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The Free Athlete : Unleashing Your Potential

By Jon Geiger
The Rhino and The Hippo:
I’m going to tell you an old parable called “The Rhino and The Hippo”. I know it’s old because I made it up.
Don’t think of a hippo…
…Don’t do it!!!
STOP thinking of a HIPPO!!!
Ok, now;
Try this:
Close your eyes,
Picture the tip of a rhino’s horn.
Is it blunt or sharp?
How wide is it?
Is it yellowed from age or pristine white with youth?
Slowly trace it downwards…
Does the color change?
How much and when does it begin to widen?
When it meets the snout can you see the folds of skin which surround its point of disappearing into the snout itself?
Does the snout have whiskers? Many?
Follow the snout to the rhino’s eyes…are they round or almond shaped?
Yellow or brown?
Does the rhino have eyelashes?
…open your eyes…
How many times did you find yourself thinking of a hippo?
Here’s the point. When we have something at stake; a big game, an important try-out, a coach looking at you to decide first versus second string, maybe someone whom we wish to impress is around, maybe it’s a parent, a pretty girl, a handsome boy, a scout or even our own preconceived notions of what we should achieve – that’s a surefire recipe to produce anxiousness.  Anxiousness leads to tightness.  That’s the paradox.  We need to be loose and unconscious of anything that is at stake in order to perform as freely as possible.  In order to manifest our potential physically it begins and ends with our mental ability to achieve relaxed focus and simply hit the right physical switches.  Just like an astronaut or pilot on their craft, would need to be in relaxed focus while hitting inclement weather…you are both the ship AND the pilot.  How awesome is THAT?!?!
Take charge!!! Here’s how;
When you don’t want to think of something which brings up or fuels that anxiety.  THINK IN GREAT DEAL OF ONE THING WHICH DOES SERVE YOU PHYSICALLY IN THAT MOMENT, AND IN CRAZY COMPLETE DETAIL… you got it; The Rhino!!!
Our brain is like a pie graph.  If we picture it completely filled with thoughts equal to 100 percent, that may be divided into 20 percent of “boy, I sure am tired today”, 15% of “this pace is a little too fast”, another 15% of “that guy ALWAYS beats me/never seems nervous” …you get the picture.  That’s like being the pilot who hits weather and starts screaming in the cockpit “OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD!!! – WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE.”  How’s that flight gonna go? …you DON’T want to be that pilot.  You want to be the pilot who sees weather, acknowledges it and smooth as silk reaches for the right controls and lets the outcome take care of itself.  You are the pilot who is  “IN the thoughts” of what proper “ACTIONS” to take there’s no available room left in that pie chart for a single percentage of thought going to STAKES.  Your mind is completely filled DETAILING YOUR RHINO…which might look something like this;
You’re a Cross-country runner:
1)am I breathing as slowly and deeply as I can?
Now move to thought
2) is my arm swinging on track and not flying out side to side?
Move to
3) drive from behind
4) loose and free hips, throw forward leg into stride,
5) are my eyes up? …etc…
Don’t stop revolving the “check in” detail thoughts you have and you will have no “cracks” for emotional thoughts, which DON’T serve you (at best) and pull you off manifesting your potential (at worst) by robbing your focus through distraction.
There is a reason race horses wear blinders.
Tell me; if you run a two minute mile, who exactly IS your competition? Likewise, if you run a seventeen minute mile.
“The true warrior always remembers that the most important battles to win are always within himself.” – Smiling Bear
Reaffirm how you approach your game by being informed of EVERYTHING and EVERYWHERE – that’s what makes it YOUR GAME…  OWN IT with pride.  Show your love every day, for who you are and what you care about by  taking care of it…and know that by doing so, you own yourself…that’s what your kindred spirits…other champions in all endeavors will recognize and respect.
Our MC Fitness consultant – Jon Geiger is the founder of “Geiger’s No Limits”, a company which specializes in unleashing the potential of young athletes and performers through creative approaches in Mental and Physical conditioning. He also has over two decades of achieving such results with adults.
Jon works throughout the region and can be reached at:

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