Have you ever noticed how hard it is to stay present in the moment, right here, right now? In both my personal and professional life, I struggle with staying present. In the age of social media, facts, tidbits of information (that may or may not be useful) are flying in front of our face incessantly. They invade our stream of consciousness and make it virtually impossible to stay on the task at hand. I'm pretty sure this environment has caused an epidemic of mild media-induced attention deficit disorder. Even during one fun moment when I'm with friends or having a good time, I find myself thinking about the next one, the next thing, the place I have to be tomorrow or thinking back to what I did the day before. It really seems to steal my joy of the reality going on around me. Before I know it, that moment is lost forever, never to be seen again!
How do you correct this? You think of a time when you felt great during a race, you close your eyes and feel everything about that race, the smells, sights, the way your skin felt, you see yourself having that amazing race experience again. You chose a number between 1-50. That number becomes your association with that experience. Make the number with your hands, feel it, believe it. It's your new number, your symbol of success. When the going gets tough you call on that number. Physically hold out those fingers or you write that number on your arm where you can see it. Now, your mind and body use THIS file to dictate your new laser focus on the present and on feeling the way you did in that previous awesome race file moment. With time, it becomes easier and easier to use this file as your access point vs. the old "corrupt" file. Give it a try!
It's hard to notice these rare moments going by so quickly where we have the chance to really thankful and capitalize on the present. There have been two or three distinct moments in the last two years where I've looked around and thought, "This is it, my life, it's stunning, emotional, gut-wrenching and awesome and I wouldn't have it any other way". Really quickly, the first was last year when I was riding with my friend Beth on one of my longest rides before I did Ironman Mt. Tremblant in August. It was the end of my overload training and my body was BEAT, but about 5.5 hours into a 6.5 hour ride I started to get a second wind. It started to POUR and somehow my power numbers just kept going up and up.
The next was at our training camp in Clermont, FL this spring. It was a VERY tough day for me as I just wasn't feeling right and the fatigue was setting in big time.
Finally, the third was in Melbourne after the race. It was an easy swim and Gavin, one half of my home stay, and I decided to go swim in the bay because it was unbelievably calm that day.
So, whatever you're doing right now, whether it's getting ready for the first "A" race of the season or just watching your kids catch fireflies in the yard. Do your best to be present in that moment knowing that we have so very few of them in this lifetime. Try not to think too far ahead or worry about what was done or has yet to be done. Put down the phone, look around and practice your FOCUS. We have so few opportunities to take a moment and do that. Enjoy those moments when you do!
Good luck to everyone racing this weekend! I'll be at Eagleman 70.3 on Sunday doing my best! I'm really looking forward to getting back out there and competing! No matter the outcome, it is a GIFT!