Morning Ramble on Multi-Tasking

30 08 2011

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On my way to campus after emails with Twin about events around the Virginia Beach Rock & Roll 1/2 marathon. This is usually my hardest event of the year because of the humidity in Virginia Beach. The last couple of years it has been made worse for me personally because of health complications.

The VBRNR was the first time I was literally carried across the finish line. In a very real sense, it was this race that my body was finally screaming at me to deal with injuries and prolonged stress issues. Last year, I was dealing with medication and unclear medical diagnoses and the injuries of the past. This year, I am off meds, healing from injuries, and completely starting at ground zero again figuring out what my muscles are doing.

I will, however, have fun because I have given myself a few things to work on through the 3 hours on course. Other than my feet, the biggest thing is focus – which is an adventure in itself when surrounded by tons of runners, music, and distractions.

Yesterday, I was riding the train home with Turtle-Kidlet (haven’t decided on her nickname). We were talking about how people her age (21) were always blamed for texting while driving accidents. Personally, I think they learned to multi-task by the adults around them.

I have been trying to simplify my life.  I have noticed that I will allow all the little things I need to do get in the way of good training sessions and races. I get irritated at my slow progress – which is how it is supposed to be – and think about what I could be using the time for.

WAIT! I LIKE TRAINING!!!

So, I have actively been progressing on observing what I can do, packing days lighter so that unexpected things can happen including finishing more on my to-do list or a surprise lecture from an out of the country teacher, and taking the pressure off of myself when I am on the track.

I am taking a Hatha Yoga class on Monday nights. We had a great deal of reading to do, but the class was on being aware of what I am doing in the moment. When doing a yoga practice and thoughts from my to-do list etc float in, I am being taught not to get frustrated at the interruption, but to acknowledge it and get back to the task at hand.

I think of it this way – I count out my repeats, pay attention to the flow and when something interrupts like a loud child demanding attention,  I turn it into a piece of paper and place it on a mental table so I can get back to the task at hand. It worked last night, so I am going to try it in Virginia Beach.

Driving home, I thought about how exercising has truly become disrespected as people multi-task. I saw a woman running by a local park. She was pushing a stroller and dragging a dog. I pulled over to watch as she became frustrated as the dog stopped to sniff & pee, then the child tried to get out of the stroller. Mom pulled the dog (who barked) and yalped at the kid to get back in the stroller (who cried) telling him that “You are ruining Mommy’s run!” Great – we have enough problems getting kids to want to exercise without adding guilt!

No, lady, you are not only disrespecting the nature of your dog & kid, but of your workout too. Yeah, I am not a parent, so what do I know? I know a lot about the rammifications of shoving too much in and sacrificing real benefits for the ability to say I “accomplished” more in one day than others. There are no Accomplishment Olympics. There is no record taker keeping tally. The only “medals” for this come in little orange perscription bottles.

Really pathetic when people measure success by the meds they are on!

I use an I-pod when using the elliptical-runner, or other cardio machines mainly to focus (I am not a soap opera watcher and most gyms have those on).  I tried to use one in running races last year to try and focus on something other than self generated irritation. I found that I was more nervous and walked slower with worse form!  I am trying to find folks to practice with – gym and training – but I am very careful because I am not interested in workout time becoming a drama filled coffee klatch.

Sounds cruel? Nah. I am getting back to my exercising is something I get to do vs something I have to do. Just because I am studying to be a personal trainer doesn’t mean I have unlimited motivation. I live in the real world and empathetic.

I have to spend the next few days getting my levels straight and looking forward to hanging with one of my best buds.

Think about how many things you do at once and how many you are really able to do well. It surprised me!

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