A few weeks ago, Holly attended a business conference where, amid a week of hectic activity, there was a noon-hour 5K race. It was an intriguing mix - not just of business and pleasure, but of intense mental work . . . broken up by intense physical activity. When it was over, she wondered how the world would be different if we could do that more often.
When an athlete is psychologically broken, he or she doesn't simply give up, but actually loses the physical ability to perform. This doesn't have to happen, though. Like so many things that affect performance at work, school, and home, being broken is a state of mind. It's a decision that you, and only you, control.
Winning a race is more than simply running your best. Sometimes it's also a psychological duel. If you've ever watched Olympic distance races or a major marathon on TV, for example, you'll have seen competitors throwing "surges" at each other, as they pick up the pace in an effort to psyche out their rivals.
The goal is to make the other runner feel defeated - "broken" in the parlance of racing.
"If your friends jumped off a cliff, would you do it, too?" It's the type of question parents ask in an effort to get children to think for themselves. Of course, the answer is "no." But what if you're on a team, when everyone expects you - and everyone else - to jump off a cliff together?