The lay up challenge: Slow down to speed up

My workout routine is quick. I’m not a patient person and I don’t believe somebody has to sweat for a full hour to get benefits from exercise, as long as you do the right things and do them consistently (15-20 times per month). So from the time I walk in the door of my health club until I’m done with the weight machines and rowing machines and elliptical machines is about 26 minutes on average.

But to finish off my workout routine, which has left my heart pumping fast, I usually hit the basketball court. I grab a ball, find a hoop, and practice something that has taught me something important. I practice the layup.

My personal rule is this: I’m not allowed to leave the club (or hit the hot tub) until I do 20 successful layups in a row. 

Because my heart is still pumping fast, and because I’m an impatient person and want to get back to the work of the day (because I love it), I start shooting too fast. Maybe I pull off five or ten before I miss one. The counter resets. And then I realize I have to slow down.

This has taught me a clear and wonderful lesson: how to, in a moment of trying to catch my breath with distractions around me, stop and breathe and slow down and focus. I’ll never get back to the work, where I want to be, unless I make these 20 damn layups. I’ll be stuck in the gym for two hours unless I figure out how to do this.

I have to slow down to speed up.

Take a breath, shoot that first layup. Concentrate on making it. Don’t miss it. Then do it again, and again, and again. 

The moment you go too fast is the moment you miss.

Slow down to speed up.