Also, when I was researching my profile of Simon Whitfield, I learned that he motivated himself for the final sprint at the Sydney Olympics by imagining a soccer ball bouncing down the final stretch and then madly chasing after it.
Last summer, at Beijing, he inspired himself to a comeback silver by reciting "Sing like Kreek!" in his head, thinking about Canadian rower Adam Kreek, who had won gold with the Canadian 8-man crew and then belted out the national anthem.
And then last month in Iowa, he came up with yet another unusual motivational technique. He told himself to "Run for the crooked playhouse!"
What's that? A backyard play toy for his toddler daughter. What makes it so inspiring? And why did even a successful athlete like Whitfield feel he needed to win a $200K race to justify its purchase?
Check out the cool designs—as well as the bank-busting list prices—of the Crooked Playhouse.