As I start my 25th finals week (why yes, I've been in school a really long time), focus is the most common word out of my mouth. It's during this grueling week where I always end up talking to myself and giving myself that self loving nudge to focus. Everytime I get distracted I literally stop and say, "Focus." Putting my game face on is always a challenge as I eagerly await what's coming next.
While I'm trying to focus on my exam material, I check how my fantasy teams are doing (Decker- I really needed you to pull through this week), I do some Facebook stalking, I avoid doing my laundry, I research new vacation spots, I decorate my Christmas tree, I make lists of all the things I can't wait to do once I'm not studying, and eventually buckle down and get to work. It's a pattern I've fallen into and I know the stages pretty well. My study week also has stages that involve the initial "I've got this attitude" that progresses into the stress/mental breakdown/crying/questioning my life choices/"I can't do this" and then moves into the "Let's eat everything in sight" stage before the final stage of "Let's just get in there and knock it out". This week is different because I've managed to skip the second step. My focus is not quite in the final stage and I was already eating everything in sight.
My finals week phases remind me of my training phases along this fitness journey. While some programs have pushed me more than others, I know each one has really helped me step up to the plate and push myself just a little bit further. Since I've been focusing on increasing my distance and improving my time (even though my main goal for this half is just to finish it- competitive me disagrees and wants an impressive time) I've been popping in old workout routines for cross training. I always love a good "Back and Bis" or "Shoulders and Arms" from P90X. As I up my weight and reps (each time making me feel extremely accomplished) I constantly stop and think how much stronger I am now then I was a year ago. The Emily from a year ago could not lift the amount of weight I can now. The Emily from a year ago could not hold a plank for 10 minutes. The Emily from a year ago would not ever have thought she could run a half marathon. While I've come so far since I started, I get so excited about all of the things I want to do. After my half I am especially excited to see what Shaun T cooked up with Insanity Max 30. I keep planning all of these exciting next steps when I really need to stop and focus on the task at hand. I've gotten to the point where I truly enjoy my runs because they allow me to dial in a focus on breathing. They allow me to stay centered on the task at hand.
Here's to focusing on one thing at a time!