On your mark, get set, GO. 13 minutes and it’s over. That’s what I told myself for the 2 days before I was to complete the test. 13 minutes of pushing my legs, lungs, and heart. Mind over matter. This 300 yard shuttle run test could possibly be the most mentally daunting task that I have had to accomplish.
This happens before every run test that I do. For two days before the test my anxiety levels rise. The night before consists of me tossing and turning because I can only think about the times. I think to myself, I have to make good times; it has to be competitive with my teammates. If I do poorly on this it will reflect on my work ethic.
The more I think about the stress that comes with the test, the more negative thoughts come to my head. I begin to mentally talk myself out of doing the sprints. At this point I stop myself. Who am I getting these times for? Yes I have to get good times for my coaches, but what about me? I forget the main reason why I am doing. I want to get in shape to be at my peak performance. There is no way I can get to my peak performance if I’m worried about impressing someone else. At this point my goal is to get in shape for myself.
This is how I practice my own mindfulness. I try to catch myself at any negative thoughts and switch it around. I begin to think realistically of what this run test means. It is about improvement and pushing myself. If I am pushing myself I know that I am on my way to getting in the proper shape. In a corny sense, a run test is like life. In life you go through periods of pain. You just have to remember that you will get through it. Be aware of what is happening around you and step up to make it better. It is up to you to take what is difficult and put your best effort to make it better. The pain from run tests will end, I just have to push through and give it everything I’ve got.
This morning I set my toe up to the line, I counted down in my head, and I ran with everything I had. It was hard and I was tired, but I got through it. More hard work lies ahead.