Friday, April 29, 2011

"Are You A Hypnotist?" - The Flaming Lips

Last Monday I had the opportunity to meet with a hypnotist.

A "performance hypnotist" .

Hypnotism has always intrigued me.  I love anything to do with the psyche.  I would have taken all psychology classes in college if I could have.

So why did I meet with John?

Am I lacking confidence?

Do I feel worried about my upcoming run? [Did I mention it's less than 7 days away?!]

I can truly say, "no" to both of the above.

I wanted him to help mentally guide me through the day of May 6th before it even happens. 

Anyone who has ever run a 1/2 marathon, marathon, ultra knows there are "peaks" and "valleys" in distance running.  We can feel amazing at 13, crash at 18 and feel like new again at 20.

While I would agree some of this can be due to fueling and hydrating --- I know for me 99.44% of it is mental.

When I get to mile 13 do I say, "Yay I'm half way through!"


"holy crap, I'm ONLY half way through?"

Was I skeptical of what this visit would truly "do" [if, anything] for me?


Do the comments from some people who hear about this May 6th event get to me some days?

Sometimes.  I am human. 

And so really NOT WonderWoman:

Thanks Laurie for the photo - did absolutely freaking love that.

For 1.4 seconds after I hear some sort of negative remark [ie, is that even healthy?, that's a really odd goal, there are better ways to raise money/awareness] I let myself feel like this:

Of course, of course, I know it's the smartest thing I may have ever signed up for.
but. we. all. have. our. moments.

So I enlisted John to help me create that event [a less than great point I may reach during my 24 hour endeavour] and mentally plan how I was going to "get through" it.

As athletes, we push our bodies almost daily to get in shape and actively try to push ourselves harder.

What I KNOW I've been missing is the calm/meditation/thinking/focusing part of training.

During my volleyball years, I had experienced the benefits of "visualization".  That is where we started, and I think this was the key for me to be able to put myself in a place where I could have a positive experience.

I sat there in complete calm.  complete quiet.  my foot wasn't bouncing back and forth.  I wasn't moving/scratching my arms.  my breathing was calm.  I wasn't thinking about what I  needed to do after this.  all the calls I need to return.  the items I need to ship for work.

and and of itself.

Is. a. FREAKING. miracle.

I'm about as anxious of a person you will ever meet.

Sitting down - feels like a death sentence to me.

but for what turned out to be an hour and 15 minutes. . . . my world was calm.  My brain was focused.  amazing.  An amazing feeling.

Meditation and quiet time are essential, they are part of the training puzzle.

Hypnosis and self talk reprogram the mind.

If you know & believe that computers can be reprogrammed, then you understand that our bio-chemical computer can be reprogrammed too.

Thank you. John. 

If would like to contact John, feel free to do so:  480.273.8798

Have any of you ever worked with a "performance specialist", "sports hypnotist"?

Please share.


Big Daddy Diesel said...

How exciting, one week away!!! I am also racing that weekend

I get the whole peaks and valleys, being a half mary finisher, but I still cant phatom what your about to tackle

Vanessa @ Gourmet Runner said...

I'm so excited for you. I'm with you that so much of it is mental. The days I run well are the days I *think* I WILL run well.
Glad you're feeling confident and calmer--because every single one of your followers is confident that you WILL succeed. Draw on our confidence when yours is depleted!

Anonymous said...

Peaks and Valleys is a good way to put it. Glad you found the hypnotist helpful in unleashing what was already there!

Patrick Mahoney said...

I get this woman who sometimes hit me up on FB about hypnosis, she kind of creeps me out. But it's her not the hypnosis bit. Thanks for that blog comment yesterday, it was funny.

Caroline said...

I have never done it. I did visualization in my swimming years and it works. I agree mental is 99.44% of the game for long races. I suck at being good at it. I am working on it. We will see how I do Sunday.

Negative people: I have a BIG problem with that. If you have nothing nice to say then zip it. that is what I say.

Anxiety I know this all to well. I was born stressed out. it is not even funny; insomnia, bitting nails, panic, heart rate going up, you name it, I got it. Pre term labor? yep twice. This is great that you found a way to calm down!

You will do great, I believe it 100.44%

bobbi said...

I have always wondered about it. I know that running is 99% mental for me. I know that when I'm racing, it's closer to 99.999%. I give up on myself way before my legs and lungs give up on me.

I'm running a half on 5/7 - I KNOW that you will get me through (as in, "for crying out loud Emz is running for 24 freaking hours! you can do this for another 30 minutes! YFGT!!" kind of through).

Zaneta @ Runner's Luck said...

so glad you got to reprogram before your huge run in LESS THAN A WEEK!!! I'm so inspired by you Em!! You are an amazing person who does amazing things!!
you hardcore rock it EVERY.SINGLE.DAY!! :)

Marlene said...

Have not, but would certainly consider it!

So glad you got even more than you expected from this experience.

one week, woohoo! :)

Jess @ Blonde Ponytail said...

I whole heartedly agree with this post EMZ. VISUALIZATION is huge. I did it as an athlete and took my players through it too. Sounds like it was and IS a helpful tool fr you as well.

So glad you were able to meet with John! ONE WEEK! We are all ready to cheer you on!!

Sarah said...

I believe that too. A big part of how I got through a week of labor with my first son was the mental preparation - what I was going to tell myself when I felt like I couldn't do it anymore. That combined with prayer and music really helped me and I made it through with no drugs.

