Balancing Act

Life is a balance right?  Sometimes it is really hard to fit it all in.  One of the athletes that I work with recently asked me how I fit in training without making my loved ones angry.  Here is a copy of my response to her.  I don’t know that I have this down to a science but there are a few rules I try to live by…

1.  Schedule everything. If it’s important you need to schedule it.  There are many many times when your training will come into conflict with other things you need or want to do (taking a trip, spending time with your family, fulfilling work commitments). What I have learned?  If you want to do it all, you need to schedule your time impeccably.  This often means getting up at 4am to get a session in before work or going for a run when everyone else is taking a nap on Christmas Day.  Want to train? Schedule it.  Want to have a night of cooking with your significant other? Schedule it.  Want to go on a weekend trip and still get all of your workouts in? Schedule. It.

2.  Be open and upfront about your training.  There is nothing worse than when your idea of how your day is going to go and your significant other’s idea of how your day is going to go do not mesh.  Tell him/her in advance what your weekend is going to look like so he/she knows ahead of time that you will be unavailable for a few hours on Saturday or that you will be coming home late because you need to get a swim in.

3. Keep your loved one involved, but not TOO involved.  It’s important that your significant other support you in your endeavors.  Maybe he/she trains with you, or travels to races with you, or helps you plan out your season.  But it’s also important that he/she keeps who he/she is in all of this.  Just because you are doing a half Ironman doesn’t mean your significant other has to train like a fiend.  He/she should still have events/projects/goals that are their’s and only their’s.  If you become too wrapped up in each other’s hobbies, things can get a little too emotional and heated.  You need your things and they need their’s.

4.  Don’t forget your trump card.  Sometimes you have to realize that all of your training is a strain on the relationship.  When you sense that things are getting a little out of whack at home and your loved one misses you or starts asking pointed questions with answers that can only disappoint, play a trump card.  Go to see a movie that he/she likes, go for a walk together even if you are tired, pick him/her up a little something… The possibilities are endless.  Sometimes our loved ones might feel like all we care about is triathlon.  You have to show them that is not the case.

Here’s to fitting it all in!

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