Monday, July 12, 2010

Mental Imagery

As I am on an undefined break from heavy running training my attention has turned to men. I love men.

I spent many of my formative winters on the slopes of the small hills of Nova Scotia learning to throw myself down icy pitches with reckless abandon. Part of learning to alpine race is learning mental imagery. The hour before a race is occupied with course inspection. During this time us mini athletes would memorize all the turns and terrain of the piste in the hopes of winning a shiny medal for our team.

A large part of the memorization and mental imagery was envisioning the perfect run. We would even be taught to imagine ourselves entering the finishing chute in first place. There is sport psychology research to support this training as it has been shown to aid in performance. If one is to watch a World Cup Alpine Ski Race they will notice many of the racers repeating the course over and over with imaginary movements prior to racing. To this day I can still remember one particular race course at my home ski hill.

I have used mental imagery in running and especially cross country. On a 4 loop course I love to warm up on the course and memorize every bump and roll and change of terrain. I imagine myself running quick and light and floating over the hills and vales in the lead. I have most cross country courses I have ever raced memorized and I can visualize myself running through all of them.

If mental imagery works for sport can it work for love? I think I may start love mental imagery. Before a date I will imagine the perfect response to the most clever questions. I will imagine his wit and charm and boyish good looks. The look of surprise in his eyes and flutter of his pants when we first meet. I will foretell his flirting and not so subtle hints. I will visualize the soft, gentle kiss to end the night followed by a warm embrace and a promise of more. I look forward to the ring of my buzzer and the expected company. I predict a tired morning and work day spent day dreaming.

Mental imagery for love. It will be a good thing.

A quick injury update. I have not written a lot about my foot as it has been very sore. The pain is progressing and I now have pain all the time. The pain varies from sharp shooting when I put pressure through my foot to the dull ache of rest. I cannot press my heel without pain. The difficulty with my injury is that I am not that upset. This may speak to a bit of burn out at present. I do not want to race or train but I still want to run. I am thinking of getting acupuncture to help with healing. I will see what the physio says.

Happy Training!


  1. You need to visualize yourself getting an MRI so your doctor can see what's going on in your foot! A sexy doctor, with a flutter in his pants. :)

  2. Hi Jay,
    Your injury sounds like one Jerry Ziak had. When I asked Him how he recovered, he said calf extensions/raises. He's now getting very fast again. Also, acupuncture is a great idea! It's been used for over 2500 years and is especially good for stubborn injuries. Just be sure to go to a reputable source.
    I'm sending you my good energy for a speedy recovery and a steamy summer.