Last night when I walked into the cycle class I knew it was going to be a different type of workout. Our coach was there cycling pretty hard on the trainer and I knew something was up. Usually she is bouncing around greeting people as they come in but that wasn’t the case last night. She’s the type who wears her emotions on her sleeve and can’t hide it when something is bothering her, though she does really try to. Of course being the good coach that she is she started us off with a little pep talk with one resounding theme, find your focus. Focus on why you are here, why you signed up for TNT, or why you are pushing yourself to do a triathlon? This was her message as we started our cycle class, which ended up being more time in the saddle then our previous 10 bike 10 run sessions.
We kept a pretty good pace with some longer hills worked into the mix, but the main idea was just to keep riding. Over and over the message from our coach was to focus, breathe, and drink water. You could see the intensity she was driving into to everyone and they responded well. Not a whole lot of chatting or joking around. It was really encouraging to see a large group of people hammering on the pedals driven by their own thoughts and desires. Something you really take pride is as a mentor. We biked for about 40 minutes and then headed up to the track for another 10-15 minutes of running. Even after a hard bike everyone was pushing their limits on the track. It didn’t matter if they were walking or running with the fastest group everyone was determined to finish strong, which everyone did.
We headed back to the cycle room to stretch and during this time our coach asked people to volunteer and say why they had joined TNT. For many it was in memory or honor of someone who had cancer, some the desire to do a triathlon, and others just to prove that they could push themselves til the end. That’s the great part about TNT. There really is no wrong reason for joining up. Finally our coach came out with what was going on with her. Apparently she had spent most of the day at the hospital with her friend who was just diagnosed with brain cancer. This was bit heart-wrenching but I had guessed something like that had happened given her demeanor when I first saw her. What really made it hard for her is that up until now she had been lucky enough to not have anyone really close her affected by cancer. It just goes to show that it really can happen to anyone.
Now the true point of this post is just what the title says, Focus. While training, racing, or even just getting through the day it can take a great deal of effort and determination. Finding that thing, thought, person, song, or whatever it is that you can focus on during the rough spots can make all the different. It doesn’t matter what your focus is or that it changes depending on the day or situation. The point is to find your focus and hold on to it as long as you possibly can…