We've all been there: we're on our last set of squats, or slowly trudging through our last mile, when we hit the wall. That's where the wise words of ballerina and Under Armour spokesperson Misty Copeland come in. Like any elite athlete, Misty has endured her fair share of physical pain and mental struggle as a daily part of her job. In fact, she's powered through thoughts about quitting more times than the average person. "The mental strength that dancers have are beyond most," she recently told us. "The mental capacity to be able to stand in the corps de ballet and stand on one leg when you're framing the principal dancers — those mental tests really gave me so much character and strength in my life in general, to be able to push past all those voices in your head that are like, 'You're in pain; walk off stage; it doesn't matter if you get fired.'"
Now a soloist at the American Ballet Theatre, Misty has a little advice we can all keep in mind the next time our gym instructor tells us to hold our plank for 30 more seconds. "Find a zen space in your mind, even if it's just singing to yourself," she advises. "Just pass the time and keep a steady breath." Just staying focused and calm, she says, will help you push past not only physical barriers but also those negative thoughts that can hinder your workout. So the next time you feel like quitting your workout, channel your best inner ballerina with Misty's words of encouragement.