Picture if you will hands, lowering to the ground, finger tips barely touching the start line in front as the body lowers into a sprinter's stance. Beads of perspiration graze the forehead in anticipation of the starting gun. This person will run fast and win. The distance, 100 metres. The finishing time, 9.58 seconds. This man will be called the fastest man in world, Usain Bolt. What the world sees for those 10 seconds is the result of hours of hard work. They will rejoice, they will shower him with praise and admire his athleticism. Once the cheering is over, the world goes on, but that leaves behind important questions. How did he arrive at that moment? What steps did he need to take to achieve this outcome? What was the first practical step to athletic greatness? Does it come down to genetics, maybe natural talent? Can we as ordinary Joes and Janes get there?
Renowned athletics coach Eric Orton answers that question simply, "Being an athlete isn't something you're 'born with'. That’s a misconception, a myth, really....Being an athlete is a choice. And making that choice, taking up that mind-set, is the step that allows you to move toward a new level of achievement." Whether you are a newbie starting out on the road to fitness or an already able athlete, the first step is to make the choice to become something greater. Once you have made that choice you will need to make the mental adjustments for the journey. 7-time winner of Mr Olympia and former Mr Universe, Arnold Schwarzenegger, advises 6 mind resets for the journey to achieve greatness:
1. Trust yourself – Believe in the destination you have set for yourself.
2. Break the Rules – Don’t ever set limits to what you can do. Challenge the status quo.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Fail- Failure is not the end. Failure is a stepping stone to greatness.
4. Don’t listen to the Naysayers – Don’t let anyone tell you what you can and cannot do.
5. Work Your Butt Off – The journey isn’t easy. Be prepared to work hard to get there.
6. Give Back - Don’t forget to contribute to your community or to help others.
Truth be told we are not Usain Bolt. We may never scale those heights of achievement, but we can relish in our choice to improve ourselves. To run that 5K, 10K, marathon, to one day finish a triathlon, and more importantly to enrich our lives. Today I encourage you to reset your mind-set. Turn your "Only that guy can do it" into a "Why not me?” The greatest tool in the achievement of such success, whether on the field or in the arena of life is your mind. To quote Henry Ford: "The man who thinks he can and the man who thinks he can't are both right. Which one are you?” Take the plunge. Commit to becoming something great today.