Michael (Mike) Stocks, Runner, Writer, Speaker

Thoughts On Mantras

I’m not really big on mantras. At least, not the kind that involves words like power, epic and amazing. There’s nothing wrong with these, it’s just that I don’t personally find myself reaching for them in the depth of the struggle. Words that contribute to a positive dialogue in our heads are worth their weight in gold though, so it’s time well spent finding out what works for you.

My father once sent me a text before a race:

relax, think, enjoy

I say that to myself sometimes early on in a race – a time when the tone is set and when the biggest mistakes are often made. These are, of course, useful words for many other situations too.

When things are tough and my brain is telling me that I don’t need to be in the race, the words I use are:

I choose to be here


This is what I want

And when the exhaustion and pain are overwhelming:

This too shall pass


There is always an ending

But there is one thing above all else that helps. In those moments when things are incredibly tough and the outcome hangs in the balance. Something relevant to any moment of difficulty, decision, or duress:

How will I feel for the rest of my life about what happens in these next few moments?

Against the backdrop of forever, perhaps gutsing it out for a little while now is not such a big deal after all.



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