Confident athletes keep showing up believing that one day it will be their turn.
Desiree Linden, the winner of this year's Boston Marathon exemplifies this very belief. As she tweeted last month, “Some days it just flows and I feel like I’m born to do this, other days it feels like I’m trudging through hell. Every day I make the choice to show up and see what I’ve got, and to try and be better. #Keepshowingup”. After her 5th try (she was leading and caught at the end in 2011, losing by 2 feet), she became the first US woman to win the historic race in 33 years.
Several factors related to confidence aided Linden's victory. First, was her preparation. While many of the runners said that this year’s Boston Marathon had the most difficult conditions they had ever run in, Desiree was prepared by her training in Michigan during the winter. This preparation allowed her to embrace the difficult test in Boston that sent 81 runners to the hospital. In addition, she made sure she knew the course well, running 18 miles of it on Monday, 14 miles on Tuesday, and 20 on Wednesday.
She also prepared mentally. She envisioned the race and what winning would looe like. “I haven’t looked past Marathon Monday,” she said. “I think about it every day. I bring a winning attitude every day. I picture being a winner every day.”
Linden also took control of her self-talk. She admitted that she was thinking about dropping out of the race because she just didn’t feel it. However, she was able to get past that feeling mentally and finished strong.
While preparation and one’s self-talk are critical to maintaining confidence, helping others is important as well. When we assist others it intrinsically makes us feel better therefore boosting our confidence. Linden told her good friend and fellow American runner, Shalane Flanagan, that she would do whatever she needed for her. At one point, she slowed her pace to help Flanagan catch back up to the lead pack. In doing so, Linden fueled herself as well.
Confident athletes put in the work; mentally and physically. They keep a strong mindset and they see themselves winning and being a winner. Most importantly, they keep showing up. On Marathon Monday Linden showed up and achieved a major victory.
What do you need to keep showing up for?