I remember watching my, then 9 year old god daughter, run in her first track meet. She started in lane 2 and somehow finished in lane 8. We are all on the sidelines half screaming, half laughing ‘ STAY IN YOUR LANE’. She ran diagonally across pretty much every lane! She won the race (impressive considering she ran longer then everyone else: Pythagorean theorem people!). And thankfully she didn’t disrupt any of the other kids running that day. But when you get older and the competition stiffer, you can’t just run across every lane without consequence. It becomes essential that you stay in your lane. But the reality is, while we might not actually run out of our lanes, on occasion our eyes and our minds drift into other peoples lanes. And I’m not just talking about track anymore.
Sometimes we find our days caught up in what other people are doing, what other people are accomplishing, what other people are thinking. With even greater consequence then simply losing a track meet. I once read a quote that said ‘Comparison is the thief of joy’. Those words resonated so loudly with me. When you spend your time thinking about what other people are doing, its difficult to invest the necessary energy to be the best possible version of yourself. You become less grateful, harder to see your own personal progress, easier to get down on yourself, inciting unnecessary stress. I learned a long time ago that everyone has their own unique path. Even if we are trying to get to the same destination, there are many different ways to get there. After my injury in 2013, one of the biggest things hindering my comeback was that I was up in everybody elses lane except for mine.
That’s why this year one of my mantras is ‘Stay in your lane’ – in all things. My focus is singularly on my goals of bettering myself and how I can accomplish them. I approach my practices with clear intention of what, I, Phylicia George, need to work on. The goal in racing is to keep it simple and to execute MY best race. I don’t just go with the flow because that’s what those around me are doing. I have defined in my mind my highest priorities, and my focus is to continually work to take steps in that direction.
So hit your drive phase, keep your head down and work towards your goals at the finish line.
Focus on yourself.
If you start to swerve, listen for my voice coming from the sidelines…
‘Stay in your lane.’