Meggan Janota was training for a half-marathon in 2009 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. The news came completely out of the blue, but Meggan refused to let anything stop her from completing the race she had trained for that was just a few weeks away. After she passed the finish line, she started chemotherapy the next day.
Meggan stated that she focused all of her anger and sorrow on the run. From Meggan’s story, and many others who are overcoming a cancer diagnosis obstacle as well, it is clear that running can give people an inner strength that is hard to duplicate elsewhere.
Mental strength is a huge part of running whether you are running a 5K or 26.2 miles. At some point you have to face the fact that in order to get to the end you have to physically carry yourself there—no cruise control available. But digging deep to carry on is when you can be at your very best.
What we find so inspiring about Meggan’s story is that she truly outran something emotionally and physically scary with a strong mental game. Here are tips that can help you maximize mental strength when running:
- Visualize. Picture yourself reaching your goals.
- Focus on the task at hand and don’t let negative thoughts creep in.
- Create a power word to distract yourself. Use it on repeat.
- Celebrate the little victories. Each mile is impressive.
Although Angelina Jolie took an alternative route to defeat her cancerous past, exercise is an optimal tool to gain the mental strength and clarity one may need to keep a positive outlook on a devastating diagnosis.
Since Meggan’s ran the half-marathon her cancer has returned but she says that she is confident she will return to the sport that she loves.
Do you find Meggan’s story inspiring? Tell us in the comment section below why you run.
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