Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Change of Focus

After I did the 10K in April, spring showed up and my allergies and asthma kicked in. My training became less consistent. There were weeks that I trained three – four times and there were weeks where I had a hard time even stepping out of bed and I didn’t run at all. Running became less of a priority than just breathing and being able to be active during the day. I put running on a sidetrack until July started.

In July I started to train for a half marathon in Florida this November. My breathing is totally back (even though I still have some allergies here and there) and I am having fun with the process of learning to run. Because of the training earlier this year I am now able to follow a program described in the brain training for runners book I told you about before. I run four times a week in the early mornings; I do strengthening exercises, drills, hill repetitions etc. I do it, six days a week.

It is amazing to see how far I have come. When I started this whole process in January I could never have followed a training program. Even the lightest programs were too challenging at that time. I had to create my own program and very slowly build stamina. And now look at me. Because I did, I now do more!


For the last eight days I have been doing The Artist's Way exercises. This means for example that I have been waking up halve an hour earlier every morning to write morning pages. In these pages I write anything that comes to mind. Scott, my friend also started these pages. We both have noticed that writing these pages resulted in having our heads clearer during the day. Let me give an example: I do my daily run immediately after the writings. And where I normally would stop myself from running when I get tired, this has not happened since I started this new course. Instead I feel really present with my running and my body. I recognize when it get’s tired and I consciously tell my body that I have to make it tired to learn to do longer distances. I do it by focusing on what I want.

When I get tired instead of going with those distracting stories that make we stop, I have been focusing on other things, like what to write for my next blog article. This morning during my run I was realizing how often we focus on what we did, and use that evidence for what we can do, instead of recognizing the things we do in the now to get what we want tomorrow.

I am running because I believe that a great condition keeps me young or makes me younger. If I can jump, run, sprint and bike, I will surely have more opportunities and ways to enjoy the world around me. I love to be energetic and to be able to do what I want without having to hold myself back. When I am old and grey, say ninety-six, I want to be able to do what I do today. No, that’s not true, I would like to be in a better condition and be able to do more than I am doing today. I would like to look back and see myself at almost 38, as someone who was just starting to develop all her amazing skills. I do today to create a healthier tomorrow.

My suggestion is that you take a better look at what you are doing today and really celebrate yourself for the steps you take. I also suggest that you implement more do’s today that are focused towards what you want in the future. Say you want peace in the world. What have you done today to make peace? Did you call your friend with whom you have an argument? Say you want to be healthy. What steps are you taking today to go into that direction?

But”, I can almost hear you say, “I don’t like looking at today. It doesn’t represent the real me. I am not proud at what I am doing today. I want to be a painter, but instead I am stuck taking care of my kids. I want to become healthy, but I am so busy at work that I am eating crappy take out food all the time. I am not like you, doing new things all the time, expanding my boundaries, having time for everything. You don’t have children; You are not overweight; You are not addicted”.

I promise you, your focus is related to today. Today will shape tomorrow. Today is what you worked towards to, yesterday. If you don’t like where you are today, remember that you are here because of the choices and steps you took before. Today you can take steps that can create a different tomorrow. If you don’t like today, you better start creating a new focus to work towards to doing something today that will create a different today and tomorrow.

As an attitudinal coach I believe in the usefulness of looking at your beliefs to learn to understand your actions better. But I have seen people drown in this process because they use the process of looking at beliefs to solve ghosts in the past instead of focusing on actions they can take to change today and tomorrow. They drown because they believe they have to solve and understand everything before they can move on. They drown because they believe they will not be able to make changes.

I want people to flourish and I can tell you that the beliefs I mentioned in the paragraph before are just not working for that purpose. Let me leave you with some alternative beliefs that you could adopt if you would want to start focusing on doing today. Feel free to add others in the comments below this article.

Empowering beliefs to help you focus on doing:

  • I can use today to change tomorrow
  • What I do today says more about who I am today than what I did in the days and years before.
  • I don’t have to understand everything to be able to focus and go for what I want
  • Learning goes in steps, I don’t have to do it all the first time
  • If I do today, I will do more tomorrow
  • Change starts with a do
  • I can learn from what I did, and I influence the future with a do
  • Judging a do is you destroying the positive effect of the do

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