By Melissa O’Neill, in The Retreat at Love Creek

I’ve read about runners’ mantras in running magazines and have used them on occasion. A mantra is defined by as “a mystical formula of invocation or incantation.” Really? Mystical?

As an almost-50-year-old rookie runner, these mantras have come in handy, helping me make it through tough workouts or remember my form and focus during a big race. I used words like “believe”, “trust” and “relax” to make it through two half marathons and my first full marathon recently. The word “believe” reminds me that I can do anything, but first need to believe that I can do it. “Trust” means I’ve completed countless hours of training, so I can trust that I’m prepared for the moment. “Trust” also means  I’ve asked God to carry me when I’m too tired. And “relax” is a reminder to relax my shoulders. Otherwise, my shoulders end up somewhere near my ears when I get anxious during a run. Not pretty.
I read about a guy whose running mantra is “relentless.” He actually yells it out loud during a race, instead of repeating it in his head. Not really my style, but this sport has changed me a bit so, who knows, maybe I’ll start yelling to the crowd soon. Reminds me of a dog with a bone that just won’t let go.
You don’t have to run to know the power of the words in your head. Imagine if you repeated the words “I can’t” or “I’m afraid” over and over. Not exactly the results I’m shooting for. This got me thinking… that word (RELENTLESS) means to never give up. Kinda like the company I work for. In the toughest market in history, we’ve not only grown, we’ve thrived. How did that happen? Unyielding perseverance. Success like this does not just happen. It has to start with a thought, a plan, and a RELENTLESS attitude.
You are what you eat. You are what you think. You can survive in spite of health issues, bad weather, and negative opinions. What do you choose to think about?  What do you choose to be?

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