Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thought for the day

Focus, focus, focus.  Isn't it strange how when you finally put your finger on what's bugging you the whole picture is clarified from different angles?

  • Today's blogpost from Sage Rountree - whose dvd of Yoga for Athletes I love (but I rarely take / make enough time to do it - point taken!).  She posted how the focus that is so central to yoga is so important during endurance events like Tour de France.  I started a new yoga class on Tuesday - there are very few yoga classes around here - and was feeling a bit "meh" because we "did" so little.  I mean - all this relaxing and letting go, right? But maybe, instead, this is what I should be doing - relaxing and letting go, focusing on a few poses, rather than trying to manically get through them all? 
  • Catching up on my blogs I came across a wonderful post from Amanda - and if you don't read her blog you should, she is wonderfully honest and insightful - and I just want to quote this: Living intentionally and making our life what we want is truly open to each and every single one of matter what our life is made up of. We have choices. We hold the power to make changes in our life. Whether this means making the most of canceled plans, changing the way we eat and the activities we are involved in so we can live a healthy life, learning something new, using our gifts to make a dream come true, or even something as simple as changing our furniture around and cleaning our windows to let some light in... we hold the power to create happiness for ourselves. It starts with intention and motivation. And creating happiness for our lives doesn't have to be doesn't have to cost doesn't have to be a daunting task that leaves us defeated before we even can be something small. 
I've long believed in sometimes doing the opposite of me - of shifting backwards in order to go forwards, just to unstick yourself.  Now I'm adding some goals about being proactive in my life, with my business and my family.  Allocating time and energy to each in turn instead of balancing them all at the same time (well - as much as that is possible with the family around all the time).  Small goals are a good way to start - and short-term goals are a good way to begin to get some focus.  So today's goals:
- workout in the morning - tick!  Did an hour on the trainer - I've been outside a lot recently (and been caught in downpours and storms and all sorts) so today I decided to shake it up and get back to some Ugly Betty viewing during a not-too-taxing bike workout.  I have another run workout to complete but that was not a brick so I will do that this evening.
- spend time with the kids this afternoon - after various appointments I'm going to head outside with the two of them to blow some cobwebs out of all our heads and catch up with them both.  I'm encouraging them both to do some goal-setting for themselves this holiday.
- diet-wise - well there's a hot potato that I'm not going to touch for now, other than to say I'm moving towards eating more healthily and cutting down on the not-so-good for me stuff, particularly the mindless eating I am so prone to do in reactive mode.

It's hard to see how gorgeous the poppies are in the field behind me - but they really are gorgeous.
I'm a work in progress and perhaps some of this stuff is needlessly sappy for you (though hey - in my biggest desperation I am still unable to get through the Secret)  but I feel some progress and much positivity.  Onwards and upwards!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Time to press the reset button.

Things have been manic for months around me.  Or at least, they have seemed manic. I haven't had more than most on my plate but for some reason, my response to what has been out there has been more or less an entirely reactive one.  I've lurched from mini to major crises, putting fires out where I could.  In the middle of that I've tried to train my clients competently, have tried (and often failed) to stick to my training schedule and have no doubt driven my wonderful and saintly coach nuts with my self-loathing after missing yet another workout (one of my favourite emails from her starts with "Petra, You are a head case."). 

Apart from working out and reading, a lot of the other stuff I like to do has been left undone.  Emails and letters to friends and writing my blog. Both of these activities take some thought, reflection and concentration.  I have simply not had it - flitting around from unfinished job to another.  Completely lacking focus. 

I have been idly wondering why I haven't blogged - but only in the sort of ADHD way that I'm thinking at the moment - 2 minutes while driving somewhere or 10 seconds before falling asleep.  Had I run out of stuff to say?  Unlikely.  I thought maybe I'd run out of inspiration, but judging by the amount of notes I've made and unfinished blog posts in my feed, I wouldn't say that is the case either.  Today everything finally caught up with me.  The kids are home from school and it struck me that my messy, all over the shop attitude is really messing up my time with my kids.  When I'm with them I'm thinking of other jobs that need doing (and often trying to do them on my iPhone) and then when I'm not with them I'm feeling guilty that I'm not enjoying them (and they're growing up too fast and I'll soon be 55 and alone and needy and miserable and yadda yadda yadda).  My usual response to these moments has been to just instinctively feel guilty and spiral into a loop of self-hatred (cue: "Petra, You are a headcase").  But today I was so tired - and tired of myself - that I decided a better response was called for - a solution of sorts.  Focus.  Finishing one thing before starting another.  Being in one place mentally at a time.  Mornings for training people, training myself and doing my admin.  Including blogs, reading and writing.  Afternoons for the kids.  First day of it today and although I'm finishing this post off at night, it's worked for the kids and myself. 

So I'm back folks.  One flawed attempt at a time. 

Which leads me to a mini catchup.  I'm going to catch up on you - and here's your catchup on me.
  • First Olympic distance tri complete.  Summary?  Incredibly )(*(&^*^%&^% hard.  Much harder than I thought it would be.
    • Hard logistically. After all the planning, and all the packing lists, I found myself listening to last minute instructions in the morning and suddenly realising my race chip was in my transition box, in transition.  Which was meant to be closed at that point.  It wasn't, thankfully, and so I just had to fight my way against the tide of those leaving transition to retrieve my chip and put it on. 
    • Exhausting. I had kind of equated doing an Olympic distance tri with running a half marathon (not at PB pace).  It was not.  It was much much harder.  I was exhausted by the time I came off the bike and still had to run a 10K.
    • That's it really.  Tiring.  Exhausting.  Hard.  Fun?  I think so... 
  • Training. 
    • Going well until about 4 weeks ago when I got a slight rotator cuff strain showing (off) pushups to a client and then carried on swimming on it.  I have been out of the pool for 3 weeks and am not sure when I'll be back.  The shoulder is, sadly, not right yet. The rest is going fine.  I've been riding and running and riding and running.  Despite the fact that I probably should be focusing my attention on building an ark. 
    • Me - after a 3h15m ride and a 30m run.  Wet to the bone.
    • Thank god for my coach.  I have clearly not shown massive competence in paddling my own canoe at the moment and thank god I have her.  She tells me what to do, lets me off the hook when I won't and kicks me up the butt when I need it.  She's terrifyingly good herself but nonetheless does not give up on me.  
Onwards folks.  Part of the reinstatement of proactive me is me getting to bed on time.  As of tonight.  So here goes.  I'm back.  Tell me what I've missed.