by Sue Hodgson –
I find it difficult to think that we are already well into 2024! The days in January seemed to rush past and, having a surprisingly full plate at work this month, I found myself feeling a bit overwhelmed and not as motivated as usual. Or perhaps it was just not having the time to get back into exercise and training mode after the holidays.
Growing up, I was always involved in high level sports. I’m now in my late 50s, and I still remain true to staying fit and eating well. I know though that nowadays, as the profile of sport grows and the financial rewards with it, professional athletes push their bodies to physical and mental limits like never before. With the Summer Olympics just around the corner, we’re going to be immersed in the competition that will heat up among the players, alongside the pressure of the media blitz of worldwide attention that comes with being an elite athlete.
The Australian Open is on in the background as I write this. Watching some of these 18-year-olds compete against the veterans is mind blowing. How do they find a balance between the physical and the mental? The search to understand this new breed of super-athlete has some avid fans like me wondering if athletes aren’t necessarily building on their own genetics but instead reaching towards more scientific cognitive training. There is a really good book that is my go-to, called Mind Gym, by Gary Mack and David Casstevens. It talks about how your mind can influence your athletic performance just as much as your physical skill does. I still believe that to be an elite athlete, talent is key. You need to have a certain physical ability to excel in a sport, and speed and strength, endurance and coordination are vital too. But we need to remember that mental muscle is just as important as physical muscle to be a champion. And like in business, determination and passion are also a huge component of success. You have to love what you do in order to put in the 10,000 hours of practise required to become an expert.
I’ll be diving into my Mind Gym book to get me back to my usual motivated state … whether it’s my fast walk outdoors, spinning on the bike, or walking one of my favourite pooches, I’ll be sure to try and get back into the swing of things!
Photo by Janis Jean Photography.
Clothing provided and styled by Lily Pad Lingerie, Mattick’s Farm.