Winston Salem RoadRunners – 7.23.14 (Dan O’Brien – Olympic Decathlon)

Last night was my last session with the boys before they head out to Iowa this coming weekend.  You could tell that they were anxious, excited, nervous along with their usual playfulness.  There was such a great energy about them because you could tell they were ready to find that connection between their sore bodies and their over stimulated minds.  

We started off with a five minute meditation that focused on the present moment.  One key aspect of such an important event is that there will be ups and downs during the week in Iowa.  Driving out to an area you’ve never been to before, having twenty to twenty-five heats of eight runners per event, and being in front of large crowds is pretty intimidating.  Those stressors can lead to the mind holding the body back.  Countless times we’ve seen major athletes make key mistakes during the most pressure-filled situations.  I wanted the boys to realize that in the present there are opportunities.  An opportunity to run the best start you could possibly have … right at that moment.  It does not matter how great or how poor your first race went.  How amazing can this moment be?

There is more to some of the visualizations and meditations that I’ve put below.  I’m extremely excited for the boys at the opportunity they have next week to shock peers, friends, family and others with their genuine focus on the present task.  They’re going to be amazing!  And not because of anything I’ve done, but because they’re learning how important it is to take care of their body and mind.  They have the physical body to crush the competition and are learning quickly how important it is to bring the mind along for the race as well.  Go RoadRunners!

Dan O’Brien – LINK

  • 5 time US Champion Decathlon
  • 3 time World Champion Decathlon
  • 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist- Decathlon
  • 1992-1999 World Record-Decathlons (8891 pts.)

“I meditate and do yoga. I also have relaxation response tapes I listen to,” he says. “I am looking for a more spiritual balance, and I absolutely think it has helped me — both competitively and with my attention deficit.”

One of the foundations of O’Brien’s holistic therapy is better nutrition — the key ingredient being blue-green algae. “I take it every day, especially when I am training,” he says. “I absolutely feel better. I feel more focused without the extreme highs and lows. Plus, it has digestive benefits.”

O’Brien, who says he isn’t the best cook, also hired a chef to prepare healthier food.

“We’re eating salads three times a week and vegetarian meals at least once a week,” admits O’Brien. “I believe your body tells you what it needs. I also avoid big meals late in the day.”

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