The power of positive self-talk in fitness and in life

There is no such thing as “just a”

MindstateI recently had the pleasure of listening to Gene Vickers speak at our very own Fitness Town Toastmasters about meeting his hockey idol Bobby Orr. For those of you not familiar with Bobby Orr, he is a former professional ice hockey player who was one of the youngest players to be inducted into the hockey hall of fame, he was 31 when this happened. What was interesting about his story was not Gene’s celebrity moment, although listening to his star struck reaction was somewhat satisfying, but rather the words that he learned from Bobby Orr. Words which had stuck with him all these years. Words that certainly struck me when I heard them last night and words that I can now pass on to you…several degrees of separation later from Bobby himself.

Bobby told Gene that there was no such thing as Just a. Now this may seem like an incomplete sentence, but if you let me explain for a moment, you will understand that in the simplicity of this phrase, lies a very wise way of thinking and in fact a very wise way of treating yourself and others. You see when Gene met Bobby he was working in a car dealership and was given the task of introducing Bobby to the rest of the team. Gene told Bobby that he was just a junior salesman and Bobby told him that there was no such thing as “just a”. Bobby went on to tell Gene that while he may come off looking like the star of his hockey team, it was because his team made him look that way. There were no just a’s on his team. There were amazing team mates who set up the perfect shots, sent him great and timely passes and worked together to accomplish one team goal (or many goals depending on how we are using the word goal). In every team there are people that may think they are just a….just a receptionist, just a cleaner, just a coordinator, just a volunteer but the only reason that things happen are because those people are there; they are just a….s important as everyone else on the team.

This inspired to me think about teams that I am a part of and how I need to tell everyone how important they are and also sometimes remind myself of my own importance. I then realized that no one is just a…homeless person, just a stranger on the street, we are all part of the same team, the humanity team and although it may be perhaps a bit idealistic to think that a team of that size can exist and come together, I think that it is at least a great place to start.

High five fridayI also thought about how I am when I exercise. I think of myself as “just a” casual exerciser, a yoyo or backburner and that is just an example of some of the small doses of negative self talk which I think – talk that I realize is holding me back.  I recently went to my second Fitness Town Throwdown which so far has been amazing and has also left me hurting for up to 4 days following the workout. When it came time to box jump I thought “well I’ll try but I probably can’t do it…I’m just a newbie” and guess what I succeeded in matching my mindstate. I could only jump on the lower level and I felt intimidated. Guess what happened to people with shorter legs than me who didn’t think that way? They jumped much higher. You know why? Because no one is just a!

I have come to realize that in choosing a new mindstate for the new year (my New Year’s resolution), I will better reinforce myself.  I am moving myself up to active – I am not just an… anything. I am active, I am healthy, I am happy, I can do anything and those are the words I will tell myself every morning. That will be my positive self talk and I plan to accomplish great things in so repeating those words – I urge you to find your own positive daily Mantra (or use mine) and together let’s make 2013 our healthiest year ever!


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