Why is an Ultrarunner Life Coaching?

Susan Donnelly is a coach because mindset and mental training matter if you want success in endurance running and ultrarunning

For as long as I can remember I’ve felt I have a purpose on this planet that will make the world a better place.

I didn’t know what it was but I searched for it. While I was looking, I defaulted to living a “normal” life. 

“When I find my purpose,” I thought, “I’ll start living my real life.” 

I can’t tell you how many notebooks' worth of self help exercises I went through trying to find it. In the meantime, I wasn’t saving the world.

For years, I plodded along. Job, car, house. Except I ran, so at least I had a passion to jazz up my life. But it wasn’t going to save the world.

Then I fell in love trail ultramarathons. I ran a bunch of them - I couldn’t resist. I wanted to run them forever. I was born to do this. But I had to wonder, what good did all this racing crazy long distances actually do? It definitely wasn’t saving the world.

After running ultras for few years, I noticed I was spending more chunks of those blissfully contemplative miles stewing in negative thoughts. You know the ones where you doubt your ability, compare yourself to others, worry what others think, ruminate over bad results, or criticize your imperfections? Yeah, those.

They were affecting my performance and worse, my experience - the part of ultrarunning that made me fall in love in the first place.

I watched plenty of other runners get overpowered by these thoughts and quit on themselves. Sometimes even quit on running altogether. I clearly couldn’t afford to let the pattern continue unchecked. Something had to change if I was going to have the sustainable - and joyful - ultrarunning life I dreamed of.

I had no idea how to fix it but I was going to try. Then I unexpectedly hit a low point in my life and life coaching found me. I’d probably have laughed it off at any other time. Thank goodness I didn’t.

It showed me just how deeply those negative race day thoughts affected the rest of my life. And it also taught me how to deal with them, instead of simply ignoring them and hoping really hard they’d go away.

The coaching I do - in the space between running coach and life coach - is a big part of my success and longevity in ultrarunning. It’s changed my life.

I have a lot these days to give. I’ve done things that few other people, and even fewer women, have done.

And now I have a way to give. 

Which is perfect because you happen to have a lot to give too. 

That’s why I coach. I see a treasure in you that you might not see. Treasure to brighten the world. Treasure the world needs.

When you master that yammering negative mind chatter, you start to stand up, speak out, and live your real life.

You inspire others and show them what’s possible.

You make the difference only you can make in the world.

And you adding your unique difference to the world makes it a far better place than I could make on my own.

Susan DonnellyCoaching