“Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness.” –James Thurber
At the start of every workout, I must remind myself, “Self, listen to your breathing.” If you focus your attention on your breath, you have a better chance of remaining in the present moment of the workout.
You notice little things like:
1. Am I holding my breath?
2. Am I breathing deep enough?
3. Am I attaching a movement to the breath?
4. The air on my breath intake is cooler than the air on my exhale.
Sometimes when you are running (or driving, or stretching, or foam rolling—substitute whatever activity you like), your head replays old memories—only they’re the memories of your past or the memories you create about next week, next month, or next season.
“If only I had done things differently, said more, stayed quiet, been more grateful” becomes the sound track to the memories. This stream of consciousness attaches a judgment and grows without fail into a lack of self-compassion. This way of thinking takes you away from your present experience.
Next time you tie on your running shoes, slap on your helmet, or put the car into drive…don’t get distracted by the soundtrack in your head. Focus on your breathing and stay in the moment. It’s much healthier than plunging yourself into a cycle of self-judgment.
And…by the way, the air is warmer around your nostrils when you exhale.
Fitmark Ambassador 2013
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