#5 Mental Madness – Not bite sizes…believe sizes.

We get stuck on a belief level. Whatever I believe about my ability to….whatever….that would be my ceiling to success. Now we are not talking pie-in-the-sky beliefs here, nor wishful thinking, nor what I know I should believe, but deep seated real truths that I hold. The kind of truths that often take a liberating and frightening journey to explore and discover.

When I take on any adventure or anything extreme I really work with my beliefs…and I start by breaking whatever the event is up into “belief sizes.” Then I start training according to “belief sizes.” Lets go for a jog and chat about it!

So I know that I do not really believe that I can just go and run 250km in the desert. My knee is bust, my Achilles is bust and fitness and stamina definitely not where it should be (my two team mates…well, they have far greater issues than I have!). However, if we break it up into 6 days…40km, 40km, 40km, 40km, 80km, 10km…then…well, who am I kidding, I still don’t believe that I can really do that . So what do I believe I can do?

Currently I can do 6km reasonably pain free. I believe that in the next week I will be able to stretch that to 10km. That is all I need to believe I can do, since there will be a check point every 10km 🙂 I will plan for 250km, but not think about 250km. I will not even think about finishing one day at a time. My “belief” currently, since I can do it, is that I can do 1x check point at a time! If I hit 25 check points over 6 days…well the the race is done! My focus over the next week is to work my way up slowly to a 10km in order to stretch my belief. If I have time, I will see if I can do a 15km. I don’t want the 10km be my “belief limit”, I want my belief to be that I can easily push past a check point!

Keep following – this is all a big experiment!

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  1. Hey Cobus, I just loved this post. Where was Cobus a couple of years back when I did my prep for the KAEM 250km . . . man my approach would have been totally different.
    Anyway what I do wanna ask is as a “big picture” person myself and a lot of times focused on the “whole” can this concept of breaking it into smaller believe sizes work for me as well? Because I always make sure I involve a detailer who will keep me accountable but what if I can do this myself.
    I hope my question makes sense.

    1. O man…I am a big picture person as well. Even when I think I have broken it down into the smallest of pieces, I always discover more! But yes, I think in some sense it is easier for us since detail people can overwhelm themselves. In some events like the KAEM it is already broken up for us…7 days, distances, check-points, etc. @Bronwynne decided to even break up into 2.5km checks. All she is committing to is doing 2.5km…check-in with herself and then move on to the next 2.5km!
      And if all else fails…ask that detailer to help break it up, and the work through the bits and pieces until you hit that, “aah…I think I believe I can do this piece!”
      I think we should sign up for a KAEM 2022…I sommer get excited!

      1. Yes I think that sounds like a great idea. With enough sponsors the Trans Alpine is also a possibility . . .
        Thanks for your feedback, I appreciate.