the body achieves what the mind BEElieves....

The power of the mind. Did you know that a bumble bee should not be capable of flying…according to experts in the field of aerodynamics and space engineering. Their bodies are too fat, too round and too slow.  Thank goodness no one ever told this little aviator about their limitations.  If only humans did not believe the stuff they are told from parents, PE coaches, family, husbands, peers, and the infamous SELF.  Too bad we believe our small failures as truths, re-directing our directions as we stumble with heads-down onto a more comfortable, safer path. Limitations restrict, squash, negate and weaken possibility and potential.  Think about the race where Roger Bannister broke the 4 minute barrier in the mile, prior to that race, over 50 reputable medical journals throughout the world claimed that such speed by a human was not possible. What is more astonishing is that after Bannister changed the record, more than 45 athletes reached the SAME goal in the next year and a half.  Truth: believing in oneself and breaking YOUR limitations begin with exercising NOT ONLY the body, but also the MIND.


Lets define the mind:  it enables consciousness, thinking, reasoning, perception and judgment.  Does the mind have a voice?  I think so…the dialogue,  self-talk, incessant conversation that only we can hear.  What are we saying to ourselves?   Often I run alone, but I am never solo – the voice in my head keeps me company.  And sometimes it can be labeled the worst running partner on the block, and unfortunately cannot be ditched at mile 1.  For in the silence ‘out there’ in the dark morning air, my inner voice pierces through my body….”i am tired” “my legs feel heavy” “why are you running again” “you will never reach that illusive goal in your race”  Your mind can either support and uplift, or degrade and judge.  You choose!!!!   Enter affirmations, mantras, pep-talk, declarations… the positive stuff you need to say to yourself repeatedly throughout your run.  Positive thoughts relax us and in so doing, keep the limbic system quite and calm.  From “Running Within” by Jerry Lynch and Warren Scott, * relaxed muscles are more fluid and contribute to greater coordination, strength and endurance.  * relaxed bodies burn less energy by keeping inappropriate and useless stress in check.  As a result, fatigue is reduced. tension contracts the blood vessels, inhibiting the flow of blood to the muscles and causing fatigue; relaxation reverses this process. * Relaxation lowers blood lactate (lactic acid). Research shows that this lactate, the accumulation of which inhibits performance, decreases in calm athletes or is less in calm athletes than it is in tense athletes. The opposite – negative judgement egoic thoughts can stimulate the limbic center and increase your baseline level of tension and anxiety.

Pep-talk rules: (adapted from ‘Running Within’)

  • keep the mantra short, concise and simple.
  • keep it positive, what you want, not what you don’t want.
  • use the present tense.
  • be consistent…recite affirmations aloud each day for a few minutes instead of once a week.
  • use rythmn – a cadense will help you remember the affirmations more easily.

I love this statement….”Affirmations are the language or possibility and change; their purpose is to remove the static, limiting impressions of the mind and to create a more unlimited, expansive sense of what can be. Affirmations are geared toward the awakening of each of us to our potentialities rather than the limitations of ife.”

We all know the phonomenon of the THE SECRET, a 2006 film produced that consists of a series of interviews designed to demonstrate that everything one wants or needs can be satisfied by believing in an outcome, repeatedly thinking about the outcome, and maintaining positive emotional states to “attract” that outcome.  Now apply THE SECRET to your running with daily positive affirmations that are happy and relaxing self-talk.

A more scientifc approach for those who need facts and evidence…an excerpt from Scott Jurek’s EAT AND RUN…” In “Lore of Running,” Dr. Tim Noakes promotes a theory about how our bodies endure exercise. He believes that a central governer in the brain evaluates the athletic task and determines how many muscle fibers should be recruited.  In the case of a run, the brain judges how far away the finish line is, compares it to past training runs, and sets a pace that, barring accidents, the body can maintain without injury.”   Scott paced  Brian Morrison in the Western States 100.  Three hundred yards from the finish line Brian collapsed and got a DNF (did not finish).  For real….after 99 and 3/4 miles…his body quit? Scott’s theory is that Brian’s central governer caught sight of the finish line, cooinciding with cheering words from the pace crew: “you did this, you are the western states champion”.  Brian collapsed, could not walk and was babbling. Brian believed he was finished and that he won the race, and in his ‘victory,’ his body fell to the ground, not able to walk one more step further.  ONE lap around a high school track-short of the 100 mile race…what his brain, or central governer, said was “you are finished and you won”…and his body followed. Afterward, his pacer Scott Jurek said Brian put everything he had into that ultra, he was a champion, even though the paper inked DNF.

Create goals, positive pep-talk, fail and get back up, visualize relaxation. Be the student of the run….excercise your mind on the roads and it will direct success in all aspects of your life; work,  family, relationships, love.  So fly away little bumble bee – spread your unique tiny wings of affirmations and feel victorious as you explore adventure and possibilities on the road and in your world.