy to run to. 

I've had a few mantra over the years (read: all both of them) that I've been running. When I first started running, my mantra, lovingly crafted with the help of my friends Berta and J was "JFI" (Just finish it). It didn't matter the time, or if I stopped running, or if I raced like a turtle. The goal was to just finish it. 

Once I realized I could finish races, my mantra evolved. I needed something to push me through those moments where I felt like I would collapse. So, I came up with,  "Light and strong." When I felt like I was going to hurl, or just hurl my body toward the ground, I would tell myself that I was light and strong. I realize it sounds too good to be true, but it actually DID help to make me feel lighter and stronger... like I was more capable. 

Lately, I haven't really had a mantra. I haven't needed one, I guess, because my runs have served more as mental clarity time and time to process a lot of my thoughts. All my mental running space has been consumed. 

If anything, my mantra lately has been more about who I'm running for. I think about the people who can't run it for various reasons. I think about the people I want to run in order to honor. I think it helps... thinking that I have something bigger to run for other than myself. 

But I'm still in the market for a good mantra, if you have a suggestion. :) 


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