Dara Torres.  An inspiration.  A role model.

In her book Gold Medal Fitness, Dara talks about mental strength and how to harness it.  Here’s her best advice:

  1. Keep Your Focus. Unlike shopping or house cleaning, you cannot let your mind wander during training.  The more presence of mind your bring to each exercise, the more your mind can enhance your body.
  2. Stick To Your Routine. Following a routine reinforces and strengthens your commitment to your goals and to yourself.
  3. Practice. Practice breeds trust and muscle memory.  It hones your skills and allows you to control your nerves on game day.
  4. Do Your Best. During performance, competition and practice.  Give every effort your all.
  5. Manage The Pressure. Getting anxious about your workouts/performance?   Take a deep breath and look off into the distance.  Shift your attention from your feelings of nervousness.  Take your body away from your anxiety.  Let the feeling pass.
  6. Develop A Strategy. Become familiar with your exercises and direct your workout.
  7. Be Efficient With Your Energy. Don’t dally and shit around.  Manage your time, get through your workout, move wisely and with intention
  8. If You Feel Tired, Ill, or Injured, Back Off. Don’t push through pain or workout as a cold is taking hold.  Let your body rest when it needs rest.
  9. Create Your Own Support Team. Surround yourself with people who believe in you, who cheer you on, you trust you and help you to stay focused.
  10. Relax And Have Fun. Don’t be fully caught up in winning.  Practice and working out can be enjoyable and fun.   Relax into it!

Can you find yourself in here?  Can you take any of these bits of advice and apply them to your own life?  Please do.  Come out ahead!