How do you stay focused?

January 7, 2011

Daily Post

Today’s Daily Post topic is how do you stay focused. I chose to write a bit about mushing and the weakest link of the dog team–the human. Staying focused on the trail in long distance mushing is difficult at the mind numbing pace of about eight miles an hour. If you kept up that pace on the Iditarod I think you would win.

The Iditarod is a 1049 mile race from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska and the winner is doing it in just about nine days. Think about just how far that is. It is approximately from Denver to Minneapolis standing on sled runners about four inches wide with little to no sleep.

A few months ago I wrote about what is called the Musher’s Little Secret. It is those 5-hour Energy drinks that are all the rave.

I went on a camping trip this past weekend with an 11 dog team for about 40 miles up and back. The river (we ran up the river, it was solid ice) was treacherous and very punchy. It took us 5 1/2 hours to get to Yentna Station to camp. We stayed there for five hours and then ran the river back to the truck–another four and an half hours. Before we left at 10:00 AM I drank a 5-hour Energy and felt alert and focused the whole day. At about 8 pm I drank another and was feeling great until we arrived home and I crashed into bed at 6 am.

Those little bottles work!

Lance Mackey

4-time Iditarod Champion, Lance Mackey is said to have a different way of staying focused on the Iditarod trail. He reads books by candlelight. I saw and interview last year where Lance was talking about how he prepares for the Last Great Race.

Early in the season Lance cranks up the heat in his home and reads by candlelight to prepare him for the deprivation his body and mind will face on the trail.

Just imagine how hard that would be. The heat cranked the flicker of a candle. Reading the fine print of a novel in the middle of the night. If that doesn’t require focus and determination I don’t know what does.

Thats one reason why Lance is winning and others are not!

How do you stay alert and focused? I would love to hear your stories. Please comment below.

Robert Forto | Team Ineka | Alaska Dog Works | Mushing Radio | Dog Works Radio | Denver Dog Works

___________________

Dr. Robert Forto is a musher training for his first Iditarod under the Team Ineka banner and the host of the popular radio shows, Mush! You Huskies and Dog Works Radio Shows

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About robertforto

Robert Forto is the owner of Dog Works Training Company in Alaska, a canine behaviorist, mushin' down a dream, sports nut and radio show host. Robert writes a lot about his observations in Alaska, pop culture, music, and of course dogs!

View all posts by robertforto

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