Even after 30K, Olympic Nordic skier Holly Brooks has a smile on her face. The power of positivity can do wonders for performance. Courtesy Holly Brooks.
New Year’s fitness goals can flourish with the power of positivity
If I asked for a show of hands regarding who has “failed” at a New Year’s fitness resolution I’m willing to bet everyone’s hands would go shooting up, mine included. Why is it so hard to eat less sugar, get regular exercise or actually run that first half marathon? For some it’s the practice of setting unrealistic goals, but
often I think the most limiting factor sits six inches between our ears – that is, our brains and our occasional negative attitudes.
We’re all familiar with the standard list of excuses, but perhaps even more damaging is that negative voice in our heads that sometimes
gets the better of us. It preaches that we can’t or we won’t or we’re too heavy, too slow or our jacket is pink when it should have been red. We
tell ourselves the most ridiculous things to procrastinate and derail us from meeting our goals. In this case, internalized pessimism or the
tendency to see the glass as “half empty” gets the better of us.
I am one of the lucky ones who usually sees the glass as half full. In fact, my Twitter handle bio reads “eternal optimist,” among other things. I’m convinced that my ability to remain positive and find the silver lining in almost any situation is largely responsible for my professional athletic career. Physical talent was never my greatest asset; my ability to put a smile on my face, maintain a stubborn tenacity, and find the good, or learning opportunity, in each low moment kept me going.
A relevant example could be the snow-making loop out at Kincaid Park – groomed for cross-country skiing. Kincaid is home to more than 50 kilometers of trails, yet last year we had only 3 kilometers covered with artificial, manmade snow. Time and time again, I heard excuses from people who like to ski that they didn’t go at all last year because they didn’t like to ski on boring, little loops. (By the way these are the same people who run on treadmills constantly going nowhere.) Did I miss the other 47 kilometers that Kincaid has to offer? Absolutely! But what if we reframe the snow-making loop into
1) an opportunity to practice agility dodging all the other skiers, and
2) a chance to meet, greet and socialize with friends; all of whom are skiing in the same place. The added bonus is that you could be late for a ski date and always find your training partners. These two outlooks on the same situation represent two entirely different opinions,proving that it’s always a matter of perspective!