Being in the Present with Chris Benard, 2-Time Olympian Triple Jumper

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Today on the podcast we have Chris Benard, a two-time Olympic triple jumper, who just made his second Olympic team. He will be competing at the Tokyo Olympics in a few short weeks. He holds a personal record of 17.48 m (57 ft 4 in) in the triple jump. He has represented the United States at the 2016 Rio Olympics along with multiple World Outdoor and Indoor Championships. Bernard is an eight-time NCAA All-American where he competed for Arizona State University. He trains in Chula Vista at the Olympic Training Center.

In this episode, Chris and Cindra discuss:

  • His Olympic Trials performance two weeks ago that landed him on his second Olympic Team
  • Strategies he uses to deal with pressure
  • How he avoids being victim to his thoughts
  • Why having joy in the process is essential
  • Ways mindfulness and meditation has changed his life and performance, and
  • His meditation practice
“What you’re tilling to yourself, or how you’re justifying things to yourself is really what determines your future”@FlyyLikeChrisB
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“I’m a small piece to this balance of life, but I’m still a part of the balance”@FlyyLikeChrisB
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“Notice your thoughts but don’t be a victim to them”@FlyyLikeChrisB
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Full Transcription:

Cindra Kamphoff: Chris I’m so excited to have you today on the high performance mindset podcast congratulations on qualifying for another Olympic Games last week in Oregon how are you feeling today.

ChrisB: I feel great feels great to have qualified and it’s definitely an honor just to be on the podcast so thank you for having me.

Cindra Kamphoff: Absolutely. Oh hang on one second I just got a little feedback there so. The Facebook, or at least what I was seeing um yeah so congratulations and um you know to kind of get us started this is your second Olympic Games that you’re going to be headed to. So, you know tell us a bit about your experience kind of leading up so far to the trials last week.

ChrisB: Oh, it was a lot, a lot of I would say, mental practice, more so than physical practice I had like a couple small injuries leading up into trials and. Like me, being a veteran at this point at this point, I would say myself talk was very along the big picture of what I was trying to accomplish so I would be at practice, and I would have like a little feeling of a slight like pain somewhere and my older self my younger self would have it all the way would be push through it like what like all you have is hard work, you can’t let a little injury hold you back from getting to work, and right now. But the veteran like in me was more saying like no amount of work that you could do, between now and trials is really going to make a difference, so what’s best for me to do is to be recovered yeah to be confident and where my body’s at physically and to be sharp mentally and if I’m poking at little injuries daily I’m not going to be that confident in my recovery, so recovery has to come first so really balancing that because I would say, before the little injuries happened my whole mindset for leading into trials was get a sharp as possible be as strong as possible be as fast as possible but having realizing what was actually going on with my body and how pushing through it might put me in a worse place definitely switch to me more being like trying to be mentally ready, making sure I’m meditating making sure I’m staying calm making sure that I’m not trying to get ahead of myself and my work in. My come back to for training and just taking it one day at a time, I would say, was hard to be confident in myself during that time, because I wasn’t doing everything that I could to maximize upon my ability for this big moment coming up, but at the same time I knew I had to be confident in what while what I was doing if I wanted to be ready at all, so it was a lot of balancing there was a whole lot of balancing.

Cindra Kamphoff: yeah well, I appreciate you sharing that with us, I think, first of all, it just shows that you’re human, you know that. That you know it’s difficult for you to be confident. But I also heard just so much wisdom there that a lot of times when we really want to do really well at something we might push and push our body more but because you have been to an Olympics and you’ve been doing this for several years you’re able to kind of take a step back and like maybe train your mind to be calm then maybe keep pushing your body.

ChrisB: kind of broke up a little bit the middle of that I could, but I think I got the gist of what you’re saying.

Cindra Kamphoff: uh yeah and I was just going to talking about that it takes a lot of wisdom to be able to kind of take a step back and not keep pushing.

