Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New Strides, Old Shoes, Big Dreams

Sports Psychologist/Advisor
Last Thursday I had the opportunity to listen to a sport psychologist consultant speak at a local PT office, Sport and Spinal.  His focus was "the psychology of injury" and most of the attendee's were actually patient's with chronic pain.  I took a few classes on sports psychology during undergrad as well as took advantage and utilized the free sport psychology consultation's provided by the Grad Students in the Sports Psych program.  It was a weekly constant that helped me get through 4 years of college soccer and all the fun that comes with it - teammates, victory, defeat, starting, not starting, injury, fitness, weight room weigh ins, realization of having to go pro in something other than your sport...etc.

Recently I've been somewhat plateauing in my workouts or only slight increases even though I feel like I am capable of so much more.  A simply statement was made on Thursday but it really hit home to me, "Why would you ever expect a hard workout to feel easy?"  I thought about it and I thought about what I had been putting into my workouts recently.  They've been comfortable, they've gone well but haven't been improving the past few weeks like they were at first.  I thought to myself - why would I think my speed workout or my long run should feel comfortable and easy if I am striving for new goals?  Hence a new theme for new strides - pushing myself past that which is comfortable and being better tomorrow than I was today.

How do you motivate yourself to improve upon your daily/weekly training sessions and not fall into a comfortable training zone?

When I first started PT school people would assume I wanted to work with athletes in the sports field of PT and without hesitation I would say, "Actually, No, I want to work with prosthetics or pediatric oncology, both if possible."  Well after a few classes, a few conferences and 1 phone interview with Children's National Medical Center my heart may be realigning with my passion of the past 24 years and relacing the same old shoes - sports.  I will try other settings and learn from them and maybe I'll find something new I love.  Every question about why I want to go into something relates back to sports - and the best thing is that kids and amputee's participate in sports!

Have you found your dream career or are you still searching?  Did you start out in it or work your way there?

Above my door back home is a handmade sign (by yours truly) circa 1999 that says "DREAM BIG".  I hung it there after the 1999 Women's World Cup and was dreaming of playing college soccer and winning a World Cup.  Dream Big carries over to every facet of life though - school, career, athletics, relationships.  As I ponder where I will be in just 18 months from now and taking my first PT job - I dream of the setting and dream of the private practice I want to open in 8-10 years.  Yes, during all this dreaming I have made a vague  overview of services, ideal clinic setup, location, company name and logo.  I have even considered current friends pursuing their educational and career goals as well as being partners, they don't know it, yet.

Dream Big still applies to my athletic endeavors.  This year will be the year of the 1/2 marathon, 1/2 IronMan, and Marathon. 3 new distances, 3 PR's, and 3 opportunities to get stronger and evaluate myself compared to other age-group triathletes and figure out how long it will take me to get to Kona :)

Are you tackling and new distances this year?


  1. I could start camping out on your running routes and hold signs that say "RUN FASTER HOLLI!!!! RUN LIKE YOU'RE BEING CHASED!!!" I would offer to actually chase you, but that would be pathetic and sad on my end.

  2. A couple of things I keep in mind for motivation: 1) If training/running/triathlon was easy, everyone would do it. 2) You know your body can run seven minute miles, it's a matter of convincing your mind you can do it, with every stride.

    Did you sign up for our team for the St. Patrick's Day 8k yet? We still need you!

  3. Mellie, that actually would probably make me run faster! I print out color coded maps for you whenever you would like to participate :)

    R. Ben-jamin I am not sure when I am headed home yet! That weekend is the first weekend of our spring break. When I figure that out I'll let you know and perhaps sign up :)