Thursday, October 26, 2006


During the weeks prior to The Canadian Half Ironman, my mind was sharp.
I had one focus, get through today's training, rest up and get ready for tomorrow.

Even though I am tired and weak at times. I crave it. Get up, hit the pool, work, run/bike, eat, sleep. Rinse and repeat.

For the past few weeks in my off-season, my mind was dull. I am mentally and physically tired. I can't think at all.

What I have been doing during my training:

- schedule and rountine, see the next day's challenge and make preparation (breakfast, have gears ready for tomorrow's sessions etc.)
- sleep at 10:30 pm, the earlier the better, avg 7-8 hr a day
- if it ain't important, leave it to next day or next week
- check email during day time and no internet at night

Compare to what I have been doing recently:

- stay up late (1:30 am) and sleep 6 hr a day
- lack of schedule and fit as many things in one day as possible
- check email constantly and internet at night (this leads to staying up late)

It is not hard to find out why I am feeling like that. Since last week, I had enough and decided to put myself back to a rountine.

I have been cleaning up the computer room (one of the three evils in my life, the other two is my room and the bathroom :) ). I notice a big difference in the presence of clutter and without it.

The clutter in my life. The un-needed social engagements, the extra responsibility that is not important often saps my strength and my energy.

Like life, when there is less clutter, the better I focus. And the more happy and satisfy I am. (Note: A PMS Cliff is not a good sign).

This is in contrast to what I use to do. To do everything, to take on one more project. It is even more tempting since I have the personality to do everything at once.

A lesson that I learn again and again during last season was to focus on less.

At work, keep my work space clutter free and work on and completing one project at a time.
At home, keep living space with less junk as possible. If an item I stored in the closet for a year and I haven't touch it since, I probably don't need it again.
At life, keep schedule open and unpack. Don't say yes to everything.

Often, we have to say no. Even if there is a luring opportunity in front of us. We have to give up and focus on what's important to us.

Anything we do we live, be it helping out Church, getting a promotion, raising a kid, there is always sacrifice. From the outside, the sacrifice does not suffice.

"You can make xyz amount if you take that job, why did you decline?"
"Don't you feel helping xyz is important? Do you know how much help xyz need?"
"How can you say no to is so much fun?"

Last Friday, a group from my Fellowship decided to go to Salsa dancing. I declined to spend the night cleaning the basement. One of the remarks about for not going was...


That made me smile a little. The action I put it that night will benefit in folds when I start ramping up those volume.

Before I would always go out when the opportunity arises. Now I am more incline to stay at home.

Is this a sign of old age?? *grasp*

Or is this more of taking responsiblity and sacrifice so I can focus on what I want to do.

Next year, there are two focuses, Ironman and developing my spiritual life.

Clutter, be it a house or in my mind, will cloud me from what I need to focus. And I intend to be as clutter-free as possible.


Boris' Dad said...

relationships are important too cliff, don't forget us* hahahah :)

William said...

Yeah, I fight this too. I often "de-clutter" the house and am still trying to get rid of everything I can to get back to basics only.

With that in mind, trying new things and spending time with others is what life is really all about.

There has to be a balance there too. I stuggle with that as I am prefer to spend most of my time alone.

Cliff said...


Relationships are part of spiritual growth :)


I is not about doing more..but trying to do less ;)

D said...

I don't think it is a sign of old age - it is a sign of maturity.

Heather said...

Heather the lurker re-emerges! I totally understand a night at home, but overall focus can be improved by a little dance sometimes. Personal relationship time can feed your soul as well as derail your focus although I know it takes energy.

Clutter will always reappear to be dealt with, but the memories of times with friends feed us through the basement-cleaning times. And you've worked so hard in training, you should shake that body loose on the dance floor! :) I guess if you're asking for advice I'd say try to balance work and play, and don't overdo the sacrifice.

Trisaratops said...

I hear ya on this. Feeling some of the same.

Hope the de-clutter comes along! :)

Anonymous said...

Sadly, I think I'd rather clean/organize then go Salsa dancing!

Pixie said...

I struggle with clutter too. Physical clutter at work, home, etc, but spiritual clutter as well. I will pray for you. :)

Anonymous said...

Ah, I am de-cluttering this weekend -- the physical clutter. I'm still struggling to clear my mind, but it's easier to deal with physical clutter first....

Anonymous said...

oops - that was me...I am confused at the new process for posting?

I cannot choose "Blogger"

Anonymous said...

Yikes! Sorry Cliff -- it si me, Robin! :-) I cannto choose Blogger option, it won;t let me. When I choose anonymous, it obviously lists this way, when I choose "other" it also lists me as anonymous....Hmmm....Why can't I be me?

it's only fuel said...

heya Cliff:) I think William said it best here. Balance is so important. But only you know yourself and how much will tip you over one way or another. Good luck finding the sweet spot:)

One thing that helps me focus throughout the day is by constantly reminding myself to finish one thing before moving on to the next thing. Don't even touch that other thing until the first thing is DONE! It makes project completion feel much better and the reward is greater. Try it:)