ChrisB: Oh yeah absolutely and I can like that’s what I’m like I feel fortunate to have because. Self talk I’ve realized is such a big component in just an elite athletes and people in the first place, like qhat you’re telling yourself, or how you’re just to find things to yourself, is really I think what determines your future a lot. And I think a lot of times people make justifications based on the information or just not a lot of information, but they have to feel confident in it just because they have to believe in themselves. So I feel fortunate to be able to like really like be able to get a full understanding of what’s going on and then take confidence in the fact that I do feel like I’m making a good informed decision.

Cindra Kamphoff: yeah that’s wonderful and you know, Chris one of the reasons I really was excited to have you on the podcast is that you spend you know time training your mind and you’ve read a lot of great books and just what you just said, there is very wise you know yourself stuff determines your future. Tell us a little bit about you know your the Olympic trials experience and how you specifically used your self-talk to help you. And not only you know, make the finals but really competitive finals were several of the athletes heads at seasons best rate is really competitive so tell us a bit about that.

ChrisB: I would say it was. That that whole the whole week of being in Eugene was almost like a blur I would say, I had been working so hard on being in this stillness in the moment. It was almost like the days leading up to it were completely unimportant or like there was nothing for me to really have to hang on to our grasp onto because I knew really. While I was there was just to be ready on prelim day and on final day, so it was kind of like it didn’t really matter what I felt or any thoughts that I had. I would just be kind of going through this like roller coaster of like analyzing everything but. And like knowing that a thought might bring me down or knowing that I thought my puppy up but not giving any energy to anything at all, so it was like I was there, experiencing everything, but just in this like. Zen mode, I was trying to maintain, because I, it was with trials it there’s no guarantees like that you really. Like people will always speak things into existence but I’m a realist, and I take more comfort in the reality of the situation so I’m going to go through the gambit of emotions of. I might make it I might not make it and being able to be accepting of both sides, I feel like is what keeps me calm so having that understanding of it. While being out there, I would say, like the whole time I think my poker face was that nothing was wrong, everything is cool I could have good conversation with anybody I can. I can bring the energy that I know I need for me to be in my happy place, but that was all amongst me bouncing off negative thoughts bouncing off positive thoughts and just trying to like I guess remain in the moment.

Cindra Kamphoff: yeah that’s beautiful and you know, I think, Chris that I’ve heard an athlete told me that the trials feels like you can just cut the atmosphere with a knife like it’s. It’s so tense and so you know it’s really easy to get really high or get low or you know be distracted by all these other things happening or maybe even distracted by when someone says to you, oh yeah it’s really tough to make this team and then all sudden go in this downward spiral.

ChrisB: yeah what was what was distracting me or what I noticed that was like it was like a out I’ll say it with stimulating me or like getting me over there just more stimulated was people just been like are you excited like. Oh, you got to be excited I’m so excited to watch you not always just be like to like please to. Like I’m happy you’re excited for me, but if I get excited a week out from competition I’m not gonna have any energy on the day of competition, like I need to because I mean. I’m at this point I’m fully aware that the subconscious knows exactly what’s going on, it knows how big of a but that’s coming up. And the more pressure that you’ve put onto yourself, for it, the more responsive, I think your subconscious is going to be so, I mean, I noticed that I was. Like nervous for the competition two weeks out and, if I have nerves in the front of competition, that means that I’m operating at a heightened level of like. I would say operation or just like at a high incense so like if I’m already like prone to being like a high level and I’m feeding into this assignment I’m about to go out at practice and got 150% when I only really need to be going at 80% so just kind of like be understanding that. Then, like not trying to like shoot anybody’s excitement down was another part of like the whole like balancing act of like understanding the reality of the situation and, like taking that for what’s going on, rather than like feeding into all the outside stimulus.

Cindra Kamphoff: Absolutely so Chris what do you do, then, to balance that you know allow people to be excited to watch you but you know, especially if you’re feeling nervous a couple of weeks beforehand, you know that’s just kind of wasted energy, what do you do to intervene with yourself there.

