the story of a michigan athlete and her endurance mindset

An endurance mindset, what is this? To me, it’s the state of mind that has guided me through some of my greatest struggles both as a track athlete and in life. It reminds me, I’m in it for the long haul and that if you want to achieve greatness, you must endure life’s challenges. My love for running developed early on. Growing up with a father who coached at the collegiate level, I was essentially raised to be a runner. It wasn’t long until I fell in love with the sport. From the youth fun runs to the school mile, everything was a competition in my mind and to be quite honest, I was used to winning. After high school successes came college running- a whole new playing field. With extraordinary goals, dreams, and plans I began my collegiate running career at Michigan State University.

Reality check: everything doesn’t go according to plan.

After a successful freshman year, my legs began to teach me one of the biggest lessons I’d ever come to learn. After being so used to success, I began to experience injury upon injury, deteriorating my confidence, my mood, my drive, and my endurance. After a sophomore year of rough, nagging injuries and mediocre race performances, junior year played out to be even worse. I needed knee surgery and unfortunately, wasn’t able to race at all that year. I began to feel very sorry for myself. Why me? Was I doing something wrong? I wanted to give up. It wasn’t until recently after my junior year had come to a close, that I realized this experience had become one of the greatest lessons and turning points in my life. It was time to accept that things don’t go according to plan and to shift my thinking to the long term.  I began to adopt an endurance mindset, and even at a time where it seemed everything was going wrong, I knew that I couldn’t give up. So, whether it be a short 800m race on the track, a long and grueling marathon, your 50-page thesis in school or a tiring business project at work, the adoption of an endurance mindset will guide you through the long haul. I’m not saying you’re required to go out and start training for all these crazy endurance events just to gain the endurance mindset. All it takes is simplifying and shifting your thinking. Here’s how:
  1. Let the small things go. A lot of times, it can be very easy to stress over every tiny problem or worry you may have. It’s easy to think “this workout didn’t go so well” or “I got a B- on this test instead of an A” and suddenly spend the rest of the day thinking of what you did wrong. I promise you: IT’S OKAY! This is something I struggled with and still struggle with today. And I’m not telling you not to care, I’m simply saying to weigh them in your life as what they are: small.
  1. Slow down! Life is way too short to be in a hurry. Through my time as a collegiate athlete, I have caught myself always in a rush. A rush to heal my injuries or a rush to decide what I want to study in school. Take a step back, conserve your energy, take your time and enjoy life in the moment.
  1. Power through. Nothing worth achieving comes without hard work, dedication and will power. Enduring life’s greatest challenges will allow you to cross each finish line knowing you gave it everything.

Where am I at with myself now?

Fast forward 3 months and here I am, able to run every day, living in Copenhagen Denmark and interning with DANISH ENDURANCE, a company that ironically believes strongly in endurance. Their brand emphasizes the importance of enduring the pain, going the extra mile, and commitment to goals. The way running fuels my soul and life is indescribable, simply a feeling that I would be lost without.  And I’d like to thank the endurance mindset for helping me achieve this feeling and allowing me to fall in love with running all over again.