MANTRA - Defined as "a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that are considered capable of creating transformation.”
To a runner, transformation can refer to the change one encounters physically, as when transitioning from a laid out, nice and warm, sound-asleep condition at 5 in the morning, to one that is upright, barely awake and heading out the door within minutes for an early run. Transformation might also be the state of mind that moves one past the pain, the miles ahead or the challenges of extreme weather. Personally, I find the transformational power of the mantra to be that which keeps me focused on a specific, long term goal and reminds me of the why I do what I do.
My obsession with establishing an annual mantra started back in 2004 as I was preparing for the Country Music R-n-R 1/2. Although, it wasn’t the run that initiated the formality of this process, it was a matter of training safety. Just prior to this time I had experienced a severe dehydration event (complete with a midnight ER visit and some really good medication). Coupled with a previous fainting episode and the fact that I was traveling around the globe on business with my running shoes packed, it just made sense to carry more identification. Actually, Christy insisted that if I were to be hit by a bus in Warsaw or bitten by a coyote in Hartsville, I should at least be identified and the call home for closure could be made.
So, off to RoadID.com and I ordered my first dog tag, complete with name, number and a line they suggested could be used for a motivational quote. The rest, as they say, is history. The first training cycle went so well that I became convinced it was due to the mantra message that stared back at me on each run. I would repeat it often and use it throughout race day. I decided that there were so many good mantras out there, along with a few I could probably make up, that I would retire them after each successful year.
Now, without further adieu, the 2011 Marine Corp Marathon training mantra ......... but first a recap of 2004 - 2010:
- 2004 : “Don’t Give Up, Don’t Ever Give Up” - Jimmy V’
- 2005 : Isaiah 40:31 “....they shall run and not grow weary.....”
- 2006 : “If not me, then who? If not now, then when?” - DH
- 2007 : Jeremiah 12:5 “Running with horses” (even back then!)
- 2008 : “When the Games Over, It All Goes Back in the Box” - John Ortberg
- 2009 : “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift” - Steve Prefontaine
- 2010 : “A Mad, Motivated Mission” - DH
Ok, fast forward from this recap to earlier today when my new RoadID bracelet arrived in the mail. The thought process this year is around my fondness for Abe Lincoln’s quote, “In the end it’s not the number of years in your life, it’s the life in your years that counts.” This saying goes hand in hand with a current country song that talks about the “moments that take your breathe away.” That has led to the 'group of words' that will provide transformational motivation this year:
“Make Another Moment!”
A reference to past moments and those to come. In addition, the mantra is tied to a scripture that will represent the spirit for which these moments are to be experienced and the purpose behind our moments.
Psalm 126:2 "Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things."