Here’s a test of focus and staying within yourself…
I was running a mile on the indoor track at the ARC on Tuesday after the spin class just to remind myself how much I hate running on dead legs. The track was busy but most people were well behaved. I passed several people but then I heard footsteps to my left. Instinctively I moved over to let the faster runner pass, only to be passed by the person that I had just passed. I just kept going but noticed that he slowed at certain spots and was just a little slower than me in general. So at a spot where I knew he would slow down, I passed him again. He sped up and passed me back… then slowed down again. He didn’t want to run fast… he just didn’t like being passed by the fat guy.
Oh… one of those…
There was a time in which I would have immediately gotten pissed (this really is pretty stupid behavior) and stepped on the gas to challenge him. The whole competitive thingy. Or waited until the last lap and dropped him. But really… who gives a crap? Instead I jumped in behind him and ran indian file style, pulling even when he slowed so he could see me and speed up again and then just ignoring him the rest of the time.
My fitness journey is personal. I refuse to let it be negatively affected by the actions of others. You can be as stupid as you want… It does not bother me anymore. And there was a time when I let it. I used to get so frustrated when I was on a group ride and someone wasn’t doing “it” right (whatever “it” was) that I would quit or slow down. While they continued on blissfully unaware of how stupid they were being. I LET them ruin my groove. That was MY fault.
And it’s not my job to jump this guy’s ass or ask him what his problem is. Nothing ruins a workout like a pissing match or, worse, a fistfight… He is just as entitled to his workout style as I am. And even though they don’t line up, he really wasn’t doing me any harm. In fact, by the look on his face, he was the one who was frustrated.
It really made me think about focus. I used to be a hardcore athlete. I would take 2500 dry swings of a baseball bat in front of a mirror every day. I would run sprints until I puked. I would push myself beyond exhaustion. But it was all to be the best I could be and 100% of my attention was on me. I really think that, for me, this is MY best way to train. Yes, I love group workouts, but it’s easy to get distracted by what somebody else is doing. My workouts are 1-2 hours a day where I can focus completely on me and not feel guilty about it. I lost that focus for a while.
So anyway, if you wanna be a butthead, I say “go for it” if that’s the way you have to train. Just don’t expect me to see you. And if I can keep training the way that works for me for long enough, none of this will matter… because you won’t be able to catch me anyway… 😉