ChrisB: I would say it now because I’m comfortable with like the person that I’m trying to be is I cope with it by just trusting how I feel in those moments, so if I do feel like. This like your excitement is slightly overwhelming it’s like okay I’m not wrong for feeling that, like it, that is how I genuinely feel and that’s where my that’s where my zone of happiness is so like embrace it like say thank you, but don’t feed into it, or, if you do feel like. If you know yourself to operate well at a high excited excitement place then slap him back give him a big hug like I’m so excited to. But more so, just like knowing where you’re comfortable that based on like. Like past patterns like where you notice yourself to perform well that and then really trying to stick to that and trusting like trusting your gut trusting your subconscious. Like trusting the things that have consistently made you or made me happy, I think, is what helped me to like stay grounded with myself rather than like feeling like I needed to latch on to somebody else from my own happiness or from my own stability.

Cindra Kamphoff: yeah Chris in sports psychology we talked about a theory called the individual is individualized zone of optimal functioning, but this really fancy way of saying that we all, you know our you know our levels of high performance, we have different energy levels and so. Some of the people that you compete against might need really to get really, really pumped up right so kind of what you’re saying is that high five. You know and getting excited when someone says they’re excited but it sounds to me that you really desire and do best when you’re more in kind of this you kind of said Zen moment. Tell us a little bit about how did you do that, you know at the Olympic trials when there’s you know this such a tense atmosphere. Give us a sense of like how did you tap into this Zen moment and really be present and I’m kind of bounce these things off of you, and when people might say or do things.

ChrisB: I think that meditation was like the big difference maker, and that a in that department and I would say, for whatever reason, the pandemic, I think, made me I guess more aware of stimulus, or like during that time I was just a little bit more tapped in with my emotion, I think, just because I’ve been have a distraction from my emotion, so it was like I just had to live with whatever that I was feeling. And in past and past meets, I would say that I would uh I would do a decent job of keeping myself in my happy place. And um but I wouldn’t I think if I were to ever be knocked out of it, I wouldn’t really know exactly how to get myself back into it and um I think I was starting to get the understanding of that, while in the pandemic, because I was noticing that I was anxious about stuff. That I that I wouldn’t be normally and it scared me because I would think to myself Okay, if I feel like this and I can’t get away from it, what happens if I’m at a competition and I’m having these feelings in the moment and I need to be able to focus like I didn’t like the idea of potentially being out of control in a situation where I needed to be in control and I let that in itself worry me during a time where control didn’t even matter so just kind of like being able to I guess grasp of that and relate it to potentially being overwhelmed in a competition made me start meditating more consistently. Like months and months and months ago, so now, I guess, like leading into these high stimulated competitions once now that I’m practiced in being in the moment that’s all I really could do it was like it was like I was out there feeling all these things are noticing that noticing thoughts that normally bring feeling. But not feeling like a victim to the feeling, it was like it’s This is just like this is just another gambit of thoughts that you’re having in this moment how you’re actually feeling is how you’re actually feeling like you feel like being out here for attract me you don’t really want to be anxious about anything you really just want to be focused on what the task at hand is so all the other thoughts that were happening, they didn’t really matter, and I think just practicing like being in the moment and accepting of whatever you’re feeling in that moment, I think, helped me to just I guess like really be still, are like I guess safe and not feel panicked by what was actually going on, so yeah meditation I think was a big difference maker I don’t think that. I think it’s hard to be able to handle moments like that, without practice and I don’t think people see meditation as practice but it’s a literal like. Practice of being in the moment like you’re sitting there like training your brain to be okay with whatever is going on in that moment, and I think in those moments when people try meditating. They don’t see how it translates to them potentially being in an office meeting and being nervous or them to public speaking and being nervous, but it absolutely does, because those are, it’s just another moment to where you need to be in control that you have it, and you haven’t practiced it so yeah meditation I would say, was huge for that.

