5 Ways to Cultivate a Positive Mindset

Beyond the Mat Lesson #6: Change Your Mind and Your Life will Follow This Beyond the Mat lesson is both timely and frustrating. My meditation practice over the last year-plus uncovered some very deep rooted emotions regarding self worth that simple affirmations don’t touch. Most of the time, thanks to what I call “mental hygiene,” I function pretty well with a decent amount of self-esteem. Sometimes, though, it takes a hit, and as I mentioned in my previous journal entry — it took a hit this week for sure. Positive affirmations are a great tool for mental hygiene, so you…
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The Hot Mess

My last update was before the pre-test! Gee, that was a while ago. Looking back, this month has had more ups and downs than a bouncey castle. High point: I got my best-ever 400-yard dash at run club, clocking in at 1:18 (or, 78 seconds in sprinter parlance). Low point: Public instructor critique after the pre-test. I wasn’t the only one crying in my car, apparently. It’s a good thing Gordon Ramsay isn’t a Freestyle instructor! Overall I’m doing alright. I did better than my first degree test on plank, squats and the hamstring stretch. Today I got fewer sit-ups…
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CGN’s New Groove

Saturday morning, as usual, I was running the first hill on the Freestyle loop. Then, something amazing happened. My legs started to feel tired before my lungs crapped out and asthma set in! On the second lap, I focused on my step cadence and breathing. I pumped my arms. I pumped my legs. And still, my lungs outlasted my legs! I really feel like I’ve finally hit my groove this week with conditioning. My short distances are feeling good, and I got a lifetime PR on the treadmill of 27:00 for the 3-mile. I’ve been greasing the groove at home…
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Beyond the Mat Lesson #5: It’s Never a Waste

“If you learn from it, nothing is wasted.” I really liked this lesson’s focus on trying new things with the mindset that there will be some positive takeaway from the experience. I wish I had been in that mindset during my first degree test regarding the beach workout. Maybe Mercury was in retrograde or something, but I let my anxiety take over and didn’t enjoy it as much as I should have. This year I know better! If I feel a funk coming on I think I’ll find a good Headspace meditation series to do a few days ahead of…
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Beyond the Mat Lesson #4: Silver Linings

“It’s all about the process” Wow. This Beyond the Mat lesson is downright anxiety-inducing in my current state of mind, with its focus on “What if I fail?” I don’t want to fail. I finished my checklist (just in the nick of time), but there are so many milestones ahead between today and the end of the test. The conditioning benchmarks start in a few weeks; the running trials are in almost exactly a month. I’m not where I wanted to be and envisioned myself at this point in the test. Will I meet the baselines? …I’m giving that a…
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