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  • Writer's pictureSally Kalksma

Train Your Brain to Make Things Happen

You may have already heard the news, I qualified for this year's US National Stair Climb Championship for the 5th year in a row! I took the news with extreme gratitude and began to focus on my mentality. I have just a few short weeks to prepare for this 108 sprint up the Stratosphere Observation Tower in sunny Las Vegas! The single most important factor in my success, not only in racing but in life as well, has been my mental strength. I believe training your brain can be more important than your physical condition since your brain controls everything your body does.

It takes a lot of practice to keep your brain composed as you race up thousands of steps. It also helps to be a little crazy too. Everything you’re doing is fighting gravity and your body's natural will to stop you from completing a strenuous task. You must train your brain to be positive at all times to keep going up. If you say “you can’t” or “it’s hard” then your body will react and it will be tougher than it needs to be. You've got to reassure yourself it will be okay, that it will work out, and that you CAN do it!

This mental training is exactly what I used to help me get through my diagnosis and treatment of Multiple Myeloma. If you stop doing what you love then the cancer has won. It takes so much practice and patience to get through the bad days but, you must convince yourself you feel good and you’re fine until your body reacts without you thinking needing to think more about it. That’s when you’ve made a habit of thinking positively. That’s training your brain. Research shows that on average, it takes a little over 2 months for a new behavior to become automatic. So don't be discouraged!

You don’t have to have cancer to think positively, and you certainly don’t have to be crazy & run up tall buildings like I do to train your brain. Just use repetitive positive reinforcements, and never use negative words. And whatever you do, don’t stop doing what makes you happy.

Today I did what I love: I climbed 210 floors. I’m very happy, and yes, a little crazy too.

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