Cindra Kamphoff: Excellent well gosh if people don’t start meditating if they don’t already there’s every reason to start and I’m thinking about Chris like. The triple jump is so interesting because you watch your competitors right and maybe your competitor jumps really far and then. You know, you might have some thoughts about what you have to do next right where it’s like if it’s 100-meter dash or an 800 your compact you’re competing in the same you know, at the same time, so it’s a little bit different I think um. So you said, like you notice the thoughts you weren’t being victim to the thoughts and you’re just like noticing for what you know what it was, but. The meditation practice allowed you to do that tell us a bit about your meditation practice and what did you start doing, several months ago that you think allowed you to really thrive in the moment at the trials.

ChrisB: Or, I would say, well, I started meditating like. I was always like I was free styling where it was like it was in the beginning of like while it was like indoors and I was just I had heard of people starting to meditate so they had better focus and I was already add started practicing I guess like mindfulness and. And not even just off of like me understanding that I wanted a little bit of difference in my life like I notice how like in certain moments. Because I’m not really paying attention they’re not going as well as I would like them to so maybe if I started to pay attention a little bit closer these moments would go by smoother so it was like that was like the first domino of me growing like it’s mindfulness and then it’s almost like stuff just started to fall into place like. I guess like underlying feeling a connection with psychology to follow that and then and then hearing about meditation and seeing how it affects people, but like. And hearing how it affects people, but actually understanding in those moments why it affects them that way, I think that’s a big difference like you hear about it. And you’re like okay that sounds cool But then when it when it clicks for you and your mind is like, oh no like I see why people do this so as I started to feel that way. I started to like just like find opportunities to sit down for 30 minutes in the dark and like what I would do before I had any type of like guidance, I would just like tell myself count. 50 deep breaths without any distractions to sit there and don’t worry if your legs start to feel numb just. Count out 50 deep breaths like that seemed like a simple good meditation practice that I that I came up with just kind of out of what makes sense at a meditation to me at the time and then I’m progressing forward after like then getting into the pandemic I started to want a little bit more guidance in it, so I started using the Column app and I liked that and then I started using the Headspace app because it was free. Through like the USA tf sponsor and ever since I got on to the Headspace app um I just started I started just doing the guided meditation say I liked the affirmations that it was given me. And I liked that I didn’t I didn’t feel like I was just free styling I felt like I was doing something for production or to be productive. And I’m like moving forward from that I was like reading a little bit on it, too, and it was basically telling me like. The more you do it the better at it that you get and that made a lot of sense to me as well, especially in the way that I like to play video games like. If I play a video game and I keep playing it it’s because I get better at it and the game starts to get more enjoyable. And that seemed like the same way that meditation would work by, the more you do it the better it gets like the more clear thoughts, you have the. The more life just makes sense, so as I started to do that, it just made sense for me just continuously keep meditating and I had nothing better to do, I was. Like there was nothing to do so, it was it was it was honestly, something that made my day go by smoother so like I don’t know it really just started to make sense to continue to meditate, and so I started off just doing like different courses actually did a course on the first course I did on meditation was on anxiety because I was having a lot of it during the pandemic, a friend of mine had passed away. And I was just kind of like having emotions that I couldn’t really disperse and it just seemed like it made sense that it was anxiety and like that. You’re having trouble like being in the moment and just kind of like going from there, and at that point, it didn’t really matter what I was meditating on in my mind it just I just knew that I needed to be practicing this so yeah I think I think it has just been snowballing from there.

Cindra Kamphoff: that’s wonderful well what I appreciate is the gave us really practical ways that you know anybody who’s listening can start meditation I love the Headspace app. The Calm app is a great example of like ways that you can just get started, and you know that you did start in 2015 just by practicing mindfulness and if people aren’t sure what mindfulness is just I’ll use Jon Kabat Zinn definition which is like acceptance of the present moment. Like your life depends on it, you know and just like accepting that is. yeah um so when you think about the trials and compared to now, how do you think meditation helped you.

