Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Having a 'Tude

Bosses, motivational speakers, stress management advisers, and even parents are quick to tell you everything in life is about your attitude. Mom used to tell me as a kid, "you're a sore loser, you have a bad attitude." But then years later, at my work, I was presented a plaque that said, "Jill -- for bringing a positive attitude and a smile to every day." Go to any stress management class and they'll start preaching, "its all in your attitude - how you "think" about things" The past four months while my mother was ill, my stress levels and attitude were put to the test and what did I discover? That everyone is right -- attitude IS everything and yes my dear friends, it IS all in your head. Positive thoughts and good karma DO really work. Say to yourself, "I think I can, I think I can," and you will. The Nike marketing theme, "Just do it?" Works. It's an attitude. You know how sometimes that little devilish monster gets in your head and it starts scratching at your brain saying, "what did you think you were doing -- you can't do this - you are nuts!" And if you fight it with the good thoughts - shazaam - you feel better. See, positive thoughts work! And my final test and realization of good karma has been this past month. On October 4, I got it in my head that I CAN do a 7-day stage mountain bike race and my attitude hasn't been quite the same since. Oh yes, the 'tude is still very, very positive, but having entered this race also changed my attitude and perspective on many other things. My attitude towards my gardens was always perfection. I had to have every weed pulled, every plant marked, every bed trimmed and every bush cut back. The plants had to compliment each other in the herb garden and vegetables had to be in perfect rows. Since my mom got sick and I entered this race, my attitude about the gardens is, what does it matter? So what if there's a weed -- the birds will pick at the seed heads. So what if herb garden contrasting plants doesn't match. Does anyone really know that silver lacy wormwood is a good contrast for the wide, dark green comfrey leaves? So what if the rows aren't perfect -- better yet -- don't plant any next year, what does it matter? You can go to the farmer's market and get local produce a LOT cheaper than the time you spend in the garden. And the 'tude for the training? It's nonstop focus. All I think about is being ready to ride 25-46 miles for 6 days in a row and being fit enough to succeed. I'm not so much worried about winning or even competing - it's all about the success of finishing. The challenge is against myself. There's that attitude again...I'm going to finish this thing. Anyway, what else am I going to do all winter?

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