A couple of weeks ago, I picked up a bug that floored me for almost four days. It left me feeling completely lacking energy and motivation. When I began to feel better at the start of the week, I went to my regular Tuesday night spinning class. Ten minutes into the session, I soon realized that my recovery was a bit premature! As I pushed down on the pedals I had nothing in the tank. Instead of leaving the class, always a tough thing to do and possibly the most sensible option, I decided to continue but to keep the resistance really low.
During the last 5 minutes of the class, Peter, the smiling assassin of a teacher, asked us to ‘spin’ as fast as we could and then add 10 more revolutions per minute for the final sprint. At that point, my mind and body were saturated with fatigue and I was struggling to turn the pedals at all let alone speed up. It was then that I noticed a spec of dirt on the floor in front of my bike. As I focused on this spec, I noticed how I was becoming less aware of my lethargy. Encouraged by this, I then decided to try to ‘project’ my mind into this spec, to separate my mind from the pain in my legs. I imagined that my mind was that spec of dirt, leaving my legs to continue their exercise without being connected to my thoughts.
And the result?
I added 10 more rpm than were required without any extra effort.
So, what’s the point of this tale? Well, it is evidence of how powerful our mind is and how we have the ability to manipulate it to help us achieve whatever we set it. As a caveat, there needs to be some caution when going through physical ‘pain’ but the ability to push through mental obstacles by changing what we choose to focus our awareness on, to combat a lack of motivation or a fear of failure for example, can be hugely valuable.