ChrisB: I don’t think the athlete that I wasn’t 16 would have been able to thrive in 2021. There, because I think that I would have gotten to this point of over overthinking, no matter what just off of the way that I think so, if I would have went through the whole pandemic in the same 2016 mindset, I think I would have been completely overwhelmed and indecisive during this period in 2016 it was it wasn’t it was a harder team to make, but it was a simpler time for me mentally I had I didn’t. I wasn’t considering how my life would move based on the decisions that I would make, I was bored just comfortable with wherever life was going. Because of the age that I was at and just because, like, I was young enough to really not really be worried about like Oh, if this doesn’t work I’ll do something else, like I got time. Now feeling like it’s like as once I turned like I guess 30 especially turning 30 during the pandemic like it really it hits you like it, like you, you realize like this life thing is something that can be I guess controlled and, like some of the small decisions that you make implicate a lot for your future and I think that that can become pressure as you start to understand that. And I think a lot of people started to understand that, during the pandemic as well that’s I think a lot of people made a lot of I call them pandemic decisions where they were in just this confused mindset. And they just needed something to grasp on to so they can get into something that they probably wouldn’t have a circumstance. So, like this kind of feeling that way about things and knowing how I handled it I, I think it would have been very tough to have handled it that same way, without the practice thing that I had done so just the development from 2016 to now I think really put me in a good position to be able to make this team, when the time when the time came.

Cindra Kamphoff: yeah I appreciate what you just said about the pandemic and even though, how you’re different now because of meditation and I think that it was such a difficult time, I think, for as an athlete you couldn’t compete, so you weren’t getting that maybe dose of adrenaline. But, also, that confidence and knowing where you were in terms of your competition, you know, and there were so many things that were changing, including the trials date so many different things you had to deal with that were outside of your control.

ChrisB: yeah it was it was different yeah and I, I know that every individual had to handle it their own way and. I definitely get curious on how just people handled it different or like how people’s circumstances made them feel like they had to move certain ways. And I definitely don’t hold it against anybody for making these pandemic decisions because you do what you have to do to feel happy at the moment and sometimes. It I mean it is what it is it’s always going to be what it is like you kind of you kind of got to just live with their decisions and sometimes I wish I made some more pandemic decisions like I wish that I did, maybe put myself out there on a limb for my own happiness just to see like. Like what happens when I’m vulnerable or like what happens when I’m like I feel like I need to grasp onto something, but I did more of the route of just kind of trying to stay low and trying to stay consistent rather than trying to like figure out how I could change for these circumstances.

Cindra Kamphoff: yeah and obviously staying low and consistent helped you. Good thanks again so when you think about your experience in 2016 and now going back in about a month tell us you know what you’ll take from that experience in 2016 that will help you do well in a in a month or so.

ChrisB: yeah um how I like to describe 2016 and what I learned a lot about it is I described it as I was well, first of all trials was such a big moment for me, I really Olympic trials and 2016 changed my life. I saw what it was like to kind of like take control of something and like that not even purposefully it was just off of the fact that I wanted something so bad I kind of just lined up my mental and my physical, to be able to execute to the best of my ability for that day. And I all I really did was trust I trusted everything that I had been doing leading up to that moment, and when it was time to execute upon that moment, I have no other words like I really kind of blacked out and executed and had a great competition and I did exactly what I had to do to make the 2016 team so. With That being said, I didn’t really understand in those moments what I did I just knew that it worked and but then once I started to understand why that worked I now more understand why I didn’t do well at the Games so once I once I got to the Games, there was just so much stimulus. So much going on, so much potential fall. There was like it was really like I was. I was really at the trials, I was on the inside, looking out like I was myself looking upon the world and how I can affect it. And then, at the at the Games, I was on the outside looking in I was, I was trying to see how everything around me was how I could be like, I guess, a part of all that stuff like how I could have just this ultimate experience. Without even understanding like. What how was really even there for like without even really caring what I was eating, therefore, it was like sure if I could, if I could do this I could do this, and I could do that and still have a great performance than perfect one, but I wasn’t sure how that was going to work until I put it to the test, and I would say that I was definitely more a victim of trying to do everything trying to have the full experience I’m not really understanding, where I operate the best for competition to that magnitude, but at the same time not caring. So now leading into this one, I already started like shaping my mind to be prepared for the task at hand, and that I was I started at trials 2021 that’s why I was even meditating it was like just to be. You I knew I needed to be a certain level of prepared and I was willing to do whatever I had to to get to that level, based on my understanding. And now I think I can take that same understanding and bring it to the Games, so if I if I only have five days to prepare, while in Tokyo. Well then, like two weeks out that I need to make sure that I’m visualizing on what I need to be doing during that five days and I need to just kind of like start trying to have an understanding, based on the information that I have about what I’m getting myself into and basically understanding how I’m going to prepare myself, rather than just hoping that I’m prepared once I get there, so yeah if that means download podcasts for the weeks leading up, so I can stay in my level of normalcy then so be it, if that means I have to bring a certain food if it means I have to figure out how my sleep is going to be leading up to it, like any type of variables that I know affect me in a positive way, then like maximize upon that and I think that’s more understood based off of how I performed in 2016 and where I’m at now.

