Endurance is more about willpower than physical fitness. Running a marathon is 20% physical and 80% mental. Some say it’s 90% mental. The exercise and training leading up to the race really just serve to supply confidence.
It’s tough to keep going in demoralizing situations, like the 22nd mile of a marathon. Endurance athletes have a secret tool in their arsenal for when the going gets tough. It’s called a mantra.
Mantras keep the mind focused. If you’re constantly repeating your priorities to yourself, little stray voices can’t interrupt with complaints and distractions.
My favorite running mantra comes from Haruki Murakami: Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.
I’m not really in pain these days, but there are other sources of misery. I still use a mantra when the world feels unpleasant:
30 years from now, I would give anything to be back in this moment.
Because life is an ultramarathon, not a sprint.
Other mantras that I like:
I don’t stop when I’m tired, I stop when I’m done.
The Faster You Run, The Faster You’re Done
Quitting is forever.
Who do you want to be?
If you don’t do it now, you’ll be older when you do
If there are other good ones, please share 🙂
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