Technically a frame of reference is defined as a complex set of assumptions and attitudes which are used to filter perceptions to create meaning.
Situations and environments that we are familiar with and comfortable with are our frames of reference.
Therefore experiences we have in physical training and in life are directly linked to how we perform in certain situations.
“The development of mental control is the foundation for building an unbeatable mind that will not fail at any worthy goal or task…”Spartan Race co-founder and CEO Joe De Sena and author of Spartan Up!.
Changing your frame of reference means every time you hit a challenge, be it a tough workout, your first marathon or climbing a six-metre cliff face in the pouring rain at 1:00 am in the morning; you have a choice.
Changing your frame of reference means making the choice to keep things easy and comfortable. The way you’re used to doing them, or intentionally making them harder or at least not avoiding difficult situations when they arise.
Expect the unexpected
You can’t control situations that may crop up in an event, such as an ultramarathon. Which is why I follow the principle “train for all conditions”. This applies as much to mental preparation as it does physical preparation.
Things will go wrong, and you need to be able to refer back to situations in which you’ve faced similar challenges. Change your frame of reference by embracing the obstacles and challenges that pop up, as well as actively forcing them upon yourself and you’ll reap benefits both in training and in life.
Sometimes that means seeking them out
By experiencing new challenges in life and learning how to overcome them will make you better prepared to handle future obstacles when they arise.
Don’t be afraid to follow the path less travelled once in a while.
If you’re thinking “it’s time to change my frame of reference” and looking to embark on your first challenge then check out this great post by Obstacle Course Racer and Coach Mike Meredith where he talks about finding his passion for Spartan Racing and what to expect when you take on your first Spartan Race event.