Podcast 112: Ultra Smackdown with Head Yogi Jess

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We all know that 90% of race day performance is mental but I often wonder how many athletes are truly focusing on the mental aspect of race preparation? And how many even know how to truly dive into mindset training? This “how” is what eluded me for many decades. I would hear about people who lived deliberately, joyfully and certainly more peacefully than I but I never knew the “how” behind the process. I bought into many magazine headlines and book titles but still, the “how” had not yet been revealed in a way that I could put a practice into action.

This “how” became my mission in life. I was determined to shift the way I moved through the world and committed to sharing the “how” once I found it. I read books, practiced yoga, asked questions and searched and searched and searched until I found the answer. It came to me in what seemed like an instant and it led me to the one thing that I avoided for my entire life, mediation. My antidote was stillness and what I’ve found is that doing nothing has changed everything.

At first, it was a street fight. It was messy and frustrating but I was unrelenting in my pursuit to find a better way to live. I was done living with anxiety, jealousy, unworthiness, entitlement and all the other contradicting, non-loving behaviors that I had created over the years. Sure I experienced joy, I had love in my life. I wasn’t living on Skid Row but I had lost my tolerance for not feeling peaceful and I was ready to do what it took to live a better way, for me.

I showed up. Just like with my physical training, I showed up every day. I trained my mind day after day, year after year and still today, I show up for my daily dose of mental push-ups. It’s not glamorous or sexy. To the mind, it feels mundane, like there should be something more but I’ve learned that profound results are found in the most simplistic techniques.

Over the years, I’ve felt the benefits of meditation and mindful practices in my sport and my life but recently it’s taken a quantum leap. In my last two races, I’ve been given great insight into the new level at which I live. Powerfully calm is not my destination but the foundation from which I walk into each day. Today we dive into listener questions about my most recent experience at the Black Mountain 50k where I experienced a 60-minute PR and 31 miles of powerfully calm execution.

I’m so grateful to be able to share in this episode with the beautiful YT community. Thank you all for your support, for sharing the show and for living the example for others to follow. We are on a mission to create a better world and we couldn’t do this without each and every one of you.


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Episode 112 Show Notes:

Podcast 111: Angela Naeth, Professional Triathlete on Focus in the Field and Fear as an Opportunity

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Podcast 25: Mike Wardian: Plant-Based Ultra Runner & World Record on Relentlessly Pursuing What You Love

Podcast 65: Anton Krupicka on 200-Mile Weeks, Curiosity and Walking Into the Unknown


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