I went on a 5-mile walk/run this afternoon. I am getting more run and less walk in on these jaunts. I had an epiphany this afternoon: If I would not stop to pick up rocks and look for fossils, I would have a better walk/run time in my 5-mile. If I would not try to sing or whistle during my run parts, I would have a better walk/run time in my 5-mile. If deer would not jump out in the road right in front of me, my heart would not stop, and I would have a better walk/run time in my 5-mile.
As it was, I did stop several times to pick up a rock here and there, to see what I could see. Some had fossils, some had shell fragments. And I had three songs stuck in my head this afternoon ("Just what makes that silly ol' ant, think he'll move the rubber tree plant, anyone knows that ant...can't... move a rubber tree plant!") and two Latin songs (In te, Domine speravi, non confun darin aeternum... - hey, I can sing in Latin, but I am not sure I can spell Latin - and Laudate Dominum,
omnes gentes, laudate eum...)
And finally, on my last-mile homestretch, I was walking and not paying attention to anything, and all of a sudden this big deer jumped out of the woods onto the road, and wheeled right around and jumped right back into the woods. I could have spanked him on his flank! He's probably at home right now telling this same story to his kids.
My epiphany today is that I, and many like me, do not wrestle with attention deficit so much as attention overflow. How can one attend to one simple task when there are rocks and rills and clouds and winds and people waving and deer startling and birds twittering? It's hard to focus on Left-Right-Left-Right for 5 miles when all this other stuff is going on.
I have no idea how those Olympians do it.