Louize Carroll - Month One Plan
EPISODE ONE – PSYCHOLOGY SESSION PLAN
Dear Marathon Mind Listener,
Welcome to the ‘Mind’ section of Marathon Mind!
First and foremost – since you are reading this, you are part of, (or considering being a part of!) an extraordinary group of people that commits to undertaking one of the greatest, most challenging and rewarding physical and mental tasks any athlete can do. For your enthusiasm, fire and commitment, we already congratulate you.
Marathons are extremely challenging, on the body and the mind, and to that end, it is important you are clear about what you are taking on. Marathons can make or break spirits. They can make you feel stronger than you ever have in your life before, and they can make you feel more vulnerable than you’ve known if you encounter injury. They can impact relationships, and they can change how you view yourself. They can evoke the full range of emotion and perceptions, from excitement and self-belief, to rage and frustration to fear and desperation. This is normal! And we are here to guide you through it as best we can from afar.
Throughout the year, via monthly episodes on Where Is My Mind and updates on social media, the Marathon Mind team will aim to support you cope better, to fail better and to thrive better when your plans go out the window, when the curveballs come flying at your head and when you feel like giving up, due to injury, fatigue, mood or just simply boredom.
Marathon Mind is unique in that it is not about impeccable performance or times. It is about strengthening your mind so that you cross the finish line knowing you didn’t sacrifice your body or your emotional needs in the process.
Bear In Mind, Your Decision To Train For A Marathon:
Is not a promise to anyone but yourself – you may be doing it with someone in mind, that’s amazing – but if you decide it’s not for you, or you can’t finish for any reason, you have NOT let anyone down, including yourself.
Is not a prediction of success – life is ridiculously unpredictable, and what seems like a hideously devastating curveball in the form of an injury for example, can actually later turn out to have contained the best lesson you’ve ever learned. (Note: lessons don’t become obvious until after the pain subsides, this is a phenomenon, and it’s significance will hit you a year later whilst bringing the rubbish out some sunny morning)
Is not an attempt to be perfect – perfect people make for the worst, most tedious of friendships.
Means commitment to a valued direction – living in accordance with our values and what matters to us is one of the greatest protectors of mental health.
HERE IS YOUR FIRST TASK:
1. WRITE A LETTER TO YOURSELF
Before you begin anything significant in your life it’s important to kick off by getting as clear as you can get on why you are doing it. Open your heart and your mind as wide as you can, and reflect on all there is to know about your choice to take on a marathon. Maybe it’s very simple reason, and maybe it’s not. Maybe you’ll decide after reflecting on it, it’s not for you. Or maybe you’ll decide it’s the best decision you’ve ever made. Either way, here we go.
To do this, your first task is to either write a letter to yourself or record a voice diary note. I personally ‘think with my pen’, so writing is my preference, but some of you may benefit more from using your voice.
In your letter or voice diary note to yourself, I want you to talk about everything you’re thinking and feeling as you get ready to begin this journey. Here are some guide questions:
1. Why have I decided to train for a marathon?
2. What purpose does it serve?
3. How will it help me to understand myself better?
4. In what ways will it add to my life?
5. In what ways will it be difficult?
6. What are my fears, excitements and hopes?
7. What’s the best that could happen?
8. What’s the worst that could happen?
9. What might I discover through training my body and mind?
10. What patterns might I want to break out of in my life?
11. What would I like to be able to say at the end of this journey?
12. What do I want other people to think of me at the end of this journey?
13. And for question 11 – now ask yourself, why does that matter?
And Finally, A Few Pointers For Your Kick Off:
• Take it for granted that you will go off-course, and f*@k up again and again and again and again and again. Who cares?
• Commit to getting back on track again, as soon as you realise what has happened and provided your health and mental health allows.
• All good journeys begin by clarifying your values / goals / actions / barriers. For those of you who listened to Niall Breslin’s Spotify 31 Days of Mindfulness on Wake UP/Wind DOWN, you have a head-start!
Good Luck, Until Next Time,