Regroup and Refocus

Confident Fox has the right attitude.

I had started this morning's penultimate hill repeat with all good intentions. Knees and arms pumping, eyes focused on every landmark ahead of me. I've run this hill hundreds if not thousands of times in my life--in the dark, sun, rain, and snow. So I know it well.

And I know when I'm drifting, physically and mentally.

The earbuds might not have helped. The song that I was listening to had a Talking Heads vibe. "Once in a Lifetime" started playing in my head, over top the song in my ears.

Clutter. Lots of clutter.

I reached the top and looked at my watch. The time told me in the plainest of terms that I had lost focus.

With one more to go, it was time to regroup and refocus. Start strong, start determined, and hold the pace all the way to the end.

It's a particular challenge with this particular hill, since it gets sharper near the end. Or maybe that's just how it seems after nearly 350 meters of climbing. Indeed, the final stretch of any hill has an Everest quality.

I kept to the plan, and refused to look down at my watch to determine my pace and time. Instead, I chugged along and stopped my watch at the top, only glancing at the time. Irrespective of what it was, I knew that I had rebounded from the one before.

And I did. It was the fastest repeat of my workout, and the fastest time that I had run on that hill in a couple of years.

Beyond the time, though, this moment served as a healthy reminder about regaining focus when my focus is being continually challenged.

The news is moving fast, and the story of this virus is being written and re-written quickly and with multiple revisions. So I hit refresh on my news feed far too many times during the day, studying pandemic maps, and collecting every new development that I can.

But there's a difference between being informed and being constantly distracted.

So regroup and refocus. Let the news happen, because it will happen with or without me. Know what's going on, but make sure that I'm taking care of what I actually can control.

And don't let any of life's penultimate repeats define the entire workout. There's always one more left, and that one can make all the difference.