365 Days of Meditation

Heck yeah! Goal achieved. That’s right. 365 consecutive days of meditation practice.

Are you supposed to celebrate meditation? Or am I supposed to be chill about it? This woman is going to celebrate. Although I would say I am considerably more chill now too.

A whole year! Every d*mn day. Meditations ranged from 3 minutes (some days are hard) to 2 hours. I know!

Some days I felt these big epiphanies. Aha moments. Game changer enlightenment.

Some days I just watched my to-do list roll by over and over. Trying to just observe and not add to it.

Some days I tried to solve life’s biggest mysteries. Getting frustrated the answers didn’t appear.

Some days I felt super anxious. Tightness in my chest. A little panic even.

Some days I felt tears rolling down my face. Like I was letting go of something I had carried for a while.

Some days I just needed a break and a minute (or 3) to regain some peace after a frustrating situation.

Some days I needed to “just calm down.” For the record, I am the only one who can say that to me. 🙂

Some days (many days really) I got up early, sat on the meditation couch with my dogs, and it was the best part of my day. They seriously love meditation time.

Some days I did not want to meditate. At all.

Sometimes it was because I was in a really good place and didn’t want to take time away to “just sit.”

Sometimes it was because I was not in a good place and kind of wanted to stay upset about it.

Some days I forgot until the very last minute and almost accidentally ended my streak. I was probably unreasonably attached to the goal and the little reward you get on the Headspace app, but hey, I’m achievement oriented!

Why is this so important? What changed? Why am I on day 375 (even when there are no more app awards)?

I feel like I have an underlying peace that I didn’t have before. I don’t get quite as swept up in my thoughts or situations. I notice my thoughts more. I can act from a more reflective place (not that I always do, I’m human).

I know that I’m more than my thoughts. I can identify when I’m having irrational thoughts. I know that I choose the thoughts to believe and that I create results in life through the thoughts I choose. I know that others are experiencing the same thing.

I have a clarity that I didn’t have before. I can sit with feelings and really feel them instead of trying to dismiss them or move past them. Which is good, because that never turns out well.

And I can help clients do the same.

Meditation is sometimes resisted by clients. I get it. Athletes are often doers. Meditation doesn’t feel like you’re doing anything. But developing a meditation practice is some of the best mental work you can do.

When clients have a mindfulness practice, they’re able to more easily identify thoughts and make changes. It always comes down to the thoughts. They’re able to relax faster…which I know sounds like an oxymoron, but it can be a game changer.

Meditation paired with some breathing work and you’re in a good place when it comes to managing your intensity and being composed in an intense situation.

Two outs, down a run, with a 3 & 2 count in the bottom of the 9th? Stepping up to the free throw line and needing to sink two shots? Taking a breath before serving match point? Meditation helps in all of those situations.

My mental game is better with meditation and yours will be too. Here’s to another year!

Ready to get started? Happy to share my thoughts and tips. Send me a message or schedule a free mini session!

Progress is not Linear

Progress is not Linear

I hit a yoga pose this afternoon that I’ve been working on for months. Once I was finally in it, it seemed so simple. So effortless. And it felt good. 

My body has felt very broken since retiring from track and field. I’ve been so up and down – losing weight, gaining weight, running too much, not running enough, lifting too much, lifting too little, consistent yoga, inconsistent yoga, double knee pain, hip pain, wrist, elbow, and shoulder pain, disappointment in body image and disappointment in being disappointed in my body image. 

I started a Whole30 on February 18th and finished successfully on March 19th. That was huge for me, I was proud. I also did 30 days of yoga with that Whole30 (shout out Yoga with Adrianne on YouTube, she is amazing). I fought off sugar cravings and learned to hang out with my friends without drinking – but it was challenging. I definitely learned that the external support isn’t always there. The people who you surround yourself with every day don’t always have your back when it comes to making positive life changes. Honestly seems wild when I say that out loud (or as I write that in this blog, rather).

