Focus (the little things)

One of the (many) things that barre n9ne has shown me is focus.

focusing on form during class (core engaged, hips tucked up and under, eyes fixed on that mirror)

focusing on less is more (running + barre is proof that “less is more” in the form of a focused workout regime just works.)

focusing on moments. Moments in class when things just click. When that leg shake that happens at the barre is something I work for versus stopping just short of the shake.

But that focus on moments has also extended to running (I’ll get to that in a minute) and everyday “little things” that make an otherwise mundane day seem just a wee bit brighter.

Little things like the woman at Starbucks on Monday who stopped me in my haste to get out the door and on the road to say that my dress was awesome and where did I get it. Or the woman in the hall at work – a woman I’ve never spoken to in my life – who said that very same dress was great, so “classic.”  Or coming home after barre n9ne on Monday and on Tuesday to dinner on the table and a smiling husband ready to burst with the details of his first few days of new hire orientation. The smile on his face is seared in my brain. So proud.

Or today – running at dark o’clock, focusing (on moments):

…setting foot out the door in the dark, sort of dreading the run ahead. Which quickly changed as we got moving, in the near silence that surrounded us. The sounds of our feet on the pavement the only thing keeping us company. Blissfully quiet. 

…turning the corner down the hill and around the bend and spying a brilliant orange and pink sunrise just peeking up over the horizon. Seeing the way those colors bounced off the glass-like water like a mirror. Worth the 5am dark wake-up call to see that. So worth it. 

…watching and listening as the world stirred from slumber. At first, just the sounds of our feet and a few peepers chattering away. And then, the birds start to chirp, a couple of cars start up in driveways as we pass by. A biker whizzes by. Awake.

…feeling my legs, back, core, arms all very sore from barre n9ne but in the best possible way. Proud that that sore body was carrying me through a fast-paced run, faster than I expected us to go. Envisioning that finish line again coming up on Oct 24. Ready.

…and remembering, out of the blue, my old running mantra from way back when I first started to run… “start strong, just finish.” And thinking that that phrase doesn’t fit anymore. Instead – “Start strong, enjoy the journey…the finish is worth it.” Suits me so much better today.

All of this, these thoughts on focus, on moments, on little things. I would have simply whipped through my morning without a second thought. But just having that focused mindset, and all of this came to me during our run today. All because I focused. On moments. On little things.

Imagine if we all did that more often. Every single day. No more rushing through the day. Missing out on moments. Give it a try. I bet you’ll be as surprised as me what focus can open your eyes to. 

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24 thoughts on “Focus (the little things)

    • They really do add up…and fast. This all literally happened on my run this morning. All of those moments I would have missed entirely if I wasn’t focused on staying in the moment. So so easy to fall out of the habit of doing but I’m determined to live more presently.

  1. I’m an early morning runner as well – not just for the temps but for the moments you just described. It opens the mind and is one of the best ways to start the day!

    • Precisely why it makes me want to cry just thinking about cold snowy winter mornings where running outside is near-impossible. I’m determined to run as often as I can into the winter months outdoors. I love it too much to let a little snow and ice get in the way, I’ve decided.

  2. Perfectly written sis. I am so glad you are in such a good place mentally and physically. It’s a great feeling. I am clawing my way back to that feeling. I have it in most areas, just that one pesky area that won’t quit harping on my brain. And PS you’re welcome on the dress ;-P

    • I wrote this with you in mind…to maybe remind you that this is what makes running (and barre and life in general) so memorable – these little moments that add up, like Heather said. Remember the moments, not the short fallings – it’s the moments that will stick with you forever, not the missteps or failures.

  3. Before reading this, I was staring out my office window at the most beautiful, blue sky and just feeling so blessed. I am loving this season of my life and I know that I will have some valleys and more highs, but it is important to focus on what really matters. You really captured that beautifully.
    Thanks for this great post!

  4. Great post, it really is the small things in life that are the big things and living in the moment. I know I live in the tomorrow a lot but need to focus on the moment and just enjoy the journey.

  5. I think this is one of your best posts yet- I mean all your blog posts are awesome but this one hits a spot for me. I feel so strongly about the less is more philosophy and I LOVE in class when clients give in to that SHAKE! Keep up the awesome work. You look phenomenal.

    • Really? Wow, Tanya – that’s such high praise coming from you! Made my morning. 🙂

      I promise to give in to the shake tonight, even though the shake during legs class is even MORE killer than at the barre, I’m convinced. 😉

  6. Jess, seriously, you’re a woman after my own heart with these beautiful, vivid posts. Seriously…my favorite posts to write are the ones that have my thoughts right out there on paper/screen or the imagery around us when I’m running. There’s nothing like reading a post and being able to FEEL what the other person is writing. LOVE. xoxo

    • What’s funny is that it’s those posts that take me a nanosecond to write – it’s like the words just pour out of my head onto paper. I literally was writing and re-writing it in my head on our run which definitely helped the words flow too, but still – when they come from the heart like that, the words just come. 🙂

  7. oo i love this. focusing on the moment and being in the moment is something i strive for every day. it is so important to worry about the future and past and jsut be in the moment now. easier said than done clearly but when accomplished is amazing. good thinking lady. also don’t worry about the rut thing. you are allowed. it is the normal eb and flow of the running blogging world.

  8. This is a great post!!!! Well, you’ve been an inspiration to me, thanks to our emails last week I’ve started my blog – today was the first post – thank you! I have to say, because of the blog post, I went into the run with a goal and purpose. I actually, took a moment to take a picture of the city that I love and appreciate the scenery. Thanks for the reminder 🙂

    • I am SO excited that you decided to start a blog – and that I somehow inspired you to do it…AND inspired you a bit on your run today. Now THAT just made my bloggy day, seriously. Thank you!!

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