Monday, October 12, 2015
Balancing life with training...can it be done?
Before I continue, this week I'm linking up with the Tuesdays on the Run blog link up. The Tuesdays on the Run blog link up is with My No-Guilt Life, MCM Mama Runs and Run the Great Wide Somewhere. When you're done reading here, be sure to check them out!
As most of you know, I am a running coach, a personal trainer and a licensed sports nutritionist. The year 2015 has been pretty good to me as a small business owner and my client load has increased pretty well. In addition to working for myself, I also work as a trainer for the YMCA in Encinitas. I love the YMCA atmosphere, I am not pressured to sell anything and I can really just focus on helping my clients get the results they want. I love training there. Right now I'm just seeing clients one-on-one, but hopefully I'll be teaching some group classes soon. Anyway, over the past 6 months, it's gotten quite busy. Now, I'm not complaining, trust me. I am very grateful for all of my clients and I'm truly honored they trust me to help them reach their goals. But my job is not a typical 9-5 job. I work early mornings, all day, and after work hours. Plus the weekend. This past summer almost killed me: I had personal training clients in the early morning, came home to get my girls ready for summer preschool, took them to school and then saw clients of all realms throughout the day (running, personal training, nutrition). I would then pick the girls up from school, make dinner and, once the hubs was home, coach at night. After coaching I would catch up on emails, writing training or nutrition plans and anything else that needed to be done. Really, sometimes my schedule has me working 7 days a week and it gets pretty tiring. I know, I choose to do it, and again, I'm grateful for it. But it's hard out there for a coach and trainer!
Needless to say, my training has suffered since the summer. I backed off from a lot of my weekly runs/workouts so I could spend time with my family and actually get some sleep. My son was staying with my parents in New York for part of the summer and once he got back, I really wanted to soak up as much time with him as possible before school started again. Oh and I wanted to get sleep. You know, that silly thing that always takes a backseat to everything else. I would always feel a little guilty about missing workouts, but at the same time, I knew the time with my family and/or the time sleeping would benefit me just as much.
The worst part for me is that my schedule changes a lot based on my clients' schedules. Some weeks I'm able to get in all of my workouts. Some weeks I can only eek out a few runs during the week and my long run on the weekend. And I'm ok with that. I think a lot of "finding balance" comes from giving up the ideal that you have to cross off everything on your to-do list every day. Honestly, I think it's impossible for everyone, no matter what your life contains. Life happens and sometimes your training has to suffer - and that's ok. I'm not saying give up on your training and throw in the towel when life gets complicated. I'm saying you may need to modify things. If your training becomes just another thing on your to-do list that's stressing you out, back off a bit. Training should be fun, not stressful.
In that conversation with those other mother runners I mentioned above, my answer, at the time, to the "Can it be done?" question was - no. At the time I was stressed and felt like I was failing. But now I've come to accept that training has its ebbs and flows in the same way that life does. Sometimes things are great and I'm on top of it. But sometimes life gets in the way and I need to focus my attention elsewhere. And that leads me to change my goals a bit. And that's ok. As long as I can get out there and enjoy what I'm doing, that's really all that matters.
How do you balance life-work-training? Can it be done??