How the Athlete Thinks: Lindsay Walter

Have you ever done something amazing and been very proud of yourself for it? Well how about running 27 marathons before turning 27?! Today’s guest, Lindsay Walter, did just that. Residing in Charlotte, North Carolina, Lindsay is a Health Educator, runner, and Children’s Alopecia Project Representative. She loves inspiring others to go after all of their dreams & show the real meaning of beauty while educating on Alopecia. 

Read further to get a glimpse Lindsay’s mental game!

P.S. – Lindsay was a recent guest on SRC Radio! Make sure you stay tuned to hear when we release her episode!


 

Do you have any rituals or superstitions?

I’ve always been superstitious in sports. I always wear a new pair of socks for race day

How do you set your goals?

After my first marathon my goal was to run 27 marathons before I turned 27; I felt like this was the age I was really an ‘adult’, or so it seemed to a senior in college. I definitely dream big, and set hard goals for myself with the number of races and times I want to beat. I believe in dreaming big and never settling; the sky really is the limit, if you don’t dream it it’ll never happen.

What are some of your current goals?

I did accomplish my 27 marathon goal this past June in San Diego and it was so amazing! A true moment I will never forget! My current goals are to run a 1:25 or faster half marathon time, and also beat a 3:30 marathon time as well as run a 50 mile ultra marathon in early 2019.

Do you have any particular mental strategies walking into a competition?

Every morning before a race, I pray for a great race and picture myself running across the finish line before the race even begins, I feel like it helps me to run faster. I try to enjoy the moment and think of just myself and running my race. I block out all distractions and other people. I really am quiet before races and am extremely focused and dialed in.

How do you cope with the pressures of competition?

I definitely feel nerves before all of my races, no matter what. I feel like it’s just the nature of who I am and always wanting to do well. My best friend (if he can’t at the race) always gives me a pep talk beforehand, I turn on my favorite pre race music and just picture only me in the open roads (my favorite scene to run in) say a prayer and just focus on being in that moment.

Have you had an injury?

The only injury I have ever had was on mile 40 of my 50 mile ultra marathon. It was in trails in the woods and I was running downhill and stepped on a branch wrong and felt my knee pop and ended up spraining my knee and MCL. I was crushed after I went down and couldn’t get up or put weight on my knee. I was on pace to finish the race in great time. I had trained so long and felt like this was my moment.

What did you do to mentally overcome this?

Honestly I was so devastated after this. I couldn’t run for almost 2 months and for me that felt like an eternity. The first few days I didn’t talk to anyone because I was depressed and felt like I failed. I then planned out all of my races for this upcoming year, reflected and started writing out all of the great running moments up to this point and focused on that. I continually prayed and pushed myself during rehab to get stronger, faster and have been more determined than ever to get back to the point I was at and am determined to run another up soon. It was a great time to reflect on always being so healthy and having so injuries for so long, it made me extremely grateful.

Why do you enjoy to run?

I enjoy running because it’s such a great escape and outlet for me. It’s time I have to push myself, meditate on life and reflect during the good and bad times. Running has taught my so much about myself; its taught me I am strong, beautiful and brave and helped me to love, accept and embrace my Alopecia and bald head; my now favorite thing about me. I am very competitive so it’s a great way to feed that side passion of mine.

What motivates you on days you don’t want to run?

On a days I don’t want to run I think of all of the kids I have met through various Alopecia events, all of the times they call me their ‘hero’ or how much they look up to me and want to be just like me. I feel so blessed to have Alopecia (but not always) it has connected me to so many wonderful, inspiring kids and families and just knowing I have someone looking up to me who if I can help in the smallest way that really keeps me going on the tough days, or days I don’t feel like running. I can recall so many times I’ve gotten tired, but then I always think of a special kid, or moment and I keep going; they’re my truest motivation.

What do you do to relax outside of sport?

I love spending time outside, playing golf, shooting hoops, and watching sports. I also love spending time with my friends and traveling.

How do you push through when the going gets tough?

When the going gets tough I think of all the people who were not so nice to me, who made fun of my Alopecia and bald head and really made me feel like I couldn’t be/do anything. It really adds fuel to my fire to keep me going when I think of all I’ve been able to accomplish despite people telling me I wasn’t good enough, strong enough or worthy enough because I didn’t have hair.

Any mantras that you use?

‘Your talent is God’s gift to the world, how you use it is your gift back to him’ this is my favorite saying and something I repeat to myself ALL the time.

How do you practice self-care?

Every morning I wake up and read my devotional book, talk to the Lord and thank him for all I have. I am in contrast prayer and it really fills my heart with so much joy and gratitude when I think of how blessed I truly am.

How do you balance your sport with other aspects of your life?

I am a very effective, organized planner. I always look at my calendar so I know how long I have to run and what my workouts are. This helps me to stay organized, and manage my time. I find writing it out and seeing it I know exactly how long it’ll take (most of the time) so I can plan everything else around that. I always make my work out a priority.

Favorite workout song to prepare you for competition or practice?

Heart of a Champion by Nelly (this has been my go to song before all my races and basketball games since high school).


To connect with Lindsay:

Instagram: @lindsayhannah3

Blog: https://lindsayhannah3.wordpress.com/

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