Cindra Kamphoff: yeah so one of the things I’m hearing is that you’re going to go in executing and caring for yourself like making sure that your mind and your body is ready to execute whereas maybe in 2016 it was more like. The experience of going fill in PICs and sometimes people will say like that experience was so overwhelming. Because I appreciate what you said about foam Oh, you know, like you were you’re looking out, you might have been comparing yourself to all these right athlete like being the best you and focusing on what you could do that day.

ChrisB: yeah that photo is real you don’t want to have you seen everybody just smiling going around enjoying every other part of it, but. You just want to have that too and um I think in the moment you’re doing it right, it feels like you’re doing it right, but then after you have your performance you kind of think to yourself, like maybe I. Maybe I shouldn’t have gone to that basketball game, maybe I shouldn’t have gotten McDonald’s for the fourth time at the Olympic village like Maybe I should have been a little bit more focused at practice like. You start it’s fair to kind of start to take a little bit of like what’s the word not like, not necessarily credit taking a little bit of time off based on the fact that you accomplished something and it sometimes it feels right to do that at the games. Because it’s like it it’s kind of offered to us as a reward like it feels like it’s the reward. You qualify for the Olympic Games here’s your reward you get to go, but in reality the Games, is it the reward the metals are supposed to be the reward I mean the Games there’s a small reward, yes, but. If you ask any Olympian nobody’s going there to just be an Olympian so like I don’t think that I think if they could I think most of us can understand that more than we would I guess understand the goal that hand more so, and how to work towards that, rather than just a taste, taking the small reward that we already just got.

Cindra Kamphoff: yeah so good so Chris I know you spent some time obviously you described a little bit about your meditation process and I we really appreciate that tell us. Maybe some of the resources, you could share that you’ve read or What else do you do to help you get some clarity on your mindset and help you develop that.

