Quotes have a strange way of finding you. Like this one did today.
Now, before you think this post is about heartbreaks , hope and happiness , you are close but yet not quite. So why don’t you read on.
Sometimes an idea whirls in your head for so long the only way to get rid of it is to write about it. This post in its initial avatar started forming inside my head around a month back. Let’s just stop here to note that January is over. Just like the last year, just like the last decade. Isn’t that strange, how time flies?
Back to the post.
So this time last month when #99DaysFitness was being spoken about, my first reaction was are we talking about ‘Mental Fitness too?’. Then came the #SportsChatter Contest and my question turned into an observation. Dismiss the reaction if you want as an excuse coming from someone whose idea of an all consuming sport is scrabble. But Jokes apart , Mental fitness has to be an integral part of every sports person’s life .
Not only are some game played on the sheer brilliance of one’s mind like say Golf or Chess. Even the so called sweat, blood and gore games like soccer or baseball are all about the sharpness, the strength and the clarity of mind. I would go ahead and ruffle a few feathers while am at it and say cricket or hockey are as much about the ‘right frame of mind’ , ‘reading the next person’s moves’ , ‘using theory and applying it in the current situation’ as they are about stamina and agility.
Determination , will , knowledge, rules, finding the weakspot of your opponent and not to be missed ‘mind games’ are after all about how mentally strong and present you are. That’s mental fitness as per me.
When it comes to competitive sports being mentally strong is ‘business as usual’ yet time and again there have been instances of great athletes beating not just competition but the odds of injury , disability , personal crisis , scandals and near-fatal accidents.
Its not a surprise how we worship our sporting heroes for their near super human like abilities – something I blogged about yesterday . Does their physical strength and craft make them stand out? May be. But at the end of the day its the power of their mind that makes for the most astounding comebacks in the history of sports.
Such stories are plenty . Lance Armstrong’s fight with Cancer [ beating a 50-50 chance of survival came first , the doping scandals came in later] & stronger than ever return. Andre Agassi’s climbing back charts post an ugly spiral down with failed relationships , drug addiction , fighting depression , poor performances and whatnots. Even Tiger Wood’s humiliating PR nightmare and complete breakdown of imagery [and marriage] didn’t do much harm to him ratings , he still reigns the Professional Golf rankings. The coming back with vengeance of F1 champion Niki Lauda , after a near fatal accident but within days with bandages intact he was back on the track doing what he did the best. Race against the world.
But my favorite remains this one. A young world class champion at the peak of her career stabbed by a crazy fan. Monica Seles’s physical injury healed quickly but it took her almost 2 years to get the control on her mind back. Can we ever forget this heart wrenching image? Maybe she wont forget that moment too but she has certainly moved on. And we don’t mind!
These are inspirational stories that perhaps only sports heroes can pull off. Do you remember this epic moment when even The God of Indian Cricket – Sachin was written off? The end for some I guess , it just a re-routing sign.
Not just sports this post is as much about Blogging and life in general. Because mental fitness isn’t just for athletes or for super achievers. For them it could be the deal breaker. But for each of us. Irrespective of what we do for a living, how we manage our relationships, how we blog or raise our children or lose those 5 kgs or infact see through the 2016 resolutions. It’s actually all about how strong we are – mentally.
Mind can make miracles happen so why does it sometime become tough for us to get from one day to another?
Let’s just go back to the quote and rethink about every negative action or word that aims to break our spirit everyday. The only thing they can change is Our frame of mind. So if we choose to block them out and focus like these amazing sporting heroes on the finish line armed with our mindfulness , each day can be an inspiring comeback for us too .
What’s your favorite story of the triumph of human spirit? Apart from sports , which are the other professionals where mindfulness matters ? Share with me , leave me a note.
This blog was posted in response to the The Sports Mirror Blogging Contest in association with BlogChatter. The contest closes today , so if you wish to participate — better start running, err blogging now!