The Mindful Athlete: Peak Performance and the Inner Journey

Leave the first response April 28, 2007 / Posted in The Running Mind

The Mind reflect the body reflect the mind
C. G. Jung

Surrounding the eye of a hurricane is a wall of cloud travelling at speeds in excess of 250 miles an hour. In the eye, its center, is perfect calm, stillness and clarity. The Mindful Athlete is an individual who through practice, observation, awareness and total commitment is in the present.

Through the roar of 60,000 people, the bat hits the baseball thrown at 98 miles per hour. Off balance and with 3 defenders crashing upon him, the tight end pulls the ball in and holds on as he hits the turf with three bodies landing on him. In sudden death play off, the lady golfer sinks the 20 foot putt to win. Losing the first set 6-1, the challenger comes back to take the next three sets from the reigning champion. The athlete having lost 215 pounds crosses the finish line of the marathon in 4 hours and 18 minutes.

Beyond winning or losing is being in the moment of competing with others or within oneself. One competes that is one “seeks with” others or “seeks within” oneself the moment when one does what needs to be done to accomplish what is to be accomplished.

In the end it is not a matter of winning or losing. It is a matter of becoming a “world class” human being. A person who brings oneself and others to perform at their best. For it is only with others that we find out what is humanly possible.

As George Sheehan, philosopher and physician said, “We are called to be artists, saints, philosophers, poets and heroes. But first and foremost we must be an athlete. Be a good animal.”

We often forget the brain is a secondary organ. Because we think so much, it is difficult for many to quiet the mind and practice.

Reflect on the Mindful Athlete within ourselves. Practice. Be aware. Observe. Quiet and calm the inner chater. Return to observing the breathe

Returning to one’s breathe is a starting point or another step in your training and practice. This is a beginning in your 90 Hour-A-Week Workout as a human athlete; an athlete student; an athlete businessman; an athlete healthcare provider; an athlete teacher; an athlete government worker; an athlete mother.

Why 90 hours. If you slept 8 hours a day. and exercised 2 hours a day. There are over 90 hours a week when you are awake: walking, standing, sitting, relaxing, or moving.

It’s how you use those hours and are present to the moment that allow one to train and practice being…in the moment. Aware. Awake. Conscious and present.

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