Running, Repetition, and The Moment

There was a fantastic article in today’s New York Times, by Gina Kolata, about overcoming your mind to maximize your performance while running. Now, I am not much of a runner – or I should say, I would like to be more of a runner than I am. I have running shoes, and run about 50-60 times/year, with in these 3 month bursts of found discipline.

Anyway, this article got me thinking in more ways than running…

“All maximum performances are actually pseudo-maximum performances. You are always capable of doing more than you are doing.”
– Dr. Bill Morgan, University of Wisconsin

I am always amazed at how much I can get done in one day, if I just put my mind to it. Forget one day, in 15 mins I can turn my whole week around by making a basic to-do list in 2 mins, and knocking off at least 5 things off in the remaining 13mins. It is really a fantastic feeling, if only I could do it for myself on a more regular basis or do it for longer periods of time I would be set, right?

Over the years I have become quite the collector of processes and actions that get me closer to this state, or a mere few steps away from engaging in it. I carry notebooks with me to write down thoughts and chatter in my head. I bring music that inspires the quiet thinking. I set reminders upon repetitive actions that remind me to take a deep breaths. It is all a form of disassociation, I just had no idea that it was a strategy used by athletes to maximize their performance.

My own ‘Disassociation Strategy’ is about making my mind believe in a positive, proactive state of thinking just long enough to realize that I am doing some great things, and forget that I had self prescribed it only moments before. 15 mins, I find myself having done more than I expected.

Now I just need to try and convince myself that running is something I would like to do more often. I live right next to the largest park in Brooklyn, and by all accounts I should love running, and I think I do when I get in the groove of doing it. Maybe I need to take a cue from the title of Gina’s article and tell myself, “I’m Not Really Running, I’m Not Really Running…”

Prospect ParkProspect Park in the fall, Brooklyn, NY
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1 Comment

  1. clint says:

    I know the path in that photo well.

    and regarding paths in general- well, it just has to be a committed decision. this is what I will do to the best of my ability, with all the help I can get from above.

    faith without works is dead. its a hard saying but not much gettin around it.

    and dont forget to recognize the human side of us, full of flaws-but a yearning desire inside to do better thru grace.

    my 2¢

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