Distractions have a bad wrap. But, I think they can be useful if they’re done well.
I did a workout this morning that was bookended with about a 4 minute Assault bike. On the front end, I switched between watching the numbers on my screen and being distracted by what was going on around me. On the back end, I started out doing the same thing…but, about halfway through, I decided to close my eyes while periodically checking my screen to see where my numbers were.
What I noticed was interesting: when I closed my eyes, I ended up finding a better connection with how to use the different parts of my body. I was now distracted by which muscles to activate and which ones to relax, calming down my breathing, and figuring out how to generate more power without sacrificing a pace I felt under control with.
The icing on the cake: my RPM’s increased by 1 or 2 when I had my eyes closed from when I kept them open and tried to be distracted by watching the activity around me.
It all got me thinking. I realized there are all sorts of opportunities to be distracted by things when we are looking for that. But, the magic is in finding the “right” things to be distracted by. It’s often a tough call, though, particularly if you’re like me and are over-obsessed with maximizing the use of every moment of my time.
What I’ve been trying to pay close attention to is this: are the distractions things that are adding to my overall life experience, or are they pulling me in directions away from the life I actually want to live.
There is a very clear difference to me between the distraction of staring at the waves on the ocean…and, mindlessly scrolling through pictures on Instagram of people trying a little too hard to make themselves look sexy. Or, worse yet, memes and random posts that encourage laziness or gossip or making fun of others.
Distractions can be good, so long as they are mindful and well-directed. And, helpful if they can redirect your focus away from the hurt of an Assault bike 😉