Clean Run - November 2012 - (Page 60)

Agility Mind Gym Persistence and Determination By Kathy Keats “Permanence, perseverance, and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragement, and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.” – Thomas Carlyle I can hear many of you saying, “Oh, but I’m not a strong soul.” You are a strong soul! That is a habit of thinking and a choice. Imagine you have a cause to fight for (or maybe you really have one) such as a loved one fighting for medical treatment, or you have had a moment where you’ve had to fight for your life. Sometimes it is easier to fight for others than it is for ourselves, but I bet you can find a moment where you have chosen to be strong either for yourself or someone else, to fight through some adversity and not accept failure or “no” for an answer. I know you could do it if you had to. Many people, especially women, equate being strong and persistent with being a (rhymes with) witch, and that’s not who they want to be, or they’ve been taught it is wrong to be strong and that it is polite to concede to others. The truth of the matter is it is very possible to be classy, polite, and strong enough to stand up for yourself and what you want, and to go after it. Yes, maybe not everyone will like it, and yes, you may have to 60 say “no” to someone on occasion, but if you want something, the way to get it is with absolute focus, determination, and persistence. You have it inside yourself, you just have to find it. These things are a large part of being mentally tough. By focusing on what you DO want, there is no room for negative thoughts and doubts to enter your mind. Never give up, keep going, no excuses! These are all phrases that focus you on the action list of “what is the next step?” People will often say to me, “But I don’t know how, I don’t know what the next step is.” Fair enough, you may not know what the next step is, but if you said to yourself “no excuses,” then what? What is the next step? You would simply have to go research and find out what the next step is. Read a book, watch a video, find a mentor. Most people let the “how” intimidate them. They don’t know how to achieve what they want, so they use that as an excuse and just stop, as opposed to digging in and figuring it out. In fairness, most people don’t even realize that is what they are doing. All great things that have been achieved in this world started out as a thought, an idea, or a dream. I would venture to say that most of the people who achieved these things could not have, at the moment the idea crystallized in their minds, told you exactly how they were going to do it; they just decided they were going to do it, they would figure it out, and they would not quit until it was done. Think of flying and the Wright brothers, Ford and the production automobile, putting a man on the moon. Think of the number of obstacles, setbacks, and naysayers these people faced. The determination and the persistence to keep going, stay focused on the goal and the dream, and not make excuses, created amazing achievements. Having a team around you can help when you are struggling, but ultimately you have to do it. I just finished reading a great book called The Power of More by Marnie McBean, a Canadian Olympic rower and three-time gold medalist who was training at the University of Victoria at the same time I was playing basketball there. In her book, she talks about one of her gold medal races, in pairs with Kathleen Heddle. Near the end of the race, with about ten strokes remaining, Marnie was struggling, near collapse. If you’ve even seen Olympic rowers train, the threshold of tolerance they develop for physical pain and exertion is almost inhuman. I get queasy just thinking about it.1 But she wasn’t going to quit on Kathleen. As I mentioned, sometimes it is easier to fight for someone other than just yourself, an outside focus rather than an internal one. Clean Run | November 12

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Clean Run - November 2012

Clean Run - November 2012
Editorializing: Sportsmanship Is Not Just About Being Nice
Tip of the Month
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility...
Backyard Dogs
The Four Agreements
Power Paws Drills: Working Opposites
Training with the Stars: Jeannette Hutchison
What’s in Your Toolbox?
Being a Good Student, Part 1
Analyze This!
Tips for Weave Pole Entries
Not a Practice Dog Anymore
The 2-Minute Warm-up
The Worrier: Solutions for the Dog That Is Worried or Afraid
What Is a Ketschker Turn?
Agility Mind Gym: Persistence and Determination
Building Blocks: Building a Better Lead-out

Clean Run - November 2012