While doing a treadmill warm-up this week, I got an “a-ha” moment. For a while I had been trying to train myself on focusing on one thing while running. I found that this helped me run more. So on this particular day, I looked across the gym and I fixed my eyes on two gentlemen who were lifting weights. Now, before we think I’m a perv, I’m not lol. They doing really interesting things and I just decided to turn their way for a little while…Anyway they then became the object of my focus.
Focus (verb): to adjust one’s vision or an optical device so as to render a clear, distinct image; pay particular attention to; to concentrate attention or energy
Unfortunately I have a short attention span and so it wasn’t long ‘til I got bored and started thinking about wondering off and looking elsewhere. Before the decision was even finalised in my head, my eyes were already on something else. Almost instantly I started gasping for air and I could feel myself grow tired. I tried to refocus on the former but I wondered off again. A few seconds later I slowed the machine down. I could not believe it!
Then it hit me. It is extremely important to stay focused, in anything. Let me hasten to say that every level of life requires one to refocus, change gears, change perspective, shift focus. However, if you are running track, you cannot, or rather you should not compare yourself to someone who is on the back of a horse. That’s what I mean when I talk about shifting focus. Shifting your focus leads you to see everything that is out of your spectrum. It allows you to see what other people are doing, how far they are, how much ground they’ve gained…Mostly, shifting focus leaves very little room for you to celebrate your own progress.
I could have run longer had I not sunk in into the temptation of looking for something else. Something else didn’t give me new energy nor did it inspire me; instead it slowed me down and threw me off my goal. Stay focused. Be it in your new job, last semester of your second year with your junior degree, your marriage, your faith in God…refuse to be distracted. Stay focused.
I have a dream. It’s ambitious. Some say it’s too ambitious, some say it’s crazy…I don’t care. I have a dream and my dream is to be a 2016 Ironman contender. I’m 155cm tall and I weigh 74kgs which makes me obese according to the BMI calculation but I DON’T CARE! Why? Because I have a dream.
What scares me the most is looking back a year from now and having not done anything. It’s a crazy dream that requires adjustments that my body will think are crazy. But I can’t not do this. I have resolved in my heart that I will do it and I can’t fall short. I can’t fail…
I recently moved cities so my everyday schedule changed. I used to jog in the morning but being in a new city, I didn’t know how safe that would be. I then decided to join the gym. It’s a commitment and I’ve realised that I’m actually quite terrified of commitments. However, I have to do this. So I’ll be keeping track of my progress and hoping to God that I don’t disappoint myself. I have a dream.
So today marks day 2 of my 2015 jogging hustle. The first day (yesterday) was incredibly difficult. My alarm rang at 05:15 and after switching it off, I told myself that instead of starting on Monday, I’d just start on Tuesday. Unfortunately or fortunately (depending on your philosophical standing) for me, I told my entire family that I’d start jogging Monday morning. On queue, my mother came in and woke me up. At that moment, a tiny voice said to me, “There is no difference between the sleep you’re getting now and the sleep you’ll get when you get back from your morning jog.” So I got up, got dressed, tied my hair, brushed my teeth, washed my face and left. Today was a little easier, just a little. I hate how waking up at about 5a.m feels like so much punishment. It’s pure torture. Anyway it’s torture that has a rather good outcome. On both accounts, jogging at least 3-4km’s and power walking up two uphill roads, taught me the following lessons:
- Long, thick braids aren’t good for business. They weigh a ton and jogging with a ton on your head is not the greatest thing ever. They’re definitely coming off.
- Water is vital. It may not always be appealing but it’s vital nonetheless.
- Run your own race at your own pace. I jog with a friend and being the younger one who hits the gym more often than not, I thought I would surely outrun her. There were times when I was way ahead and there were times when she would be way ahead. Trying to catch up to people causes asthma attacks and frankly it’s tedious and extremely tiring.
- Talking to yourself, also known as thinking out loud, is therapeutic.
- A good playlist is the difference between a Garden of Eden run and a world war run.
A good and beneficial lifestyle is 80% diet and 20% exercise. Make your diet your lifestyle and not something that will lapse in three months. Health over fitness.