I saw a lot of this “focus word” stuff floating around last year and thought it was a fantastic idea. What I couldn’t figure out what what my focus word should be. By the time summer rolled around, I pretty much gave up and figured my brain wasn’t wired for a single word of focus.
In a sense…this is true. I thought a lot about a focus word for 2014 and though I came up with a perfect one (more on that in tomorrow’s post), I also came up with a mantra for myself. I actually came up with it during the 10 and 10 race I did last September on a bum leg with less than ideal training (sigh). As people were passing me, left, right and a bit too close to center (seriously, when you pass someone, don’t pass close enough to rub your sweating pit against them…gah!!), I was feeling like I was at the very back of the pack and feeling a bit flustered. At my best, I’m a mid-pack runner so people passing me is nothing new but this particular race had me extra worried because I was running on a fragile leg that I didn’t really know what could happen if I started experiencing pain. I started saying to myself, “don’t look back, don’t look back, it doesn’t matter who’s there or who’s not there, just keep looking and moving forward.”
As the reality of my injury became more and more obvious and the running layoff more and more lengthy, I spent a lot of time privately, feeling very sorry for myself. I spent a good chunk of time publicly feeling that way too. I kept thinking how good my running was going, how strong I was, how much faster I was getting and how confident I felt. I was excited to run. I looked forward to it. My mojo runnethed over. And here I was, slow, in pain and not moving anywhere without pain. Again, I found myself saying “don’t look back, just look ahead. You’ll get back to running and when you do, it won’t matter what’s behind you, just look ahead at what’s coming up.”. Bam! Instant mantra. So birthed my Never Look Back mantra. It’s carried me through this injury and will continue to carry me through 2014 as I slowly start running again. I have no running goals for this year, so no pressure and when things are stable enough, I will be starting back doing a couch to 5K program to ensure I don’t push to hard, too soon and have (another) setback.
It’s humbling and frustrating but I have no doubts that this is the only way that I will heal. It will take time but I will continue moving forward. I will not dwell on the past 5 months but will continue to do what I need to do to get where I need to go.
So onward and upward friends. Always look ahead and Never Look Back!