It’s All In Your Mind

I was a little concerned every time I watch my 6th grader and his friends at cross country conditioning training. They were walking, not running! At the very first meeting the coach emphasized the psychological importance of being able to run around the training loop without stopping, even if you slow down to just a shuffle.

So when I had an opportunity to run with Ian for several days, I took it.

Initially, our run disturbed me even more. Two minutes into a twenty-minute run, Ian’s run halted to a walk. No words of encouragement, case of logic for learning to run without stopping or even begging for him to run for the love of his mother persuaded him to pick up the pace.

In a desperate move, I appealed to his base instincts: I offered cash. At a half-way point we had eleven minutes more to go back home. I told Ian I would pay him one dollar per minute if he ran straight home.

A different boy emerged. Not only did Ian run without stopping, but ran at a fairly swift pace.

Stumped by the psychology, I was unclear what was in the boy’s mind. Was he just a pragmatic minimalist? Was his hesitancy part of a lack of confidence that he could run the entire time, so why try? Or was he completely lazy?

When we were stretching, I did share this pearl of wisdom: running is all in your mind. When Ian put his mind to running all the way home, he was able to get his body to comply.

As is the spiritual life…with clear goals and focused effort, we, too, can win the prize.

The Catholic Women’s Guide To Healthy Relationships Tip: Where do you need to be pushed and have focus in your spiritual life?