Let’s Talk About Balance

Balance. 


As a long time gymnast I know how hard it is to find a physical balance- lose focus for a moment and you’ll lean one way, try to correct yourself and you’ll lean the other. Focus too hard and you’re likely just making it worse.

I’ve always had trouble with moderation. As I mentioned before, when I do something I do it 110%. As I’ve got more serious about running (and working out in general) over the past year or so I have really struggled to find a balance. At the peak of training I’m in bed by 9p, turning down all weekend plans, waking up at 4a and eating so clean that I nearly forget what sugar tastes like. This works for some people but it doesn’t work for me. As soon as I finished my first half marathon I was craving social interaction, greasy pizza and a pitcher of beer. In complete contrast to the previous months I was staying up too late, eating less than well and agreeing to nights out more often than I even wanted to. I felt like I had so much to catch up on! 

My goal for this training cycle is to try to focus on finding the middle ground. I thought I had been doing better but now I’m not so sure. I really struggled with the thought of leaving the house last night and had to be convinced by three people to make the effort. While I was talking about my training one of our friends said “wow, I really wish I had your determination” and K.’s immediate response was

 “No you don’t”

I was taken aback by that. Initially my feelings were hurt as though he was somehow criticizing me. It took me a few seconds to process and realize that that’s not what he meant at all. 

I’ve been so focused on Me, Me, Me that I know I’ve been neglecting him and us. It’s weird timing to talk about this, as we just had a glorious date night, but when I’m in bed by 9p it means he’s watching “our” shows alone. And when my alarm goes off at 5a he hears it too. If I turn down an invitation out he has to choose between being social with our friends or spending time with me. When a run goes well, I brag to him about it; when a run goes poorly, I complain to him about it. I even went on an “I’m so fat!” rant the other night after a day of calorie counting (yet another slippery slope for me).

I strive so hard to be “perfect”. It’s not a good week unless I completed all my workouts per my training plan, ate 100% clean, abstained from all alcohol and was asleep by 10p each night. I get really obsessed with all these things that pretty soon it’s all I think, talk, read and write about. I want to be the best version of me (and I will run a sub-2 half marathon) but I don’t want to lose myself, I don’t want to distance myself from our friends and I definitely don’t want my relationship to struggle. 

So how do you do it? What’s the secret to finding that balance?

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2 comments

  1. Sounds to me like you're in triathlon training. I get the same obsessive problems with my ironman training plan. triathlon becomes an all-encompassing multisport lifestyle leading to diet, rest, and time management problems. I actually got the word Balance tattoo'd on my chest just to remind me to keep it all in check.

    Time spent working on you (runs, rest, and all) affects how you deal with everyone else. If you skipped that workout to spend time with the hubs you'd end up resenting him for costing you that workout time, and blaming him when you finished the race a minute slower than you wanted. At least that's how it happens to me.

    The key to finding that balance is communication and planning. Have dinner together and tell him that you're going to run at 8 that night. Also tell him how much you enjoy getting to have dinner together as a family. It's a dirty trick, but it gets him to appreciate the time that you do carve out for him and your friends without creating any resentment or setting unreasonable expectations when you have to go workout.

  2. Thank you so much for the reply! I definitely agree that communication is so so important.

    And I love that you have a Balance tattoo!

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