A few years ago some friends and I were walking in Cincinnati’s Flying Pig Half Marathon. Not only is it a remarkably hilly course, but we were not really trained well enough for the race.
As we crossed a bridge over the Ohio River, we could see the Bengals’ practice field and I told them about my son’s favorite player — T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Because my friends are not sports fans, they had not heard the name Houshmandzadeh before, and one friend had a lot of fun saying it — over and over and over… (It is a fun name to say.)
Houshmandzadeh ended up taking on a life of its own. My friend started chanting it to help her keep pace. She started shouting it in celebration. She used it as a mantra to help her make it up the hills!
Did I mention we were in Cincinnati? And EVERYONE in the Flying Pig had heard of Houshmandzadeh, knew he was a football player and many had probably seen him around town. Well, everyone except my friend who was shouting his name.
Sometimes, there is a downside to mantras.