Don’t start something with an escape route.

Posted: March 9, 2011 in Uncategorized
Squeeze out the fear, because otherwise the fear will just paralyze you.
–Lewis Pugh

As for any new challenge, you have to get your head in the right place before you begin.  This is important:  If you go into something thinking of a “Plan B”, or an “escape route”, you are not fueling your mind to help your body. 

The mind-body connection is strong.  Feed it… fuel it… with the right thoughts, and you will finish!  However, if you enter a race thinking: “If I can’t run the whole thing I can always walk to the end”, you’re doing yourself a disservice.  Even during a training run, if you set out to do a 10-mile loop, but think: “I can always turn around at mile 3 for a shorter run”… you are setting yourself up to fall short of your goal.  Mentally and physically.

One of the best pieces of advice I have heard on this topic is from an interview with Lewis Pugh.  see link below:

Here’s a section from Lewis’ interview:

As he was about to dive into the Arctic, he says, that mental attitude came into play. “The most immediate thing you have to do is to just squeeze out the fear, because otherwise the fear will just paralyze you. And then commit 100 percent…. I wanted to swim a kilometer across the North Pole. And I wanted to do it to demonstrate graphically to the world what was happening in the Arctic, because the North Pole should be frozen over.

“I remember thinking to myself, if things go bad, I’ll get out after 500 meters…if you think about a swim like that, that’s the worst way of thinking. What you’re doing is confusing your subconscious, because you’re planning for victory and defeat at the same time.

“So the only way I could get into that water was to get as aggressive as possible — not wild aggression, controlled aggression — and to get really focused, and then commit 100 percent to doing the full kilometer and then just dive in, go for it.”

“I just never, ever want to give up. Most battles are won in the 11th hour, and most people give up,” he says. “If you give up once, it’s quite hard. If you give up a second time, it’s a little bit easier. Give up a third time, it’s starting to become a habit.”

Pugh is planning for another epic challenge, but he won’t say what it will be. The only hint he will give is that it will dramatize a threat to another of the world’s major ecosystems.


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