Prima Mens Est – The Mind Is Primary

Briinnnnnggg! The alarm went off at 0420 with an intensity that Body was not particularly fond of.

“No running today,” he grumbled as he sent out a hand to slap the shrieking noise into submission. “We trained fucking hard the last three days, and I hurt everywhere.”

There was a brief moment of silence from the area of the pillow, and Body felt a brief flash of hope. Then Mind spoke softly but firmly, deflating Body like a popped balloon.

“Eyes? Please show Body our new tattoo.”

An almost imperceptible motion followed as Eyes swiveled downward to comply. Body, beaten and resigned to his fate, let loose a tremendous sigh of acquiescence.

“Ok, let’s get up and get dressed…might as well get on with it.”

Mr. Bones makes it difficult to favor the snooze button over an early morning training session.

Mr. Bones makes it difficult to favor the snooze button over an early morning training session.

An athlete in any endeavor will be successful to the extent that they believe in and live this credo: “Prima Mens Est – The Mind Is Primary.” Those who have never trained for a big climb, a long race, or a championship team will find those words to be a cute anecdote. Others – a tiny minority – can truly empathize and relate. They have fought the daily war against the atrophy, the pain, and the bullshit excuses that our bodies lever against us as we battle to mold these vessels into the perfect engines for our chosen disciplines. I don’t think the fight ever gets easy; if it were easy, anyone could do it. Who doesn’t want strength, endurance, and a lean, hard body? Hell, I don’t even think it gets any easier…but the mind becomes stronger, more resilient, and more ironclad in its determination to maintain preeminence over the process. Small daily victories build ambition and self-confidence in one’s ability to perpetuate the cycle of discipline.

Sometimes unconsciously and other times with eager intent, I have lived my life in an attempt to prove the thesis that a person without a lot of natural talent, perfect genetics, or extensive reserves of courage can accomplish almost anything as long as they have a strong, well-disciplined mind. There is no great secret to be found in the achievements of those held up as trail blazers or heroes, though most people looking on in envious admiration from the sidelines would protest that thought. No, those who succeed in any pursuit are the ones who acknowledge the existence and necessity of the process, refuse to quit, are willing to work in and through pain and exhaustion, and are passionate, focused, and obsessed with pursuing mastery of their craft.

In short: don’t be fucking lazy. Stop checking your watch or the mirror for results every five minutes, and get off your ass and train.