Friday, February 25, 2011

Beauty in the Balance

My six to eight week exercise hiatus is officially over!  Sleeping, watching a ridiculous amount of television, reading and working on my photo albums have occupied my time but it's the texts, e-mails, phone calls, visits and outings I had with friends that got me through this period without losing my mind.  The last couple weeks I've been easing back into my exercise and appreciate it more than ever.  I tire and get sore easily, but am thrilled to be back, be healthy and have amazing folks with whom to workout.  There are even a few items on my race calendar!

I'm still trying to wrap my brain around what it takes to train for three different sports rather than just one.  What will this look like time wise?  How will this mesh with my family's household schedule?  During my recovery, I've come to recognize that moderation is not my strong suit.  At times, my family suffers as result of my workaholic and fitness nut ways.  There's got to be a way to balance all those elements of my life. 

Too often I feel like I'm a circus performer spinning plates.  There's only one of me to keep all these aspects of my life-- children, partner, home keeping, fitness, work, social, volunteer work, going all at the same time.  When one's so busy spinning, can one find joy in the moment?  In the past, I've always thought that family will fall into the empty spaces between my work and fitness life.  I'm afraid that often times my family gets "what's left of me" rather than "the best of me".  This is not okay with me.  I am still exploring what things I can let go of and what things I want to keep.

Above all, I strive to be fully present and to appreciate my time with my family.  My amazing daughters are growing up fast and are loads fun to be around.  I want to savor this time with them.  I don't wish to be busy for the sake of just being busy.  Some of the best times I've had with my daughters the last few weeks have been just hanging out at home talking and playing.  With so many classes, special activities, friends, parties, exploring and learning, I really have to be selective about from what to pick and chose so we aren't running ragged.

Regular dates after a date-famine, has reminded me of why I fell in love with my husband and how much more there is to our relationship than playing tag-team, parenting and taking care of the house. It's almost as if after twenty years of being together, that we're newlyweds again.  This isn't something that is just going to continue on it's own.  It's going to take effort and planning.  I have to remember to stop whatever I'm doing, look into his eyes and truly listen when he's talking and to zoom in for those quick hugs and kisses upon our arrivals and departures.  Planning dates might seem like another obligation but once we get out just the two of us, we always enjoy ourselves and come back happier people.  Even better is that we don't have to pay for a babysitter since we coordinate with another family to trade off play dates and parent dates.

Things are more likely to happen if they make it to my calendar.  Workouts are no different.  My partner and I both work out at least six days a week, enjoy running with other people and like having some sleep-in days.  We've carefully crafted a rotating schedule that allows us to have each of those things.  Here's a multi-sport plan that I'm going to try on for size over the next few weeks.  It sure looks nice in on paper!  We'll see how it plays out in real-life.  As I ease back in, I strive to have all the components of my life, work together in harmony rather than in opposition. Ebb & flow.  Scarcity and abundance.  Yin and yang.  Just as nature, the human body and earth tries to find balance, so do I.

M:  AM long swim
T:  PM run and lift weights at gym
W:  AM run
Th:  classroom volunteer [rest (or lift weights from home)]
F:  AM spin class followed by 30-45 min swim
S:  long run
S:  long cycle

M:  AM run
T:  PM run and lift at gym
W: PM long swim
Th:  AM long run with Run Momma Run group
F:  AM spin class followed by 30-45 min swim
S: rest [or lift weights]
S:  long cycle

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