June 14, 2010
Do you struggle to find a balance between exercise and “life”? Eating healthy and “life”? This guest post from pro triathlete Angela Naeth may put things into a different perspective for you. Do you agree? Disagree? Leave your comments at the bottom of this post…
From Angela Naeth:
“In the past couple of weeks I have had a number of comments from people I know about balance. Some feel that I'm not living a “balanced” life and need to step out of the ‘triathlon scene' and enjoy life. Hmmm…..
Enjoy life? I am enjoying life…more than ever! Waking up in the morning and moving my body is exactly what I enjoy doing. I don't think being an athlete is a job and maybe that is what these others are thinking. It makes me assume that these people feel I am not “balanced” may not like their jobs and feel that I'm working 24/7 at a job I don't necessary enjoy. This is NOT the case.
For me, being a full-time athlete (meaning, I don't do much else) is a gift. I love it! I enjoy having the days slip away while I'm out riding my bike, running, swimming or some other form of training. I enjoy going to bed early, waking up early, and staying away from all the hoopla that nightlife provides. I enjoy reading and talking about the sport. What is the harm in doing something you love day in and day out? Is there any harm in it?
Of course there are days that I'm tired and want to get away from the routine of training but these have been few and far between. If I'm tired, I listen to my body and rest. If I'm bored or sick of something I'm doing, I (we: Chuckie and I) are sure to change it up. The beauty of triathlon is that you have three distinctly different disciplines in which to challenge yourself. If you get bored of swimming, you run; if you get bored of running, you bike; and so on.
The best thing about all of this is that triathlon is a game. “Like life,” Chuckie says. This is precisely where the balance resides. I take it seriously but I also know that in the end, racing is a game. And who doesn't love games? Triathlon provides me the ability to challenge myself that I don't believe I would otherwise. I want to do my best and that means living my best each day – sleeping well, eating well, training well…and, well, enjoying it.
The problem I see when people say I need “balance” in my life is that they either:
1. Don't understand what it really means to love what they do 100%.
2. Hate their jobs and want to follow their dreams but are too scared to try…they have a fear of success.
3. Have a fear of failure.
4. Worry too much about what others think—family members, friends, etc.
5. Might be jealous or envious. I would be too!
6. Cut themselves short in everything they do in life—family, work, etc.
I do believe it is important to enjoy other things in life and I do. But what is “balance”? What does having “balance” in your life really mean? Is it not balance in your life when you do the very things that give you happiness? Pleasure is one thing. I could watch movies all days, eat candy and chocolate, hang out with friends at bars…but to me this is NOT happiness. Not even close. I feel like crap the next day or two and that's supposed to give me balance in life?
Attempting to be the best you can be offers the ultimate in happiness. I love triathlon, the challenge, the way I feel after training, during training, and even on those tired days when all I want to do is sleep and not move a muscle. That is life to me….that is why I have the body, mind and spirit that I do. So, the next time someone asks me about so-called “balance”, I'll counter: “Balance to what? Balance in trying and finding the time to enjoy life?”
I've already got that down.
Sadly, it seems some people may just never understand….”
Do you agree? Disagree? Leave your comments at the bottom of this post, and click here to learn more about Angela.