Whether you’re dragging yourself through a mud pit at your first ever Mudder, just pushing through your normal workout routine, or headed into hour 7 of a Tougher Mudder, what’s more important than your lung capacity, weight on your barbell, or size of your quads is what’s going on in your mind.
From inspiring slogan, to motivational mantras, and Instagrams devoted to “fitspirational” quotes, there’s no shortage of inspirational quotes for keeping your health and fitness motivation as strong as your legs. But mid-race, we can’t pull out our phones and scroll through the ‘gram. We only have ourselves and the mantras and quotes that have become ingrained through training or repetition.
Mudders, if you think you’re too good for a mantras, think again! Research shows that, positive self-talk can help reduce stress and the risk of depression, boost your immune system and overall health, and improve your confidence. And, what’s more, you don’t even have to say these catch phrases out loud! Just repeating them in your head is enough to get you feelin’ as tough as the race you’re running. A repeated and well-chosen mantra can keep you on track and keep derailing, belittling thoughts out of your mind.
We reached out to our favorite to fit-icons to hear which mantras they use to stay on track to becoming their fittest selves yet. Just image these fitness stars dressed in cheerleading gear holding a megaphone helping you drown out your negative talk with these power-producing mantras.
“Dare to be… .”
— Hilary Knight, two-time Olympic silver medalist in ice hockey and forward for the Boston Blades became the first woman to skate with the men’s league, NHL’s Anaheim Ducks
This open ended mantra lets you literally insert any word depending on your head space. Dare to be resilient. Dare to be tough. Dare to be bold. Dare to be confident. On race day replace the ellipses with the adjective that nails what your tough self needs in the moment.
“Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.”
— Sue Bird, two-time WNBA champion, two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, and WNBA All Star
Whether the race is 5 miles, 8 hours, or 1 day, the tough race will come to an end, and you my dear Mudder, will prevail!
“The hay is in the barn.”
— John Welbourn, 9 year starter in the National Football League and NFL veteran, CEO of Power Athlete and creator of Johnnie WOD
In the middle of the race remember: you have trained for this. For weeks, for months, some of you even for years. There is nothing left to do but let yourself get covered in mud, break a sweat, and do what you came here to do. *Note, this quote is only motivation if you have done the work and made the necessary sacrifices that come from training.
“It’s a journey, a life path. Enjoy it.”
—Ryan Atkins, World’s Toughest Mudder Winner 2013-2017
It all comes down to the question “are you a pro athlete or are you a pro-lifer? We put so much pressure on ourselves to perform, which increases our anxiety about performance, which then decreases our performance. You WANT to dominate but don’t HAVE to dominate. Even Ryan Atkins is able to realize that he doesn’t HAVE to dominate the race, which allows him to enjoy the course.
Something as simple as focusing on your breath instead of the chatter in your mind can keep you running steadily and moving through the course. With each step repeat this mantra over and over again in your head to return to your breathe.
“This is what you came for.”
—Scott Jeruk, named one of the greatest runners of all time
You made a goal to be out there on the obstacle course for a reason. When the course gets tough and your legs get muddy, don’t forget your WHY. When you feel like quitting, think about why you started. This race, this training, this moment is your WHY.
“You’re tougher than the rest.”
—Sarah Reinertsen, in a half-Ironman qualifier that would earn her a spot at the Ironman World Championship
Now prove it.
“If something stands between you and your success, move it. Never be denied.”
—Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, professional wrestler and actor
Success is about adapting to adversity, when you fail, try again differently. Then, repeat until you succeed. Never deny yourself the pleasure of success. If you can’t overcome the obstacle, move it. If you can’t move it, move through it.
“You dream. You plan. You reach. There will be obstacles. There will be doubters. There will be mistakes. But with hard work, with belief, with confidence and trust in yourself and those around you, there are no limits.”
— Michael Phelps, swimmer and 18-time Olympic gold medalist
There are no limits, in training there may be plateaus, but with hard work and smart recovery you can push beyond them. If you look our obstacles in the face, and walk boldly through them, they will melt away. Reaching your dreams does not happen passively, it happens with perseverance.
“ Go out and race your race, and race your best.”
—Lindsey Webster, Toughest Mudder winner 2017
Run your race, and don’t let what other Mudders are doing effect it. As Webster says, “Don’t get too caught up in beating any one person. When you’ve raced your absolute best, even if you didn’t win, you can finish the day saying it was one of your best days. If you’re just trying to beat someone, and you don’t succeed, even if it was the best race you’ve ever run you’ll come out disappointed”.
“There’s no time limit, it’s just about doing your best.”
If you’re doing your first Tough Mudder race, never forget that there is no time limit. The obstacle course is going to push you to work hard and become the best version of yourself with the help of those around you.
—Miranda Richardson, Tough Mudder Ice Queen
Push yourself because you won’t regret it. Challenging yourself is one of the most exciting ways to live. Besides, you never know who you might be inspiring…