In this, the third installment from my new book on Endurance Lifestyle Design, I talk about the myth of the Work / Life Balance and how mistakenly chasing that false idol will only lead you further away from your goal of having it all.
There are two large components to establishing your own functional Endurance Lifestyle. The first is how you conceive of your life; the second is how you implement it. Before we can really begin talking about the building blocks of your lifestyle, we need to dispel a rumor. A myth. The elephant in the room. Drumroll please…
There Is No Such Thing as Balance in Your Daily Life.
The way that we live our lives in the 21st century means we can no longer completely separate major chunks of our lives and work independently to have them in balance. Technology has changed how we work, how we connect with others, and how we fundamentally live our lives. Not only do we do more, we do more while doing more. Our children do more. Our jobs ask more. We want more. Life’s crazy…and then you decide to train for a marathon or a triathlon.
Let’s take the training build up to your average marathon. The mileage increases and track sessions become even more important. You can’t give up your recovery protocols for fear of getting injured, and your nutritional needs mean everyone in the house is now eating salad, fish, and recovery shakes 24/7. You haven’t made one of your son’s Sunday soccer games in four straight weeks thanks to your long runs. At the advice of a friend you have picked up Bikram Yoga and are considering taking this core strength class at the gym you hear is killer. Work is off the hook as you are preparing to take a few days off pre- and post-race with the family. And you can forget talking to your significant other; the minute you stop moving you (literally) pass out.
Post Race Epilogue: You make it through the race on minimal sleep and under intense pressure to manage a 10-minute personal best. Congratulations, you have a finisher’s medal and an uphill battle to regain the life you once led. Your family’s happy, but only because you are done. Your co-workers are happy, but only because you’ve stopped showing up late with wet hair to those early morning meetings.
You love the changes to your health and your body, but there’s no way you can sustain the demands on your time, your family, or your career. You can forget about asking your training partners for advice, as they’re already off thinking about the next race! Staring down at your personal planner, you stop and wonder, “What’s wrong here? Whatever happened to balance?”
The bad news is there is no such thing as balance. The good news is that there’s something even better. You can drop simply doing a sport, and adopt it as your lifestyle. Welcome to the world of endurance training and racing.
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Click here to read Part 4 in the weekly Endurance Lifestyle Book update series. Please post your comments below and thanks for your support!