Getting Mentally Ready
As the saying goes, it's all in the mind. And for these girls this can be no further from the truth. Two months in a small confined space- rowing, eating, sleeping and repeating. Their minds will have to be ready for all challenges and adversity that is to come, so we set off together on a mental training journey! Our sessions are joyful, educational and practical, helping the girls acquire skills and tools that will help them power across the Atlantic!
Session 1 - MAP WORKOUT
We spent our very first session in the park doing a MAP (mental and physical) workout. We visualised, we worked out and practiced awareness. Just for the girls to get an idea what it's like to combine a mental and physical workout, and train their mind and body in one go ! They loved it :) We also took our time to get to know each other alongside with coffee and croissants and knew from the start that we were meant to work together. What joy these girls are - their energy is contagious and their bravery is inspiring, and this is all just a start!
Session 2 - FUNDAMENTALS OF RESILIENCE
Today we talked about resilience - both theory and neuroscience. We learned about the different parts of the brain and how mental training - more specifically awareness and visualisation - impacts it’s functioning. Starting with the basics- breath awareness as the most fundamental brain training exercises - was key. Using the breath as an anchor, a way to handle emotions and physical challenges is something the girls learned to master. We ended with a breathing meditation and concluded with fun training tasks they can practice in daily life.
Session 3 - PERSONALITY PSYCHOLOGY
Since these ladies are spending 2 months with each other on the boat, they will have to handle each other's personalities. They each did a personality test (lots of dominance on this team!) for us to discuss each other’s strengths, weaknesses, and tendencies under stress. There is no doubt the extreme conditions in the middle of the Atlantic will truly test their character.
Session 4- TAPPING INTO THOUGHTS
Amidst the gruelling challenges in the middle of the ocean the girls will have to be aware how their everyday perceptions, thoughts, feeling and emotions are impacting their overall performance. We covered thinking distortions in detail and talked about coping mechanisms which will help them let go of their negative, destructive thoughts. Remember ladies - you always have the power to choose one thought over another!
Session 5- PSYCHOLOGY OF PAIN & BODY IMAGERY
Oh the pain they will go through! And the physical fatigue, possibly minor muscle injuries, and the blisters.... Today we talked about the way our mind perceives pain and reacts to it. Having an understanding of how pain can escalate into an emotional hijack, will keep these ladies more proactive as they can listen to the mind-body communication more closely. We also talked about various mental imageries that will help power through rowing sessions, but we are yet to practice these concepts in a physical workout!
Session 6- LET'S VISUALISE
Today we got mentally really creative! Painting and picturing images and scenarios in our minds of what could potentially happen out there in the boat- big waves, boredom, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, etc. The more the girls mentally rehearse ahead of time (visualising routines, problems, success) the more ready they will be in any given situation. Of course, we ended the session with visualising the finish line, celebrating and hugging their loved ones, to build those neural pathways that will spark confidence, motivation and help them reach their goal.
Session 7- FUN! :)
THE MIGHTY ROWEGIAN BOAT!
Surprisingly the boat is much bigger in real life than it appears in photos. Once on it however, you realize it's quite small and challenging to move around. The girls will have to master navigating around this little space, but considering they have two months on this boat, there is no doubt it will become second nature!
Session 8- MAP WORKOUT
Today we dearly missed Camilla, but nevertheless made the session count! As promised we put the psychology of pain theory into practice and tapped into all types of body imagery to power through the shakes and pain during the workout. The girls kept their minds focused and calm, visualized their goals when struggling, brought about stillness through breath and learned that the body can keep going as long as you let it. We ended with a relaxing body scan for girls to mentally flush muscle pain and help their bodies recover faster. It was fun! And full of smiles as always :)