Focus: A Byproduct of Running


Today I’m not talking about running per se, but a byproduct of it: focus. In this age of being constantly plugged in, I find it incredibly easy to get distracted. From school to social life to media- there is such a multitude of outlets that are available to us, sometimes I find it hard to grasp the limiting outlets that people once had (or did not have).

There is a saying that I see floating in the running realm about how running teaches you a lot about yourself. I believe this to be true. Going hand-in-hand with the concept of focus, when I go run, it’s about me… and me. I decide my pace, my music…I decide when to trick myself into running further than I want, and I decide when I have to stop. Running, like most things, is largely mental, but I fail to say that I have focus in other things aside from running.

And focus is not an easy concept I gained by any means, I used to run and only think about everything else aside from running. This habit failed me as the distractions took away from reserving the energy I needed to keep going. After a while (after a long while for me), I started to zero in on what was in front of me, instead of shooting my energy into everything outside of it.

Funny anecdote that relates to focus: I started running again, and it’s hard. My favorite part about Texas winter was running because it’s cold, but not unbearable (some days are unbearable, but I thrive in those 40 to 45 degree temps). So on that note, I am not used to, nor do I thrive in the 65 to 70 degree temps- I actually feel like I’m dying. When I don’t have access to water? You might find me dry heaving on Town Lake from exhaustion.

ANYWAY, when I went running, it was me, myself and I. No dilly dallying thoughts, I have to focus…on making it to the other side. Literally. When you run Town Lake, there are no short cuts, you have to keep going until you come back to Point A. It’s miserable, but it keeps me accountable for mileage. While I wish that I could tell people the dreams and ideas I get on my runs, I actually only think about where the next water station might be or how much further I have or praying that I don’t get a cramp when I’m halfway on East side.1

Focus. Clear the mechanism. See how far you can go.

1. Was that funny? It’s not? Whoops, watch this. My apologies, I’m working on it.

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