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As a writer and marketing professional in the running and multi-sport
industry, I have the opportunity to meet a great many elite athletes. I get
such a kick out of hearing their stories – how the paths they’ve chosen in life
have led them to find the sports they love. I’m also always curious as to the
mental aspects of professional athletes’ training regimens. Particularly in
endurance events, I believe the mental component is equally important to a
person’s physical talent and training. I recently interviewed triathlete and
Olympian Dirk Bockel, who subscribes to the practice of writing an “Ultimate
Intention Statement” prior to every key race.
The idea of the Ultimate Intention Statement is to write down
a description of your race as you would like it to unfold, as though it has
already happened. The goal should be attainable, yet signify a breakthrough
performance. Once written, you are meant to read and focus on the statement
daily, so that you truly believe in what you’ve written and, in turn, make the
intention a reality on race day.
I was immediately drawn to this concept and went straight to
work writing my own statement. Rather than focus on specific time goals, I
decided to write about how I want to feel
during each stage of my upcoming Ironman race. I figure if I feel amazing and
powerful throughout the day, the rest will follow! I’ve been reading and
re-reading my statement every morning, and I’ll carry it with me as I travel to
to race. If any of you have a race coming up – or anything, for that matter,
where a good bit of mental focus and positive thinking would be beneficial – I encourage
you to give the Ultimate Intention Statement a try. You can watch the video of
Dirk describing the concept in more detail here.