With our Run for the Seals 4 mile foot race just around the corner, my clients are starting to get a little worried about the “hills” along the course. See, the course description states that the route is “hilly in parts.” Those three small words have evoked large-scale panic in my brave, newbie runners.
Here’s what I have to say about the psychology of hills and words:
- First – Remember that “hilly” to one person is rolling or flattish to another. Everything is relative. Don’t let someone else’s words get your feathers in a fluff. Remember my “Do not crawl on the stairs” melt down?
- Second – When the elevation starts to go up, shut everything out of your head, listen to your calm slow breath like it’s music and “focus” on that. If you start gasping then slow the hell down and get your focus and breath back.
- Third – Do not look up. Look straight ahead just up the road, but do not look up the hill! If you look up and see how far you have to go you’ll freak yourself out, panic and lose your focus. The climb is almost always easier than you think it will be.
- Forth – Break the task down into small, easy to digest chunks. Think to yourself “let me just get to the first switch-back,” once there, get yourself to the big tree or some other small goal and keep it going, all the way to the top.
- Lastly – Never anticipate the top. Trust that it’s there and keep going until you find it. Remember, once you’re over the top you get to go down!
And there you have it. Kelley’s hard earned words of climbing mind games and wisdom. Use it wisely…