In the sport of American football or Canadian football, the art of “icing the kicker” is a tactic employed by defending teams to disrupt the process of kicking a field goal just prior to the snap. Typically, either a player or a coach on the defending team will call time out just as the kicker is about to attempt a game-tying or game-winning field goal. This is intended to distract, frustrate, annoy, and make the kicker nervous, increasing the likelihood of him missing the kick.
Last week, I got iced. Last Tuesday, I got up before either of the boys were awake and I sat down and wrote from early am until 2pm. The only reason I stopped was because I needed to get online for a class I’m taking. My class was the proverbial time out. I will admit, there was a part of me that wanted to blow off the class and keep on writing. Class ended at 4:30 and my son had a swim meet that night that started at 7, so I knew I would have another 2-½ hours to write; providing I could get back into it…
Additionally, I was feeling resentful of the swim meet. Not resentful of the swim meet itself, but I felt guilty that I didn’t want to go; that I wanted to keep on writing; that I wanted to do something for myself. Bottom line, I was pissed that I was unable to continue and I was feeling guilty for feeling pissed.
And I was fretting about whether or not I would be able to get my head back in the game.
That was a bigger feat than one might think. I’d always experienced this with painting. The times when I felt most inspired were often the most inconvenient times; in the middle of the night… in class… while on vacation and sans any art supplies… and now the same was holding true for writing. Just to sit down and do it usually would get me moving towards that infamous “zone“, but getting myself to sit down to do it was an accomplishment in and of itself.
So I found myself on one of my most productive days ever… kicking field goals right and left (or straight and high, I guess I should say) until I got iced.
Truthfully, this happens all the time, doesn’t it? Your kids will always interrupt you at the most inopportune time. The traffic is always the worst when you’re late and the paper will inevitably jam in the copier when you’re trying to print the handouts for your presentation. I’m not just talking about Murphy’s Law… I’m talking about those moments when you are truly at your best; totally present, in the zone or the flow or whatever you want to call it (I call it being incredibly productive) and someone or something calls you to the sidelines. I was the kicker and I was being iced. So, what I want to ask you is… how do you get back on your game after you’ve been thrown?
How do you keep your focus or better yet, knowing that interruptions will arise, how do you bring yourself back to that place before you were interrupted?
When life throws a monkey wrench at you, how do you deal? Do you cover your head and duck or do you catch the wrench and try to juggle?
Please post your comments here.
until next week…