ChrisB: yeah well I read a lot of just like random things it takes me a long time to get through them and I don’t know if it’s because of the depth of the information or because, like I’m just like scatterbrained at times, but like. What conference me about the things that I read is that as I’m reading them they’re making sense and that it. It seems like it’s resonating to what’s going on in my life, and I think that’s usually all I need to feel for me to continue to read it so like I the book I just read finished reading recently was a total meditation by Deepak Chapra. And yeah it was it was really good like just the explanations around why meditation benefits you like it just it resonated it. Like I would read it in the morning and feel like ready to go for the rest of the day it’s like it gave me a validation to kind of how I was thinking already. I’m also the power of habit, I like that one a lot just be after that book actually I feel like kind of changed my life because I after I didn’t even finish the book, but for one I read through most of it and I just kind of started to feel like I was understanding it. But just the fact, I never really thought of habits in the way that they should like. That book really made it clear to me how everything that we do as a habit every feeling that we have is behind a habit and like where we’re at in our life is all based on habits that we made over time even habits from when we were children like and then those just kind of. Developing on top of themselves into us being comfortable as adults like after reading that it’s like I had this clarity of like how. Small decisions, make a big difference and like if you really do want something it’s wants something big it’s as it’s it sounds harder when it’s just this big old idea, but if you think of it as a small habit decision every day you kind of get there over time, without even realizing it, so I like that one a lot is well. Also, I, like the as a man think it. Just because it was such a simple book it’s like a little pamphlet but it just gave so much perspective on life, and when I hear about perspective on life but from such an old time and how it could still resonate to now it makes it just seems so much more real. And like it’s like it’s just it seems so much more tangible like Oh, you would you came up with this, then, and you don’t even know anything about what’s going on in life now and it still resonates like though that’s solid information so like yeah stuff like that I’m off the top of my head I can’t remember much more but see I thought I just been reading. I read, just like a random like I’ll go on like my library app and I’ll just look up like psychology stuff and just look for a title that I guess like catches my eye like a lot of Malcolm Gladwell novels as well, I haven’t finished outliers yet, but I like what he’s talking about it, like just the concepts that Malcolm Gladwell gets into I feel like are really, really good as well.

Cindra Kamphoff: yeah that’s excellent so we got power of habit total meditation as a man think if. People are kind of just so I can kind of summarize what you said, but all great resources so Chris I know you train with other Olympians and high performers obviously you compete against them. You know, for people that aren’t Olympians but want to kind of adopt this Olympic mindset, what are some of the ways that you see some of the best of the best think you know what, what do you, what do you think people do differently. You know, for those that maybe make the Games versus those that don’t be see any differences.

ChrisB: There yeah it’s there’s a lot of differences it’s but like it’s almost it’s. There so individualized sometimes it’s hard to try to use somebody that makes it regularly as an example of like the right way to think because they’re they’ve really got themselves figured out such a such a high level that it really won’t necessarily apply to like the up and comer. Because yeah but, like, for me, what I what I noticed was important for me, as I was developing was that I knew myself as an individual. So that goes into my mental preparation, but it also goes into my physiology or like my genetic makeup and, like my levers and like. Like the more you can individualize your training, the better, you will be at maximizing upon yourself and that goes into mental training and physical training, so I think, just like paying attention to the details like you really have to see this sport or whatever you’re doing as a passion like if you’re if you’re feel like you’re having trouble retaining knowledge about it, then like you might not really be into it about like this stuff kind of. When you when you get to doing it at a high level it’s because you really enjoy like the intricacies of it. And you really like you, you want to pay attention to the small details, because you know how big of a difference that it makes. And if you’re thinking of it that way, then those little things that come to you very easy you don’t you don’t feel like you’re. You don’t feel like seeing the trainer to do some pelvic floor exercises, to make sure your core stable and your triple jump it doesn’t seem tedious it seems like what needs to happen for you to jump further, so I think, as you, I think, as people start to get an understanding of like where their passion actually lies, because it. Like to be to be a great triple jumper you don’t have to be passionate about triple jump you could potentially just be passionate about movement and how it applies and. And how different specific specificity is within movement make you triple jump further that could be your passion inside. But just finding what the small thing is that that drives you to continue to want to do it, I think, is what’s really important to set yourself, apart from other athlete.

Cindra Kamphoff: yeah and I think that also applies not to this athletics, but you know but business life it’s like finding the small things that you’re passionate about and going forward with those and I actually heard in your answers like. That the people that you see who make the team they know themselves, they know themselves from a mental standpoint, maybe their mental preparation might be slightly different but they really know themselves and they’re purposeful with what they’re doing they’re just not through the motions.

ChrisB: mm hmm absolutely. yeah yeah.

Cindra Kamphoff: Chris Thank you so much for joining us I love hearing about your experience of the trials and the Olympics and so much insight tell us a bit about how people can follow, along with your journey, maybe even know the date you’re competing in Tokyo tell us about that.

