Support/Mental Strength – by Coach Heather

Support/Mental Strength

What is support?  Google defines it as to bear all or part of the weight of, build up.  Give assistance to.  Why is it important related to health and fitness?  It is crucially important. There are some people who are self-motivators and value exercise or who grew up exercising and love it.  There are those who like myself didn’t grow up exercising and it’s intimidating.

I remember the first time I stepped into the gym with Jolene and my family.  It was very intimidating.  I was fat, had no self-confidence and had no clue as to what I was doing.  I remember walking on the treadmill and looking at Jolene and saying hey that looks cool let’s try that etc.  You could tell I had no clue as to what I was doing.  It is funny to think about it.  I will never forget this Trainer asking us if we knew what we were doing.  I appreciated her honesty.

I remember when I was training for my first Triathlon.  Having my husbands and families support was so crucial.  Being surrounded by people who love you, believe in you and support you is really important.

As I was growing up, I didn’t have any self-confidence.  As kids, we were always put down.  Our cousins were always praised.  So growing up and taking up Triathlon I have broken a lot of barriers and have had a lot of breakthroughs. I remember when I was losing weight and people in the gym would see me and encourage and compliment me.  It is the best feeling to have others see you work hard and say positive things.

As I have grown in my fitness journey God has shown me who I am in him and what I am to be doing.  He has given me self-confidence.  He has used my husband and family to show me.  He has carried me through some scary breakthroughs.

What is mental strength?  Google defines mental strength as a measure of individual resilience and confidence that may predict success in sport, education and the workplace. As a broad concept.  What is resilience?  The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, toughness.  The ability of a substance or object to fall back into shape, elasticity.

Mental strength comes from within.  My husband can tell me all day that Heather you’re awesome and you have more in you than what you give or push yourself in a race.  Sometimes it’s hard for him to see me not push as hard as what he knows I can.  I have learned and am continuing to learn that mental strength comes from within.  It comes from believing in yourself even if it’s for the first time.

I value races…they teach me something about myself each time.  They show me my weak areas and where I need to improve but also I see how far I have come from my last race.  I show my toughness by recapping the race and understanding what happened.  The next race is then better and the strategy is even better.  I toughen up/harden up as they say by rehearsing in my workouts but also signing up for another race and showing myself what I am capable of.  Life is about growth!  I feel that spiritual growth and training go hand in hand!  When you stop learning is when you stop living!

I was told by a friend today that my Triathlon workouts are a rehearsal for the race.  I am to practice and to set myself free to just run and be free!  To feel my hair in the wind, to give everything I have and know that I am capable of winning!  To know that I am free to preform and just give it my all to clear my mind.  To know and believe myself that I deserve to be here and have worked just as hard as everyone else if not even harder.

Support is to bear up and build up. To see yourself in a different light is where mental strength comes from.  To give your all and expect the best from yourself.    To feel free is so refreshing.  Honestly, I don’t know if I could have done this without my support.  Jolene and I supported each other in different ways and still do.  To have someone you can call up when having a bad day when you don’t feel like going to the gym to encourage you to go is so amazing!

Recently, this year I had to learn to get out of my own head.  I had to know I will get back to my running pace that I was over a year ago.  The thing I am doing is holding myself back by being more concerned about pace and not just freeing  myself by feeling free and having joy that God has given me a gift!

What is it in your fitness journey that you need to free yourself of?

Where do you need to toughen up mentally?

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