Balancing Act

July 12, 2014

Laundry, playing with my daughter, cleaning the house, time with my husband, food prep, time to myself, food shopping, full time job, drop off and pick up of my daughter from day care, eating, sleeping, daily hygiene…ad infinitum…oh yeah and this thing called CrossFit where I train to compete at the highest level of fitness I am capable.

What are the things I do in my life that allow me to be able to manage all of this? It all boils down to organization, help from family, friends and my trainers. My training used to be what I wanted to do for that given day: mountain biking, rock climbing, running, swimming, Krav Maga and the occasional trip to a gymnastics gym. Then I met CrossFit and that all changed. I decreased my workout times by half. In the past I would take 3 Krav Maga classes back-to-back-to-back. Whatever the activity of the month was I would focus highly on it and spend all of my free time doing the activity. I believe this all set a great foundation for my CrossFit activities.

Now there is also my work schedule. Before CrossFit and my daughter’s birth, I easily spent 12-14 hours working in my classroom several days a week. My husband, then boyfriend, would have to call me and tell me to go home. The custodian would even come by to kick me out! My point being, I haven’t always had balance in my life.

The birth of my daughter helped me to change my perspective on life.

How do I find balance in my career, family, CrossFit, time to myself? I try to stick to a schedule. My workouts are scheduled for 30min to 1 hour after school. I keep “to-do” lists everywhere, helping to keep me focused and prioritized. I work through most of my lunches and often take work home with me: grading, responding to emails, and lesson planning.

Giving myself time limits, being willing to ask for help, delegating, and keeping my goals and priorities in mind helps me to not overdo it. Just like with training, more isn’t always better or the right answer.

On the weekends with the help of my husband we shop (at Costco) and prepare the meals for the entire week. We have a menu board and we stick to it. Breakfasts and lunches are pre-made (for the entire work week) and the dinners are planned and prepped but not cooked. This way we can quickly whip up a dinner without much hassle. It truly is all about organization and keeping to a schedule. Now this also plays into my personality. The more organized and scheduled I am, the more sane I feel. My husband is the complete opposite and he has to work hard to stay on my schedule. I have my work cut out for me as he is a work in progress, but he is coming along nicely ;)

We work well together and even he admits that life is a bit easier with a schedule. With the introduction of my daughter to all of this I had to limit my time in the car going to/from DogTown CrossFit. Working out in my backyard can be lonely and I miss the gym camaraderie, and I miss the social outlet. However my focus right now is my daughter, family and then CrossFit. People say I have been blessed with some good genes. This is probably true, but I also feel that I don’t overtrain the way I used to. Things are simpler and more complex at the same time.

Balance is a tough thing to give advice on. Just know and be prepared to make sacrifices. CrossFit prepares us to face down challenges, and there are plenty of challenges when trying to achieve a balance of the things you love. Just when I think I have life and my routines figured out, life throws me a curveball. Be flexible, because there are different challenges at different times. There’s something to be loved and appreciated at each stage of your own life (and of your child’s). This balancing act of life definitely keeps me on my toes, keeps me questioning my motives and my goals, and can be utterly exhausting, but even more rewarding!