So, How Many Hats Do You Wear?

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Pensacola, Florida, United States
Husband. *Dog Dad* Training Specialist. Runner. Triathlete (on hiatus). USATF LDR Surveyor. USAT (Elite Rules) Certified Official, Category 2. RRCA Representative, Florida (North). Observer Of The Human Condition.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Mindfulness Over Matter

There's no place like home.  The visit with my loving bride (and grandchildren) to parts north provided many memorable moments, sights, relaxation of a sort, and ample time to do what I occasionally miss...observing the (small) human condition.

I should know better, the painfully obvious truth that even when genetics and parenting are (almost) common, that still, no two children are alike.  My two grandchildren are two-and-a-half years difference in age but almost worlds apart in behavior.  Tell my eldest grandkid to take on a personal care task or a small chore and it's most likely going to be done in an efficient manner and without too much oversight.  The youngest, however, is a totally different story.


Blame it on the video game.

If it's time to brush teeth and dress for bed, the controller is dropped long enough to dash up the stairs, throw on an oversized sweatshirt over the denim jeans.

Um, did you brush your teeth?

Zip back up the stairs, return a minute later.  Okay, while the kid has front teeth missing (and actively trying to remove more in order to extort the tooth fairy, I might add), but the breath that could knock over a horse still persists.  Methinks a lack of emphasis is evident, so this old guy (with his own fair share of dental history) goes up to observe the process.

This time included a quick swish of brush under the faucet and swab of the remaining pearlies.  No paste.

Stop.  Squeeze some paste onto that brush.  More.  Brush.  Stop.  Count to ten on each tooth.

Plants Versus Zombies.  Laundry Versus Lounging About.  When it comes to a seven year old I can tell you which one is going to win.  Removing clothing from the dryer and folding seems like a Herculean effort, which takes four times to be done properly.


"Don't know how."  The older kid gently contradicts, confirming the old coach's suspicion.  Just before I considered invoking grandparental authority and blowing up the television, my son took over the controls.

Mind you, I understand a seven-year-old focus of attention is short, but it's made more so by the world of
"other cool stuff."

Even adults are prone to a lack of mindfulness.  Suzanne's lost more credit cards, cell phones, planners, drivers' licenses and other gadgets than any single woman has a right.  It's not that she's forgetful as much as it is that she'e trying to transform her to-do list into a "ta-da" one.  Sometimes I have to bring up the issue of mindfulness, being in the moment, compartmentalizing what's going down until it's done, then going on to the next thing.

When we talk about mindfulness we can look at three primary elements: our attitude toward the activity, the attention we pay to it while we're in it, and our intention.  In the new year the gyms and roads are going to be filled with folks who are doing something about what they weren't doing in the past year.  Good on you, friend.


But are you going into it with the same outlook as a trip to the dentist for a root canal?  The first days of the new workout routine are not always fun, especially when your breathing and heart rate elevate, your muscles, lungs and head ache, and the scale just can't seem to go down.  It might appear that everyone at "Fit-O-Rama" are looking you as a complete freak who shouldn't be there.  No, you do need to be there.  Even when the scale doesn't move and the stretchy  pants continue to strain.  It didn't take you one day, or one mega-burrito, to the state you're at right now, so it might take a few days to see some change.  Ladies, for you it's even more slowly than for guys.

During treadmill time, are you talking to the person on the mill next to you, or looking at the television?  For the love of the Buddha, stop, already.  Keep an eye on that heart rate or the distance, or the calories, but bury your brain into what you're doing.  I know I love to play music when I'm doing my easy runs on the mill, but I'm also taking a close look at the timer so as to know when to adjust the pace or elevation.

Is there a target you're shooting for, a weight goal, a race date, or a little black number?  If there isn't, go out and fix one.  Put it on the fridge, write it on the mirror, stick that calendar on the wall.  Those bad days will be small bumps on the road, and you're going to have many fellow travelers near by.  Take the time to look around...then look within.  And get it done.

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