You're Running Your Own Race

It is usually a series of actions that lead to you becoming a dominant applicant. As I was running today, I learned five key things that can be applied as a pre-PT.

The first point is that experience always beats ability. When you have experience or done something before, you naturally have confidence in yourself that you don't have when you haven't done it before. As a pre-PT, you must understand that experience is going to be your advantage.

A personal experience, whether good or bad, is still an experience. This experience developed you into a certain type of applicant, whether that's rejection or grades that you struggled with. You can also leverage other peoples’ experiences. You can leverage other Pre-PT’s experiences, whether they are applying to the schools you've applied to, whether they're a year ahead of you, whether it's mentors or whether it’s other physical therapists. There is so much wisdom and experience that allows you to pace yourself properly, kind of like when I was running. I was watching the pros and I was using their experience to collapse my stress.  I didn't need to be experienced to figure out that pacing was important. All I did was watch the pros. As a pre-PT who are you watching? That will allow you to collapse your time so much and save you time when it comes time to apply.

The second point that I got from running was spectators are just spectators. Whether they're for you or against you. As I was running, most people were cheering people on. Certain runners had more family members and friends. When they would run past a certain checkpoint, they would get more screams than other runners. That doesn’t mean the runners that got none were less. When it comes to your journey as a pre-PT, you must be very careful about who you're giving too much weight to in your journey. We have spectators like our advisors, family members and friends. Many times, friends don't understand the journey that we're on, they don't really understand how painful it is to apply and reapply but they're spectators. There are people that are also cheering for you. They're also spectators. Unless someone is running alongside you, they're not going to understand what you're feeling. We must be very, very careful that we don't give spectators more weight than they deserve because it will steal so much energy from your experience. Don’t give spectators too much weight. Run your race and that's it. 

I set landmarks for motivation. As a pre-PT, it's very important to set up landmarks to be able to keep yourself going. A lot of times, we just go into this thing as a massive thing without any real game plan. If we don't have landmarks, then there's no way to know how far we've come and there's no way to keep ourselves motivated. Your landmarks might not be academic, it might be treating yourself to dinner after a crazy week. Without landmarks, it's going to be  hard  to push when it gets hard.

I usually don't stop because I'm tired. I usually stop because it feels like the time when I should be stopping. I convince myself that I am tired even if I'm not. I didn't know what I was capable of because I had never tapped into. Most of us don't know what we're capable of as applicants and what happens is when we get close to tapping into what we're capable of, we usually self-sabotage. As a pre-PT, most of us stop ourselves right before we get into a flow where we absolutely dominate. If it's a class, we usually defeat ourselves after the first exam. Then we let that carry itself through and feel like it doesn't really matter what I do.  Questioning whether PT is for you becomes a very defeated mindset and mindset is key.

The last thing that I learned today is the power in picturing what happens when I crush it. Have you pictured the day that you get accepted into PT school? It is most critical to picture that when you're in the home stretch. For me it was the last mile of my 10 k today.  Most of the time we picture what happens if it goes wrong. That's why you're so anxious about this process. Because you keep playing the worst-case scenario, and it's showing in your actions. It's showing in your pace, cadence and what you do during that last stretch. That is what separates the great applicants from the not so great applicants, they picture themselves winning. They picture the day they get accepted like it's going to happen. The actions they take leading up to it are what allow it to become reality. It's hard to picture something that you're terrified might never happen but that is what will ultimately lead to your acceptance into PT school.

Thank You For Your Attention!

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