As March turned into April, April into May, and May into June, I am now 7 weeks into a half marathon training program, on track to run at Go Girl Run KC on August 25th. COULD NOT BE MORE STOKED. Okay sorry for the all caps but seriously, training for this run has been an amazing experience for me. I’ve been looking for new avenues to push my body and grow since leaving the college track and field scene – I just never thought I would find it in marathon training. I had a 10 mile run last Sunday for the first time in my life and ran the entire thing at a solid pace without stopping and am still looking back on that day with a smile on my face.

With warmer months unfolding, I have been so much more open to positive change. Body and mind – I feel better. Getting into that yoga pose this afternoon with ease, post 8 mile run, was just the icing on the cake. 

I was chatting with my older brother earlier this last week about my training for this half marathon. More specifically, I ran a terrible 8 mile endurance run two weeks ago followed by a killer 10 mile with beautiful pace control only one week later. I was confused. He told me, “Progress is not linear.” And that really stuck with me. Not just in running or in yoga or in the weight room but in life. Sometimes progress is taking a few steps back or sideways, or finding an entirely new path and adjusting our plans, even when it’s hard to accept. And that’s exactly where I am at right now. 

Schedule a free mini session with me and we can make progress together. 

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Summer Mindset Work

Hey there! We’re back from our blog break! We’ve been working on a few new projects. Exciting announcements coming soon.

Right now we’re pumped about the increase in athletes doing summer mindset work.

Summer is such a great time to focus on developing your complete mental game. You may still be competing and of course training—but you’ve probably got a little more free time with school out for the summer.

Speaking of complete mental game, if you haven’t seen a sample of our Playbook (which you get as part of the program when you sign up), be sure to read about it on our website. It covers everything from goal setting, to confidence, to intensity, to relationships, to life beyond sport.

We’re loving the use of this guide in and out of sessions. We know that sport happens outside of a session and the Playbook (plus our out-of-session support) will help keep your head in the game between appointments.

Our signature Mindset Membership program with our collaborative mental game plan developmental process is creating great results for our clients—in sport & life!

We’re so inspired by our clients, I’ve even decided to get back in the game.

Training for an August 5K! Yep I said it. Day 3 in the books, a Spotify playlist created, and a mention in this blog—you know it’s happening now.

My hubby and I are XC parents and we need to train for the fall season! If you don’t have a plan and a quick pace, you’re only gonna catch a few seconds of a 3 mile race.

If you’ve been to a XC meet, you know some of the parents can really move! This year I intend to be one of them.

Well… I probably won’t be a super XC parent, because my high school runner is for sure not on board with that. 🙂 But with training I could be if I wanted to. And that’s what counts.

Fall sport in your future? Will this be the season you are unstoppable? Put in the summer mindset work! Let’s chat in a free mini session!

Sharing is Daring

A lot of our blog posts from 2019 have been about goal setting and how important it is to set goals for yourself and stay focused on them. But I want to talk about another aspect of goal setting – sharing your goals with other people. It might not seem like this aspect is really that important, but it can help you stay on track and keep you accountable while you’re striving for what you want.

Sharing your goals can be a little scary and intimidating though. What if you get behind? What if things don’t go as planned? What if you don’t reach your goal? We don’t want people to see all of the mistakes or misfortunes that happen while we’re working towards our goal. We’re afraid that people will judge us or be disappointed in us if things don’t go as planned – so if we don’t tell anybody what our goals are, they won’t know when we get behind.

On the flip side, if we don’t tell anybody what our goals are, we’re not getting the support and encouragement that comes from others who want to see you succeed. Mistakes and setbacks happen, but if you have other people rooting for you, it can really help to keep you motivated to get to where you want to be.

I have a friend from college who is an incredible athlete and an overall great human being. His name is Shawn and he is fearless when it comes to sharing his goals with other people. He sets goals in all parts of his life, from training for the NFL to reading at least one book a month. He posts about his goals and his progress on Snapchat for everyone who follows him to see.

