Before I do that though, I should check my facebook, and my email, and listen to that new JT song, and water my cats, and eat more carbs. You've probably been told this a million times before, but we are just to distracted nowadays. I myself struggle with being in the moment. In class, talking to friends, or even on the bike I am there but it can be challenging to keep the mind focused on the task at hand. There are broader levels of focus too. Beyond just being attentive to the moment, there is long term focus. This is an area where cycling has really benefited me. Maintaining the discipline and the focus to train every day and live the healthy lifestyle that supports recovery is a constant challenge. There are days when its easy and other days – when it is near freezing, raining, and I didn't get enough sleep – that it can truly be a challenge. When we lose focus, in the moment or in the long term, things can become overwhelming. What was once a passion that stirred excitement to think about becomes a dirge. It's easy to get lost and forget why we ever set out towards a distant goal in the first place. This is when a strong sense of self discipline and focus becomes most important.
|Young rising star Joe Dombronski exhibits some complete concentration at the end of this time trail. Photo source: http://provelopassion.wordpress.com/2012/05/04/passion-prize-joe-dombrowskis-all-in-gila-time-trial/|
Whatever I've done in my life, there have been times when I've wanted to quit. Whether it's school, or a relationship, or a job, or cycling. Sometimes it just becomes so hard that to continue doesn't seem worth it, no matter how motivated I once was. I can't go on. I must go on.
There are times when I loose my focus with cycling. Times when I get up and the last thing I want to do is pull on my kit and do the scheduled workout. When those times happen, I take a deep breath and meditate on the things I love about my sport. I think about the joy of motion that brought me here in the first place. And while there are times that it is hard, my journey with the bike has been one of the most rewarding challenges I've ever undertaken. This is directly related to how hard it is. Nothing easily gotten is worth having, as they say. It is the inherent challenge in many tasks that gives them value. This what we need to remember when we start to lose focus. It may damn well be hard, but sometimes that's just how life is. Accept that, buckle down, and do the work. After it's done, you can look back at what you've accomplished and feel the pride of knowing that your could have quit at any time, and a lot of times you probably wanted to, but you didn't. And you may well find that this is addictive. Before you know it, your innate response to challenges will be to overcome them. Focus leads to focus.