Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Think Positive

I think that this kind of stuff (Sports Psychology) is so interesting. Here is a bit that I just read. I find it so incredible what the mind will allow your body to do sometimes.

By Frank Claps, M.Ed., C.S.C.S.
Her Sports + Fitness

Your mind can improve your exercise results, says two recent studies. Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that women who believed they had a high tolerance for muscle pain reported less discomfort during cycling tests than women who claimed a low threshold.

In a Harvard University study, when hotel maids were told their work met the Surgeon General's recommendations for an active lifestyle, the women experienced decreases in blood pressure, body fat, waist-to-hip ratio and body mass index a month later. But the control group, who didn't receive the information, saw no such health improvements.

On a personal side note, I have found that yoga helps with this process. In addition to getting a great power and endurance workout yoga has definitely helped me put my mind into practice turning the "I can’t’s" into the "I just did its!!” I have found that this practice in the studio has translated onto the bike in a very positive way too which I really never expected quite honestly. After many years of yoga, I now am able now to not give up right away on say a sketchy downhill section that I thought was not ridable and instead I will push through (weather it's clean or not is debatable at times but at least I am doing it!).

On that note, the power of the mind has also helped me overcome near crashes because I didn't let up and was able to pull out of it somehow (even though I was hearing glimpses of "it's over, you are going to crash!" in my head but didn't let it get to me). This blog entry from November comes to mind on that one for sure.

This all of course, is not to say that I don't crash because I certainly do (sorry to let you know that mom-don't worry now), but I have cut the incidences down because I don't give up as it is happening anymore and instead I try to pull out of it.

All of this practice (of the mind) for me began in the studio with poses that I thought I could not do or achieve or even hold at first. Try some yoga if you can because I think you will be pleasantly surprised as I was. It is just another tool you can you to help you achieve your goals. Everything takes practice!


Frenchy aka Bike Boy said...

Great post on the power of PMA (positive mental attitude).

Anonymous said...

I understand this in the way I approach skiing this year. My mental game is I have the skills and strength so the actual act seems matter of fact most of the time.

flahute said...

Whenever I see the word "positive" anywhere near an athlete's name, I get a sinking feeling in my stomach.

But thankfully, this is a different kind of positive. Good read.


Yeah, unfortunately a few rotten athletes along with lots of media have done that one in for us I think. Glad you enjoyed the positive read. :)


MT, funny how that works eh? Pretty cool too!