Training time: Motivation and mental preparation

Motivation and
mental preparation

April 4, 2016 - It all starts with setting a goal. That’s step one. In my case, that goal is to climb Mount Everest.

Then the work begins. Most of the time, big goals require a lot of preparation. For me, that means intense physical and mental training. Preparation has been a big part of my life for many years, and over time, I’ve truly internalized its value and importance. To quote Abraham Lincoln: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

Before I begin training, I consider all of the tools that I’ll need to achieve a  particular goal. From there, I can take action to obtain each one. So, what would I need for Everest? Of course, this climb requires physical strength. It would also call for the proper equipment (specifically, a new  prosthetic leg). While those elements are certainly crucial, I believe the most important tool  I’ll need – in this case, and in many other situations – is a positive state of  mind.

With that, I want to share some of my tips for achieving that mindset…

Visualize it

Start with a visual. You have to actually see yourself achieving your goal to even begin preparing for it. For Everest, I visualize myself at the summit and I imagine the journey I’ll take to get there. But I don’t just picture the good times – I think about the obstacles I’ll face and I see myself overcoming them. Most goals require a deep inner trust to get out of your comfort zone and begin the journey toward your summit. If it was easy, everyone would do it.

Make it real

Most of the time, the most difficult step is making the decision to reach for your goal. After that, all you need is a training or preparation plan. Determine the steps you’ll need to take to be successful, and your plan will keep you on track. For me, training must be ongoing – I need to wake up every morning and want it.

Lose the baggage

One pound of equipment at sea-level feels like ten pounds at the top of Everest. As you journey to your summit, think about what you’re bringing  with you. Are you carrying a lot of baggage? Will that hold you back? If you can let go of that “baggage” – negativity, uncertainty, fear – you won’t feel restrained as you move higher and higher.

Enjoy the ride

Preparation gives you the ability to actually enjoy the time you’ll spend on  execution. At this point in time, I can almost touch my goal. With less than a  couple months before I begin the climb, I feel confident. I know I’ve done  everything I can to prep my mind and body, and it’s almost time to reap the  rewards of that training. One foot in front of the other…

Thanks for following along with me. Next time we talk – it will be from base  camp in Nepal!