Years back when I was just starting down this triathlon road I spent a weekend in Pueblo with our good friends Michelle, Ron and Sam. I believe I spent a portion of the mini vacation drunk on Pomegranate Liquor, getting the sprinklers turned on me, and enduring a horrible puking session. Not my finest moment but there are always positives that come out of extreme puking sessions. One thing I took away from the weekend, other than the fact that getting drunk is just not for me any more was my friend Ron's term "PMA." I love it and use it ALL the time, a gift from him to me.
PMA...Positive Mental Attitude.
Some people just have it and for some it's work. People think I am one of those who just have it and I guess most the time I am, but other times not so much, like when I was praying to the porcelain gods and wondering why I spent $40 on a bottle of pink booze that was now headed to the sewer.
That weekend cemented the concept of PMA into my heart and mind and I've been running (and riding and swimming) with it ever since.
I'm reading a great book right now that CV suggested. A quote, if I don't mind myself:
In every pursuit, focus drives consistent high-level performance. The recipe for high-quality focusing is simple - stay positive and stay fully connected.
-- Terry Orlick
It's true that your ability to remain positive in all situations will give you a leg up on your competition, and even if it doesn't....at least you will have a positive outlook on things. See, I just think the happy route is definitely the way to go. If you are fast and happy, you're good. If you are slow and happy, still good. But if you are fast or slow and unhappy...no bueno. If you are slow and unhappy, I'm pretty darn sure that shifting to slow and happy will give you the best chance at becoming fast and happy. See what I mean?
But how does one just develop a happy positive attitude? What if you are a pessimistic person, or worse yet, a pessimist who says "I'm not a pessimist, I'm a realist." I say "You're in denial."
Frist things first, I think most of us would agree that our lives are a series of choices. Even if you are prone to making excuses, deep in your heart, you know that with everything that happens to you in life, the reaction you have is a choice, an active choice on your part.
Choose to focus on the positives rather than the negatives. Choose to focus on the opportunities rather than the obstacles. Choose to bring a fully connected focus to your practices and performances. Choose to focus fully on the step in front of you rather than on distractions. Chose to live and perform closer to your potential.
-- Terry Orlick
Sometimes we make mistakes though. Sometimes it's not all hearts an flowers. Having a positive attitude doesn't have anything to do with what happens TO YOU. Yes, it's not always peaches and cream. But your REACTIONS, the way you process the stimuli that comes into your sphere of influence, well that, my friends, is entirely on you. Have some PMA.
If you want to keep your snowball of postive results rolling, then process each day by revisiting the positive parts of the day, the stuff that rocked the house. Also take time to assess the parts of your training or performance that can be improved, take stock, make some adjustments and move on. If you are to "dwell", then dwell on the positives. But dwelling is best done when we are in our graves...plenty of time to sleep then as well.
"Grow from setbacks by channeling their lessons and energy towards improvement"
-- Terry Orlick
We can all be a little bit better in all that we do. If we wake up each day, ready to attack it with PMA and a new plan to learn from the lessons of yesterday, then before we know it those days have piled into massive amounts of fun, fitness, and joy. Rest assured, results will follow, and if they don't, you'll be too busy having fun to notice.
PMA...think about it.