Finding Your Rhythm
If you’re reading this blog, there is a good chance that you’re not a professional athlete. Your life doesn’t revolve around training, nutrition and recovering. Even for my fellow coaches, as important as health and fitness is to us, it isn’t our entire existence. There’s a life outside these four walls and you should not feel ashamed for having that. A lot of us have families, careers, school and hobbies that we enjoy doing in conjunction with training. The most common excuse we hear is that someone doesn’t have enough time to train (focus on their health). While it might be extremely difficult for some of us, it’s not impossible.
I was listening to a podcast a couple of weeks ago where the guest was a gym owner in the midwest. He spoke about his life from getting into the fitness realm and how he opened his first gym. He discussed the sacrifices that he made, the mistakes that occurred along the way and what he would do differently. The most standout remark, was that he insisted on his staff and himself having a work-life rhythm. This statement made me truly pause and think; I hear all the time about the importance of having a work-life balance.
But, what does that really mean? That life should be this juggling act where we are in constant flux of how to get everything done in 24 hours? Phrasing it as finding a rhythm meant that everything flowed together and operated smoothly. Ready to gather around the fire and sing kumbaya? It’s certainly easier said than done and it will take practice through trial and error to find a way to attain that rhythm.
Identifying what your priorities are is the best place to start. Assigning real value to them and ranking them in order of importance will help you discern how much time and energy you need to devote to them. There is no right or wrong and you can be as selfish as you want, because being selfish isn’t this bad word like it is often referred to as.
For me, this is something I still struggle with. I find myself getting wrapped up in things when I should be devoting more time to other stuff. But, I do this somewhat regularly where I sit down and write out what my priorities are and how best to go about making sure I devote the right amount of energy into each while making sure that I’m having a rhythm to everything else that I’m doing. It helps me to monitor how I’m doing; am I living out my priorities the way that I intended? Do they flow together without one seeping into another?
This is my priority list and you might be surprised to see that my last priority is training. That doesn’t mean that my health isn’t important to me, but it does mean that I value my family, career and adventure ahead of it. I still train nearly everyday, but my training might not be what it could be. My goals within training are not to be an elite level athlete anymore. I am much more concerned with living an overall healthy lifestyle and training in a way that compliments that. Where I struggle the most is finding that rhythm between family and career. I wouldn’t say I am a workaholic, but I will often mis-prioritize my career over family. Sending emails while at a family party or texting my clients while out with friends instead of being in those moments. I am sure many of you can relate to that.
Who is to say I’m wrong for prioritizing my life this way? This is what gives me joy, keeps me motivated and brings fulfilment to my life. No one can tell you where your priorities should be, because they are unique to you. If you want to make your career your top priority, hats off to you. If you want your life to revolve around training, kudos. There’s an infinite number of possibilities and we are allowed to go through it as we see fit. But, there’s a catch. Y’all saw that coming, right? This list doesn’t mean that we neglect the others entirely. It means that we find a way to blend them into our life. You want to become a better a
thlete? I don’t think it would be a good idea for most of us to quit our jobs to pursue our athletic endeavors. However, being more aware and allotting yourself time to train is paramount. If you want to progress your career, understanding that your adventures might have to be put on pause or trimmed down is vital. When you’ve found a way where your priorities begin to compliment each other, you’ve succeeded. There is no push and pull or give and take, it is learning how to allow everything to coexist.
Take some time this week and put thought into what your priorities are. What’s most important and how can you find a way to ensure that the rest of your list doesn’t suffer as a result? Unfortunately, there’s no blueprint and even the most inspirational Instagram account can’t tell you how to live your life.
Take your time and realize that you might not find your rhythm right away. Life and training are a constant learning endeavor and there will be times when we need to adjust our course, but the more in-tune you are, the easier that journey will be.