I feel your pain, Kara Goucher

“Negative self-chatter is something I’ve dealt with my entire life,” she says from her home in Portland, Or.  “There have been times when I shouldn’t have even bothered stepping up to the start line, because I’d already conceded the race.”  In a recent article in Women’s Running magazine titled, Think Like a Champion, by Jayme Otto about Kara Goucher’s struggle with self-doubt.
On any given race morning, I wake up nervous, cranky and stressed out.  And, these nerves end up with multiple trips to the bathroom.  A roll of toilet paper later, it’s time to suit up and drive to the race.  While driving, all I can think of is,  why am I here? Why am I doing this? Can I go fast? My fitness is not that good.  And on and on…In fact, lately it’s been so bad that I am amazed I make it to the start line.  In years past, I can remember more times when I’ve literally talked myself out of a race or talked myself out of a wheel or out of a sprint.  It’s ridiculous! And, it’s time to stop this nonsense.
In the article, Kara’s methods for combating the negative self-talk are to SILENCE the thoughts and shift focus.  Or she will remind herself of all the positive PROOF that she can do it and has done it in the past.
Some other methods I’ve read include having a mantra (particularly in endurance events), focusing on the breath, and in reading really great material!
I’m going to close with a quote from No Time to Lose by Pema Chodron, because I don’t have the answers, but, I am seeking them.
For all anxiety and fear,
All suffereings in boundless measure,
Their source and wellspring is the mind itself,
Thus the Truthful One has said.
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