You are what you think

There I was near the end of my little marathonette and ready to collapse when the cheering of the masses at the MCG lifted me. It made me realise the power of thought.


The Melbourne marathon was run the other day. I didn’t enter, not having trained for any distance like that for some time, but I did watch the start and felt great admiration for the participants: most look very prepared, very fit and keen to start.


The most famous participants of course are the Spartans, a small elite group who have completed all 30 Melbourne marathons. The Spartans boast among their number a 76-year-old woman who has Alzheimers! An amazing story…


My training took me to the shortest run, just 5.5 kilometres. On one hand I felt embarrassed to be doing such a short run and wearing the pink number, which made it clear for all to see who was doing what length run!! Another part of me was saying, ‘At least you are doing something! After all there were only 16,000 people in total competing in all the runs and Melbourne has a population of over four million!’


When you run you think. That is such a great part of exercising: it gives you the opportunity simply to think about life,business and all that affects you.


My run was no exception. I noticed that as I thought positively about the 5.5 kilometres. It seemed quite easy but when I allowed my self to say things like this is hard, my knees are really feeling this, everyone seems to be passing me, there is a long way to go, etc. Suddenly 5.5 kilometres seemed a very long way.


Right at the end of the course, just as we were about to enter the hallowed grounds of the MCG for the final lap, the track was separated into two lanes and someone called out for the 5.5-kilometre runners to go straight ahead. Unfortunately for me, straight ahead took me to the 10-kilometre lane and I was unable to turn around. This meant having to do an extra 1.5 kilometres, but at that stage I was unsure what extra I would have to do. I even thought it might be an extra 5 kilometres!!


Some very interesting thoughts entered my head then: ‘Perhaps I will just walk. I don’t think I can make it. I’m nearly done. My time won’t count anyway now, etc, etc …’ Very negative stuff. Fortunately for me, at this part of the run there were a lot of people gathered cheering-on the competitors and I felt myself being uplifted by the atmosphere and the negative thoughts giving way to, ‘I can’t stop now. Just do it. Other people are running a marathon … and older people than you!!’


I have always believed strongly in the power of positive thinking and the impact thinking has on the body. I really felt a couple of times very light in the head but the challenge of getting to the end – of whatever distance I had unwittingly got myself into – just pushed me through and the final challenge of the run inside the MCG was so exciting that no amount of light-headedness could stop me!


There is no doubt we are what we think and, as Deepak Chopra wrote, every living cell in your body is eavesdropping on your mind. I don’t know about you but I need to constantly remind myself of that (and check my thoughts). What impact is your mind having on your performance in all the important parts of your life? Are you surrounded by positive people cheering you on in business and life? Are you cheering yourself on?


To read more Marcia Griffin blogs, click here.


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