Let’s be honest. Balance. It’s a beautiful sentiment. Everywhere I look it seems as if people are nailing the balance of life, kids, work, training as if it’s no big deal. However, I’ve had many a conversation and it’s been confirmed it’s anything but easy. I even posed the question on how he balances training with family commitments to Mr. Gary Robbins when he visited Calgary for his ‘Where Dreams Go To Die’ film tour. Yes, thatGary Robbins. No I didn’t ask for the secret email for the Barkley marathon, or how he keeps achieving his racing goals, instead I used my 16 seconds (yes, I nervously timed myself) and asked Mr. Robbins how do you train and still maintain the titles of ‘Dad’, ‘Husband’, ‘Coach’… and you know what? The answer was pretty darn spot on; communication, support, honesty and doing your best at finding what works for you and your family.
Argh! Not going to lie. I was really, really hoping for an easy “this is the magical way of balancing it all” type of answer. You know the stuff made up of unicorn farts and rainbows. Instead, it was raw honesty that helped me see what I could do to achieve this in my own life.
If you read my last post on “What’s in A Vest” I make mention of the fact I’m a type A person. I want to be able to do it all. Oh how life does not work that way though especially during race training. You see I’m not some sponsored athlete (ha-ha, not even close there) and yet I dive into training like I’m going for ‘gold’. If I set goals I work my butt off for them. However, I’m married to a shift-worker who drives a giant red truck with sirens on it which equates to a constant change in schedule. Myself, I work for another department that also rotates on a schedule. You know what you get when two shift workers try to train? Constant revision.
As it turns out there isn’t some magical answer that helps with finding the balance of life and training. It’s so much trial and error people write blog posts about it. But after listening to what Mr. Robbins said it did resonate with me. How my husband and I approach our schedules involves continual communication, honesty on what we are aiming for as far as training goals and racing goals, and just patience and understanding if things go sideways and life puts a big ole’ roadblock into your training schedule. Kids get sick (as do parents), work has deadlines or calls that outlast shift hours, life will happen. It’s just being able to roll along with the ebb and flow and learning to adapt. If you miss a training run, it sucks but you know what? Sometimes you just have to throw your hands up in the air and maybe say a few choice words, then pull up them socks and get back at it. Finding balance isn’t easy and on occasion you need to remind yourself you are trying your very best in this moment and in the end isn’t that what matters most, simply trying.
– Written by: Jordanna Kersbergen