ChrisB: yeah well, you can follow me on Instagram or Twitter of my at is fly with two y’s like Chris be on both on both platforms fly like crispy. My Facebook name is Christian are that’s usually where I do most of my updates are usually I do my opinion on Instagram, but it also post a Facebook so yeah if you feel like following me following along then definitely go do that and. The second question was my preparation for Tokyo right or what I have coming up leading into it.

Cindra Kamphoff: yeah sure.

ChrisB: yeah just so from here on out like there’s not a lot of time it’s only like a month left, I would say, and I’m kind of just like sticking to the same script like making sure I’m mentally sharp now that now that I’ve competed at trials, I feel like I can uh. I can try to enjoy this a little bit more, and like and not feel like just the just the pressure of like having to get through a trial, so now like at practice I’m going to try to actually like. Like from my shoulders down and like enjoy practice and, like get my get as the best of work that I can get in you try to be as sharp as possible physically mentally and, ideally, things will just take care of themselves, we continue to not put too much pressure on myself. Understand like what’s gonna happen it’s gonna happen I’m really just like I’m a small piece to this balance of life but I’m still part of the balance so whatever happens is just part of the balance. So I’m sticking with it, they ensure that, like the good thing about trials, is it validates how was moving. Leading up to trial, so now, I can really just take comfort in the fact that I feel like I’m making the right decisions for myself so that’s what I’m gonna do and. You know, ideally, it just works out the way that it’s supposed to work out in a way that I, the way that I want if it doesn’t it doesn’t but either way I’m gonna keep on sticking to my guns.

Cindra Kamphoff: yeah love that so Chris here’s what I got from your interview today as we wrap up I’ll do a little summary and then I’ll bring it back to you if you have any closing thoughts for everybody. But I love that you said, like self-taught self-talk determines your future and making sure that you’re really powerful. About that self-talk, especially about yourself, you talked about like leading up to the trials that you could have pushed your body more, but your wisdom was like okay take a step back and really focus on this mindset, make sure you’re as healthy as you can for the trials which I think is was a differentiator and just like you, making the team you’re talking about meditation and. Just your practice on that and, just like noticing the thoughts that you have but not being victim to them and how the meditation helps you do that, and then we talked about. Knowing yourself and being purposeful following your passion and even how you know that you’re going to go into the next Olympics more with this trusting mindset and focus on execution Thank you so much, Chris what other final message do you have for people who are listening.

ChrisB: And that’s a good thing. Oh. Like I kind of said it all like it’s you know what I feel like a good final messages that we. We all have the answers for ourselves, I really believe that we all have the capability of getting like to where we need to get. It says that a lot of we all have a lot of outside distractions that kind of make it cloudy like it makes our reality seem a little bit tougher than it even has to be I guess from my practicing and, like my mindfulness I feel like a lot of people would benefit from being mindful themselves and just trying to get a little bit more tapped in with their emotion and like I know a lot of people are tapping with their emotion, but they only to the level of like understanding that they are having it not understanding why they are happening so yeah I’m just asking why. Having a great understanding of you for yourself I think it’s just really benefit beneficial for everybody So hopefully anybody listening to this, they just they can take a little something from it in and find a benefit for themselves for them moving forward, because I do really believe that that my path to this point, the decisions I’ve made anybody could like benefit from having the same understanding of things and it’s not that complicated once you finally simplify it for yourself and I don’t know I guess I just think anybody could benefit from it. And a lot of people can simplify it if they’re just like us give it a shot give mindfulness a shot give meditation a shot give mental health is shot I think it’s I think it’s really important for people.

Cindra Kamphoff: Thank you, Chris what a great powerful message I appreciate, you and I appreciate you being on the podcast today thank you so much.

ChrisB: Cindra Thank you so much for having me, it is absolutely an honor you have no idea like I was, I was really excited just to come on your talk to you said it was going to be a great talk.

Cindra Kamphoff: Thank you so much.

 

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