Often people ask me about how I balance life, training and racing and seem to hold it all together. Since I began to take control of my own health in 2010 again I have been in a constant act of balanced and unbalanced life. I have found over the past couple of years the key to a success is to keep life in balance. If you are like me and tend to have an extreme personality then it's easy to find yourself out of balance.
I am the first one to admit when I find something I like I dive in head first. I consume it and it becomes almost obsessive. There was the needlepoint obsession, disc golf, wake boarding, sudoku, crosswords, and many others that have come and gone. When I first started obstacle course racing I think those around me thought I had just found my new project du jour, a couple years later it's become a way of life. In the process of finding this path and life I have fallen into and out of balance frequently and learned a few things on the way. I think anytime we start a new project, sport or hobby it's easy to lose balance and offer a few tips to keep life in check when a new venture begins.
Five Tips to Stay Balanced:
1. Do not get caught in the bubble.
Remember there is a world outside of this new venture. It's so easy to get so wrapped up in new adventures, new friends and new experiences we forget about everything else that is around us. All conversations become consumed with the new sport or venture. We live, sleep, breathe and eat it, remember not all around you are in the same world. They might not want to hear about the latest shoe for the tenth time.
2. Remember to Breathe.
Sounds silly but if you are like me and competitive as the stakes get higher and the hobby becomes more serious it's important to remember to stop, relax and breathe. If you find yourself unable to breathe and center you are probably out of balance.
3. Take Days Off
I often look at those around me posting their workouts, PR's and other accomplishments and it makes me feel like I need to do more and more. I have to stop and remember I have a schedule and a plan and need to stick to it. Part of a good training program is taking time off.
4. Go Out and Play
Depending on what your version of play is it can very. Remember to take time to have a drink with a friend, a meal over at a house. Training and meal plans are great and I fully advocate for them but it's ok to sway a little if invited to a house for dinner. When I first began a rigid training program I would forego social engagements worried it would not allow for the correct amount of sleep. Make sure to include some playtime whatever it may be into life.
5. Remember Your Best if Your Best
We are humans love to compare ourselves against other humans. As we get into a sport or hobby and find others with the same interest we can start to compare ourselves to those around us. When we start to only do the sport or activity as to how we measure against the rest than we normally are out of balance. It's important to step back and look at why we decided to do the activity and to keep it in mind as we progress forward. If it's not fun why do it?