Image courtesy of Smokedsalmon / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
This morning I forgot to bring my clipboard with my work out program to my personal training session. Before I left home, I had picked it up ready to put it in my bag, but before putting it in my bag; I decided to fill my water bottle up. I put my clipboard down to carry out the action of filling up my water bottle, and instead of grabbing the clipboard, I walked straight out the door and drove to my personal training session.
As soon as I realised I had forgotten my clip board, I was annoyed. The reason it was so important is because my training schedule follows a progressive strength pattern, and the clipboard had all the numbers that I was meant to be lifting this week. This meant I couldn't just ad lib the numbers.
I only live a few minutes away from the gym, and I was able to go home to get it and quickly return to the session. It unsettled me, and I wasnít in my best form. I felt flat. I was berating myself in my head. I missed a lift that I should have made and dropped the bar, telling my trainer I wasnít ready to complete the set.
My trainer responded by saying "Thatís okay. We will do some explosive exercises to get you feeling more like it." My trainer proceeded to lead me in a series of jumps and explosive warm-up exercises.
We returned to the lift set-up to try again. As I got in position and grabbed the bar, he said to me, ďForget about everything that happened this morning. Focus.Ē
Boom. With that one sentence, time stopped. I stopped berating myself in my head. I put all thoughts of forgetting my clip board out of my head. I was focused on the present, on that very second, and all that mattered was gripping the bar and pulling up. I made the lift.
This got me thinking about how easy it is to let thoughts of what happened in the past impact the current moment. I kept replaying over and over in my head the act of forgetting my clipboard, and each time I did, I was thinking negatively.
"I canít believe I did that. I had it right in my hand. Iím stupid."
"Why did I even put the clipboard down? Why didnít I put it in my bag as soon as I picked it up?"
"I should have packed my gym bag last night. Why arenít I more organised?"
Thinking like that was bubbling over into my present moment, and stopping me from seeing what was right in front of me; which was the bar and a lift I knew I could make.
How often do I let something that has already happened and no longer has a bearing on my present situation replay over and over in my mind, and dictate how I see the present moment or the thoughts that I let run through my head?
After my session, when I was reflecting over this, I realised that the answer to the question is a lot, and if I am doing that - then how can I be focused on the things right in front of me? I canít because I am replaying a situation over and over that has already been and gone. Doing this robs me of focus for the present, and keeps me stuck in a place where I am constantly living in the past.
I made the decision today that I am going to change that. I will consciously try to be more aware of when I fall into this pattern, and the second I realise I am doing it; I am going to say to myself, ďForget about everything that happened this morning. Focus.Ē