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Who’d have thought that four letters could make the difference between a good workout and a great workout? Oh, how feeble we are. I find it absorbingly fascinating how easily our brains can decide what we should and shouldn’t do … and how easily it can be told to shut up and get a grip just as soon as we’re aware of what it’s doing. The human brain … well, mine at least … has got to be the worst-behaved, illogical and self-destructive bundle of tissue in my whole body, but in the last few years I’ve discovered how easily it can be manipulated and swung in the right direction. It doesn’t take much – just a little tweak here and there and the occasional SCREAM!! lol

I’ve come to the conclusion that life is basically one big mind game – almost like chess. You can either play the positive side of the board or the negative one. When you get through all those negative defences, hey – you become Queen! It’s so true! And in the gym, mind games are key! They make the difference between winning and losing. In fact, those top athletes, the real winners, … are they really fitter and stronger than the rest of the playing field? Well, maybe, but more than that they all have the capability to draw on mental strength to get them across the finish line when the body has nothing left!

Yep! Completing a challenge is about physical strength. Winning a challenge is about mental strength. That’s the conclusion I’m staying with. And those four letters – J.F.D.I. – are a fantastic reminder to tell the brain to shut up telling you your body’s too tired. The brain … such a fibber and always ready to take the easy way out. The trick is to be aware of this. Then and only then can we fight it. I had a lovely example of how this worked for me  yesterday in the gym. I hate gyms. I work out outdoors – but in the interest of being nice to my disintegrating knees this week I’ve been to the gym in search of an erg. My locker padlock has a four-letter code. The code was the word HELP! Yesterday, I changed it to JFDI – just for fun. Forty-five minutes into my workout, however, as I was totally losing the will to live on the erg, I trundled down to the changing room to shower. Went to open my locker to get my towel … and my feeble brain registered the code – J.F.D.I.  And I did! I turned and went back upstairs and finished off with 200 crunches and a couple of sets of leg presses and barbell squats.

I’m definitely keeping that code!


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