Shawn sets a few important goal setting examples for us: 1.) While sharing his goals with other people, he’s not afraid of judgement, he thrives off of the encouragement and positive energy he gets from the people who follow his goal progression. 2.) Setting goals is important in every aspect in life. Like I mentioned above, he sets goals for physical progress as well as personal growth. We can set goals for literally everything! We’ve talked about how just setting goals for a specific thing can help us get to where we want to be, but I don’t think we always realize that goals can be set anywhere and for anything. 3.) Your goal progression can inspire other people. Sometimes I get jealous of Shawn’s boldness because I’m nervous to post about my goals or tell anyone about them for the reasons listed above. But I am also very encouraged by his posts and it makes me want to tell people about my goals and what I have planned.

Sometimes we think that setting goals aren’t necessary for a certain situation, but the truth is, if we want to get somewhere or something that we don’t already have, setting a goal is relevant. Maybe it’s earning a certain grade in a class, getting ready on time to leave for work in the morning, paying for a new car, playing your sport in college or professionally, getting a research paper done on time – goals can be set for anything! And they will help you get to where you want to be.

A couple of months ago my boss, Dr. Linda, asked each of our team members to write a blog post about our goals for the year. If I’m being honest, I got really anxious about it and I didn’t really want to do it because I was scared of what other people would think if I got behind or failed. However, since I wrote the blog about my goals, I’ve had people (that I didn’t even expect) cheering me on and supporting me in my progress.

Keeping your goals to yourself might be right in your comfort zone, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but just outside of your comfort zone is a whole world of support and encouragement that can help build you up and get you to where you want to be.

Instead of thinking about the people who might judge you, think about all of the people who are rooting for you and want to see you succeed. Telling other people about your goals creates a support system that you wouldn’t have otherwise. You don’t have to put them out there for everyone to see, but telling a few people can make a huge difference in your progression. Dare to share.

If you’re daring, schedule a free mini session with me here!

Fail Better Soon

In my last blog post, I talked about the difficult process of progress and how it isn’t always forwards, sometimes we have to take a couple of steps backwards. But despite the failures, you have to keep your eyes on the prize and be proud of where you are now compared to where you started – you’re still moving towards your goal. That being said, it doesn’t mean you have to be ecstatic and filled with overwhelming joy about the times that you do fail.

Sweat the small stuff. Cry over spilt milk.

But then figure out what’s making you sweat, figure out how you spilled the milk.

We try to brush off small or insignificant things that aren’t necessarily detrimental to our end goal. Sometimes brushing off small failures is a good thing, it can keep us from dwelling on the past. But dismissing them right away can keep us from preparing for the future.

“I’m not going to call an ambulance this time because if I do, you won’t learn anything.” -Family Guy

If we don’t fail, we won’t learn. If we don’t learn, our minds won’t grow. If our minds don’t grow, we won’t be ready to take the next steps toward our goals.

It’s okay to be frustrated for a minute, but then we wash off the sweat, clean up the milk and go on with the day. When we take our failures and use them as new stepping stones towards our goals, we’re learning rather than burning. Research actually shows that continuing on in the face of failure and adversity is likely to create neural, molecular, and hormonal changes in the brain that help you become better prepared and more resistant in the future.

The perceptions of your abilities and your failures play a huge role in your motivation. We call these perceptions “mindsets.” There’s a fixed mindset that thinks talent, intelligence, and creative ability are static, they have a limit that cannot be extended – the fixed mindset thinks failure is futile and final. The other mindset is a growth mindset that interprets failure as valuable feedback for improvement instead of evidence of lack of ability. A person with a fixed mindset is likely to give up in the face of adversity, but a person with a growth mindset sees the adversity as a challenge that needs conquering.

Whichever mindset we’re in, a critical concept to remember is that people are not failures. Plans fail, actions fail, but you are not a failure. The important thing is what we do with those failed plans or actions – do we ignore them or learn from them?

Try. Fail. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.

Next step in failing better: Schedule a free mini session with me!