Today we embark on a 6-part series that will take us through an examination of mental toughness in each of the main Kazi activities: Running, Basketball, Tennis, Soccer, Bowling, and Ultimate Frisbee.
What is Mental Toughness?
Mental Toughness not hard to identify but difficult to define. Inc magazine provides an interesting starting point in “4 Excuses Mentally Strong People Don’t Use“. These are:
- I’d rather beg for forgiveness than ask for permission.
- You only live once.
- I don’t care what anybody thinks.
- I deserve to be happy.
While these sayings aren’t necessarily bad, when used as excuses they tend to have deleterious effects. When mental toughness is defined as one’s ability to consistently demonstrate outstanding results in the most critical circumstances, then an excuse designed to shirk one’s responsibilities is counter-productive. In addition to the cliches above, we would humbly propose the following addendum:
- Whatever will be, will be.
Now, there is probably a time and place for this. However, the mentally strong don’t use this as a way to avoid follow-through but rather as a comfort that when he has “worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted one the field of battle – victorious.”Not necessarily a victor in the battle itself but a victor in knowing he has done all that he could. (h/t Vince Lombardi)
So, with that as a starting point, let’s charge ahead to the subject of the day: Running.
Mental Toughness in Running
Running is strenuous, a time-sink, work, painful, and at times quite lonely. Sure, the world is full of sayings about how great you will feel after your run. Scour this blog and you’ll find that we are some of the biggest culprits. One of our first articles encouraged the morning run because “you will feel better during the day.”
But if you search for inspiration quotes about running itself – the process, the perspiration, the pain – even Google has a difficult time uncovering those. So we run because of something else, where we delay gratification and embrace discomfort because we know what lies ahead is worth the wait.
Dogs run for pleasure. Children do too. But in our lives full of distraction and jobs and obligations, adults can be tempted to shy away from running. What drives us on is mental strength.
There are times when our mental strength is more like mental weakness, when we are tempted to roll over, hit the snooze button, and choose sleep instead. Thankfully, the great thing about mental strength is its transferability.
This is where the running buddy comes in; for when you are just about to doze off once more and let your pillow absorb your drowsy head, your phone rings. Well, you might have shirked your running responsibilities alone, but certainly won’t abandon your friend. So you rise, lace up, and head out the door.
With Kazi, we are looking to make running buddies more common, and “snooze” taps more rare. Note to self: Future feature addition – in-app alarm clock.
(Image credit: TheOdysseyOnline.com)