You can do it!

Jan[et] Cicelia said...

I don't know about performance specialists or sports psychologists, but I quit smoking after almost 20 years, through hypnotism. I'm a believer. I'll be cheering you on all day May 6th. What time do you start?

Matty O said...

Ummmm is it wrong if I say I am my own performance specialist?

I honestly feel that a lot of everything is mental... the fact that you don't zone out when you are running is super weird to me. I know how miserable that is for me not able to drift off. In all honesty I think it's because of the technology and the tread mill.

I can't relax on the treadmill, I am hypersensitive and hypervigilant looking at everything and thinking of five hundred things at once.

On the trails, its me, nature, and my life. I think of one thing in my life at a time and sort it out and then move on to the next thing.

That is why I love running, that is my meditation and it is my clarity.

Christi said...

That is a great way to prepare for your big adventure.

I love the Wonder Woman picture!

Chris K said...

Cool post EMZ. Even thought I'm not talking to you because you questioned my fashion sence on Kovas' Blog, I am going to take the high road and Comment here. Yeah, I'm that kinda of guy.

Two years ago I took my kid to a weekend hypnosis seminar. It was great. I love hypnosis.

Maybe you can have your guy record a podcast-like "induction" for you for your run.

And, for the record, why would anyone convey any type of negative comment about your 24 hour treadmill run. That is amazing to me. Anyone who would offer any type of real or infered critical comment is an oxygen thief in my book.

Caroline said...

I am fan of Chris K today. Tomorrow we will see.

Emz said...

Caroline. Love it. Agreed.

Cari Mugz said...

I totally believe this.. I ALWAYS tell my kids "You get what you put out there" Love it!!!

You will do amazing!

Neil Zee said...

I joined a business perfomance program that was called "The Power of Focus" 2 years and 20k later, I can still say it was money well spent.

It is one of the few things that I can lean on to get me through some really tough emotional times.

And also the quote: "You will survive this very next minute" helps sometime when the world REALLY comes crashing down.

I know you have followed my recent trials and tribulations, and I know you have been through your own stuff. Just remember: you are choosing this (running). It's a privelage, not a right. Be happy and grateful for the choices you get to make, but also, if something goes wrong, be grateful that you have the strength to recover as well. Then move on.

I think my good Friend Chris K once said: Being grateful is the key to happyness.

That said,



Emz said...

At a loss here. [yes. Take note of that].

This comment comes at the perfect time. Like -- I'll never be able to tell you just how perfect the timing is.

All. I. Can. Really. Say. Is.

Thank you.

Adrienne Langelier, MA said...

I'm not a hypnotist, but I work as a sport psychology consultant, and religiously practice visualization both on myself (never ran a bad race after mentally rehearsing) and my clients.

Good stuff!!

Neil Zee said...

you are most welcome.

gba_gf said...

OMG - I was all ready to comment something really intellectual here about mental strength and blah blah blah but THE WONDER WOMAN PHOTO totally distracted me!!! HILARIOUS!!! Love it!

I totally believe in the power of mental imagery. I cannot wait to hear about how freaking awesome May 6th is for you...

Holley @ Lunges and Lashes said...

Well you ARE human... good to hear! Just teasing, I agree the mental aspect is about 90% for me too. I have NO doubt in you though. I really feel like with a lot of confidence and being in the zone, you are going to SMASH this! I CAN'T WAIT to see how it all goes!

Rene' said...

EMZ....everytime i pop on my treadmill I think about you and what you are doing. You are incredible! I can't imagine someone saying something negative. now that is crazy talk.
I am totally into visualization. (sp?) it has helped me in good times and in bad.
I can't wait until next week. You. are. going. to. rock!

Unknown said...

happy you found some calm! Seriously think i am more nervous for you than for my IM?? weird?

Jason said...

Honestly - that is the coolest thing I have ever heard of. Never heard of it before but it makes sense.

And I am a positive thinking person. I am never a '50% to go person' I am a 50% done.

I do have to focus on it and concentrate to allow myself to think that way but it is so worth it.

Adrienne said...

Loved this post. We all need that quiet, focus, re-energize time. I think the hypnosis thing is very intriging. Mental part of running is the hardest for me...I am so weak :( You are awesome and you are ready. Good luck.

XLMIC said...

That sounds amazing... I sure could have used a rockin' hypnotist at various points in my life. This sounds to me like the perfect time to enlist the help of someone like him :) I will be thinking of you lots on that day... as it is my special ;-) day. I had a fantasy of flying over as a gift to myself... to run a few miles alongside you in a show of support or something like that. Do you have people doing that? You are such an incredible spirit, Emz. Sending you lots of love and strength... and calm :)

Steel Springs said...

We used to do a lot of visualization for swimming, so I've continued to utilize that with my running. I love it. I'm intrigued by the idea of hypnotism and I'm happy that it was such a good experience for you.

Hilarious Wonder Woman photo!

I can't believe your big run is next week! Good luck with this last week of preparation. I'm incredibly excited for you.

Char said...

That sort of focus sounds amazing and just what you need leading into an event like this.

Caratunk Girl said...

WOW!! That is so cool!! I have always wondered about doing something like that.

That WW photo rocks. SO FUNNY.

Petraruns said...

Now that is something I would like to work on. Great idea!