Attitude, by Maria

While I was off gallivanting in Latvia with a yeti, Dave posted this on FB:

A good attitude, fostered and tempered with a willingness to dig deep, to struggle, to suffer, can make you invincible

I told him I’d do a post on it because it reminded me of one of my favourite quotes, which has helped me through numerous challenges:

nicked from AZ Quotes

Before we headed off to the kettlebell competition in Latvia, the AIKLF put up pictures and a bit of information about each athlete on their FB page. A ‘Meet the Team’ sort of thing. I commented at the time how I was surprised to see that I looked like one of those serious lifters that I stalk on FB, and whose videos I watch. Bell overhead, game face on – confident, strong and in the zone. I looked like a veritable bell lifting machine!

Game face: ON

I guess I don’t always feel that way at competitions (often a bag of nerves, with jelly legs), or even at training – I just think about doing the workout is as best I can.

I figured they were a separate species of human, that they had some magic indestructible self confidence – they knew they were awesome and they’d never be beaten. That they could train relentlessly with unbroken focus, and never feel tired or overwhelmed or simply not in the mood.

So I decided that, not being one of these supreme beings of brilliance, I should just get on with it and try not to embarrass myself too much or draw too much attention!

But seeing the pictures it occurred to me that, if I look like them, maybe they feel like me…

So maybe then attitude is something you can learn, something you can train – like any other skill you don’t already possess. Maybe it’s not something you either have or you don’t.

Attitude determines how you react under pressure.

It determines how you approach any goal you set in life.

It determines how enjoyable you will find chasing that goal, how hard to take the knock backs, and how likely you are to get back up when you are knocked to the ground. That’s definitely going to happen!

It can determine your social circle.

Talent can count for very little if you have a decent attitude. It doesn’t matter how talented you are – if you quit when things get a bit tough, you won’t get anywhere near what you are capable of.

I know a lot of strong, determined people. Some are even naturally talented. But most have got where they are in life due to their attitude – stubborn, determined, and focussed. It keeps them pushing forward towards a goal they set long before, despite obstacles. Perseverance personified.

I know some really talented wasters too!

Attitude determines how you body reacts to training.

I’m convinced we don’t know the half of it.

I wasn’t long in WG when I read an article about how smiling triggers reactions in the body that let us know on that we are happy and having a good time. It doesn’t even have to be a real smile – if you hold a pen between your teeth pushing the corners of your lips back, that’s enough to trick the happy stuff into action – maybe don’t do that at training though!

Bolt smiling at De Grasse during the 100m Semi Finals

It went on to say that if you smiled when you train the body makes positive associations with what you are doing, making the workout feel easier.

This wasn’t a problem for me, I was always happy when I was in WG training.

Yes, I’m that person.

It’s interesting to watch how much harder the people who grump and groan their way through a set seem to find the whole thing.

My attitude?

Having a fit, healthy body is the most important thing you can own, and something you should cherish and delight in for as long as you can. I don’t even mean athletically strong – pull ups and kettlebells and running etc – I mean to be able bodied and minded, to be able to get around independently, or at all, is something many of us take for granted.

I think of all the people lying in hospital beds, sick or dying, or the ones sitting day after day in nursing homes.

I reckon a lot of them would give anything to just have one day, or one hour, back – to run or jump or climb or walk the dog or simply go where they want, when they want, under their own steam.

I intend to do as much as I can, for as long as I can so that when I have to stop, I’ll have no regrets, I’ll have plenty or stories to think back on, and I’ll be tired enough to sit still without cracking up!

Being active is a privilege, feeling the pressure of competing at a high level is a privilege.

As Gerry Duffy says when people moan about having to get a session in, or do something they are not that keen on:

you don’t have to, you get to.

One simple word change = a whole new attitude of feeling grateful instead of feeling like it’s a chore.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s quote says to me:

You may never feel like you’re able for the challenge you’ve taken on. That’s ok. You don’t have to feel able. Just start. You simply need a destination or a goal, and the nerve to try to reach it. Just be brave. Things may get rough – you’ll doubt yourself and your abilities. That’s ok too. Stay calm, and keep going. It’s ok to be afraid and unsure. Keep taking steps, even tiny ones, and you will get there. You don’t have to be sure of yourself to get the job done, you just have to keep going.

After taking on a few challenges that scared the bejaysus out of me, I realise now that I’m in a place where I cope much better with the nerves, pressures and anxieties that come along with life. I’m way less jittery before competitions. Perhaps a little bit of that ‘grace under pressure’ is beginning to grow out of facing down things that scared me. The exciting thing is there’s still plenty of growing ahead.

Ooh intresting times. Coincide with that reading and article in Tim Ferris Tools for Titans caroline paul – keeping fear in it’s place.


Maria Moran current Irish, European (2x) and World Kettlebell Sport Champion


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