Friday, July 25, 2014

Hey Baby, What's your Mantra?


As the days to Ironman Boulder quickly dwindle down, it is fascinating to watch and read and hear so many people with nervous energy.  The entire town seems a buzz and the social media pages are non stop with tons of funny stories, bizarre questions and a limitless supply of personal worries.  Talk about weather and water temperature conversations!  Ha!  Holy cow, I wont be too sorry to see those go.  A few of my favorite questions that I've heard have been "Should I wear socks during the bike and run or not?"  "What are you wearing for the underpants run? "  "Do you think putting my number on my arm with a sharpie will stain my arm coolers or should I go with the tritat?" 
To Mantra or not to Mantra, that is the question.

And then there is......What's your Mantra?
This last one speaks to me.  It seems like a simple thing and one that would fit my lifestyle.  Yet in all my races and in my life in general I truly never had a mantra or saying to get me through the rough patches.  People have heard me say a billion times. "Everything Happens for a Reason" but writing that on my arm as a reminder of success and triumph over ironman struggles just doesn't seem quite fitting or inspirational.  Truthfully I have always just done what Nike has been saying for years.   I would "Just Do It".  Hell, I paid.  I signed up.  I trained. I'm gonna do this damn thing if it kills me.  During the down times in a race I would just do it.  As Kris Kringle sang in Santa Claus is Coming to Town I typically just put one foot in front of the other and keep going.  

I'm not talking about Stuart Smalley's Saturday Night Live Character....
“I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And doggone it, people like me.”
I'm talking about athletes digging it out and finding the light amidst the darkness of a race.  I'm talking about the slightest reminder when times are tough in the blazing sun.  When I was down and out in Cozumel, I looked at my life and all the people (I thought) I would have let down if I quit, most importantly myself, there was no phrase, no saying to lift my head and my spirit to carry me through and allow my feet to feel light, it was grit and self determination and a this thick headed calabrese spirit that I was born with.

But Zen Marty and all his Buddha Crap believes it seems sOoOooo friggen cool to have.......... A Mantra.

I've done some research and started to read about others.  I've seen people write "Beautiful" or "You're Awesome" on there wrists.   One person got tattooed on their forearm so they can read it while in the TT position on their bike. “I am stronger than this challenge & this challenge is making me even stronger”  
  • “your body is a machine”
  • “you are strong and powerful”
  • "You’re light as a feather – Keep it together!"
  • “Feet Fast, Legs Strong, I Can Do This All Day Long...”
  • "Push your pace! 
  • “This Is Exactly Where I Want To Be...”
  • "You’re stronger with every step!" 
  • "You’re doing it!
  • “Boom Chuggah Luggah Luggah...”
  • “Planned my race, now race my plan”
  • “Think strong, be strong, finish strong!!”


A little known triathlete Chrissie Wellington once gave her Top 10 Performance Tips....
Performance tip #6: Have a mantra (or two).
"I have some that I write on my water bottle and wristband when I race. One is 'smile,' and another is 'never give up.' "

I guess we all have what works for us.  The idea and concept of a Mantra is something that is special.  A positive lift.  I thoroughly appreciate those that have one as it is something that is near and dear to their hearts and spirit.  One that I will give some more thought to.  Will I have one come race day?  I don't know.  

I have 8 days, 7 hours, 55 minutes and 12 seconds to think about it....but who's counting?