MIND, WORKOUT 14th January 2016

FOCUS : FRIEND OR FOE?

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Focus is defined as ‘the center of interest or activity’. But how much Focus is too much and is it really a friend or a foe when it comes to reaching your goals? I draw on a personal experience to shed some light.

In 2015 I racked up serious air miles from multiple trips home to London, some planned, some unplanned.  Delta even rewarded me with free upgrade status on my account. But there is a price to pay, after all is anything in life free? (future post??). I found myself waking up in different timezones, different surroundings and a different routine all too often but the only constants were work and my quest for a 225lb squat and deadlift. And if you strength train you know that missing even a day on your program can hinder your progress in a non-trivial way.

By August 2015 I was on my fourth trip home, once again jet lagged and feeling all kinds of whack.  The Gold’s gym where I previously trained proved too far to travel on this occasion so I settled for a local gym.  This trip was not pleasure and so I still had to work, but being on NYC time and working London hours is not fun.  The challenge was only set to intensify once you add in my workout schedule, Monday: Squats, Tuesday: Upper Body, Thursdays: Deadlift and Saturday………. what??!?! The gym is CLOSED?  I got there at 5pm only to find a sign about Public Holiday hours.  Never received an email or text but there I was, devastated at the prospect of missing a lift.  At this point, the mental anguish and frustration I felt could quite easily be called into question by many.  Was missing a day truly the end of the world? Were the carbs I ate going to add 1olbs of fat to my arms now?  My brain immediately began to map out the next week, looking to see where I could make this up.  But before I had time to figure it out, news of said gym being closed for two days to refurb was coming in (it opened in June, you could still smell the paint, but I digress).  Ok, what about the week after that? DAMN, I’ll be in Japan and it’s my planned deload week.

In the end, I simply had to accept my fate, but, for reasons beyond my control.

I share this little trip down memory lane to illustrate why focus can be a double edge sword. Without it, I wouldn’t have the passion, conviction or drive to forge forward no matter what timezone, bed or country I’m in.  The downside however is that focus can sometimes overrule your sanity. But honestly speaking, question my sanity any day of the week.

I’ve never approached anything in my life with such accountability till now. This way of thinking keeps me on track and I cannot wait till the day I meet and kill my 225lb squat. That is when I will look back at the day my heart sank in the middle of a gym parking lot.  There are times in your life where the resistance will be strong and everything will seem like it’s trying to derail you.. but that’s when you really find out how committed you are. When there’s no jet lag or unexpected closures sure, everyones on it. But when the odd’s are stacked against you, will you be losing sleep at night? Even though I never did get that workout in, the lengths and stress I went through to make it happen is why I know I will still succeed.

Focus is your friend.