Paris Roubaix – The hell of the north!

If there is one race that requires superior mental strength it is the hell of the north.

So what of the riders that face this hell? Their efforts look almost super human.

Their mental conditioning is different to yours. Why?

Because they are accepting of the unacceptable. 267kms at 47kph, through side winds, mud and cobbles.

Crashes, constant attacks over unimaginably difficult terrain is the norm here. There is nothing steady or static about this race.

Why are these riders mentally stronger than you, when their opportunity is no different to yours?

Because their racing and training demands acceptance and non resistance.

Pro riders inadvertently teach themselves how to become non resistant due to the difficulty of the task they have in front of them. They either learn to accept,or they find another vocation.

What do you think you can learn from this the next time you are whining about the discomfort of your local efforts?

As a coach, one of the most difficult things I see athletes struggling with is the non static nature of athletic pursuits.

It’s not the changing physical nature of training that causes the issue, rather it’s the resistance and non acceptance of that training that causes all the suffering.

Similarly there is nothing static about the physical nature of an athletes body, it is in a state of constant change, much like the physical nature of the environment an athlete trains in.

Resist either and you are setting yourself up for trouble.

Lets get one fact straight. You cannot overcome the physical environment in which an athlete races with physical training alone, it’s half the job.

The world is full of great athletes who cannot race.

Why can they not race? Because they simply do not know how to accept what is.

If you are to be an athlete who is mentally tough,then you must learn the art of non resistance.

Acceptance and non resistance means you move away from the stories of the mind and start to deal with the facts directly in front of you, moment by moment.

Ask any rider in the hell of the north how they deal with that race, and they will all tell you the same fact; there is no place for story’s or victim based thinking.

You cannot overcome suffering with thinking. Thinking is suffering if it is descending into judgement.

So the next time you feel moved to have a whinge about the conditions in which your training arises, realise that you are programming your head for the same space when you race.

Grant Giles created Sports Supports after 30 years as both an athlete and coach, and 10 years studying ego psychology. Grant understands first hand what it takes to succeed in sport, regardless of which sport this is, and what level you are competing at. Not only does Grant understand the ego at an athletic level, Grant has also suffered from anxiety and depression throughout his life, having experienced first hand the debilitating effects of the mind. Grant has an easy, caring nature that allows him to meet his clients in a way that creates an ease that allows him to facilitate personal growth whether that be on a sporting or personal level, or both.

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