Posted by Jennifer on Aug 29, 2016

Yesterday at 5:30 am, I entered the dark spinning class room at SoulCycle, as I consistently do 5 times a week. I have always arrived there before everyone else and proceed to warm up for at least 15 -20 minutes.

I get my mind focused, my intentions set, my muscles engaged and I plug into the zone. Spinning is not just an exercise class to me; it is a life altering transformational experience that helps me to grow tougher mentally, psychically and spiritually.

It is my vehicle to attack fears, obstacles and concept of what pain means. Ask anyone and they will tell you I ride with the fierce determination of an Olympic athlete.

In fact, when I was competing and working in the fitness industry years ago, the nickname given to me in the gym was Ice Princess. I might add that it was not my choice to be called that. “Icy “does not lend itself to having a great deal of friends, but it does come in handy when you want to achieve an incredible workout.

I have always been known for my exceptional ability to focus and stay in the zone. These days however, I smile more. 

Usually no one enters the class until about 5 minutes before it starts. This day was different. Some guy I had never seen before rushed onto a bike close to me.

What struck me was that he was wearing headphones and listening to his own beat, not paying attention to the awesome music blasting from the speakers. He then proceeded to glance my way and start his own workout before class began.

By the way he was looking over at me and then showing off, it was obvious he was trying to outdo me, as he attempted to take command of the studio. He was actually trying to intimidate me! Seriously!

Well, the ego side of me immediately wanted to show him who was the cycle goddess but then I remembered what I know to be true in all areas of success…..if you play to your ego, you will always lose.

And in sports you will often get hurt as well.

You must always “run” your own race, focus on your intentions and goals, do not look at the other competitors or distractions. Know that the only moment that matters is the one right in front of you….…your race is the only race worth running.

You are not here on this earth to compare yourself to someone else, try to outdo them or win someone else’s battle.  You are here to be your best and know that by doing that, you have done enough.

You don’t even need to win….sure it’s great to be on top, but we learn more from our defeats than our victories. Failures are fantastic! Be proud, learn from them and move on. Letting go of the past is a critical quality of successful people.

Inspire people with your integrity, resilience, courage and vulnerability. Not with your wins, flashy style, accumulation of things or the job you hold.

You are not a human doing but a human being.

Show others that you are real and have pain, setbacks and heartbreak. We connect in our difficulties, not in our accomplishments. 

As the class began, the hotshot near me took his headphones off and started to “gun it” on his bike. I was intense, focused and steady.

As the class continued, I was feeling good. I knew I was in the zone because I knew how to take myself there. I was right in step with the instructor and fearlessly attacked the workout. I felt unstoppable as long as I “ran my race”.  

I could not help but notice that “that guy” who intentionally attempted to intimidate me was gasping for breath and barely able to keep up. I immediately brought my focus back to the task at hand, because I knew that if one gets lost in someone else’s story, they will fall…and often very hard.
The class ended. I was feeling fantastic….not winded or tired. I was on fire and thankful for what my body (with all its challenges) could achieve.

“That guy” bolted out of class….He hasn't been back since.

Later that evening my mom called and told me to watch the Olympics. She said that tonight would be extra exciting because Michael Phelps was swimming and expected to win another gold.

I must admit I am not much of a TV watcher nor am I able to sit and watch sporting events.  However, I always have a place for motivation and inspiration…and there is no better venue than the Olympics.
The race was awesome and history was made, but even more impressive was what the camera caught in the ready room between Michael Phelps and his competitor.

His rival had beaten him in a prior race and was trying to psyche Michael out by taunting him….being driven by his ego. Remember what I said about egos?
While his rival tired to intimidate him,  Michael was in his own world. He sat in a corner focused forward with a hood and earphones covering his head.

He was in the zone….perfectly untouched and unscathed by his competitor. His energy was placed on running his race…not wasted on thinking about someone else’s.  

Have you ever fallen into someone else’s life? Comparing yourself, trying to make them lose, or focusing on the finish line rather than the journey itself?  

Those choices lead to a dead end. Michael’s rival met his dead end. He did not even medal.

Think of the energy he could have put forth into his race if he would have led his life from his heart and rather than his head.

Michael won with his heart, for you must have your heart in the right place before you can access your head knowledge. And when those two meet, victory and brilliance are sure to follow.

Remember that you don’t have to win to be victorious; you must only run your race, the way you were designed. You have gifts and talents that no one else has. Focus on developing those.

Live your life with dignity, character, resilience, courage, wonder and dedication. Use your precious energy to build up your life, not tear down or lessen others... When you live your life from this foundation…what I call the Rise Up  Mindset, you will always be a champion.

With Love and Hope,