I haven’t written in months. I could make a million excuses as to why, and by many measures I have had pretty good reasons: Physical therapy, multiple jobs, traveling for weddings, visiting with family I haven’t seen in over two years, training, trying to eat and sleep for performance.
But I’d be feeding you bullshit. At the end of the day, sitting down to write and edit just was not on my priority list. And that’s totally okay.
Almost daily I run into someone who has not been to the gym, and without prompting, they immediately launch into the laundry list of things that are keeping them away. Work hours, kids, civic commitments, my ____ hurts. All good reasons. I wish they’d just spare us both an unnecessarily uncomfortable moment when we both know they didn’t make training a priority.
It always seems the people with the most packed schedules and the most “legitimate” excuses are the ones who make their health a habit. Daily I see entrepreneurs who are up around 4am to make sure business is squared away so they can sneak in an early morning workout. I’m wowed by my athletes who juggle work, school, immense financial stress, and still manage to eke out enough time for training. Numerous parents rents rise before dawn to cram in a WOD before rushing home to prep a healthy crockpot dinner, and get their kids up and ready for school. I look at their schedules, packed full of super high priority everything, and it makes my head spin. On the rare occasion one of these folks misses a day at the gym, I don’t question their priorities.
Sometimes, you just have to do what you can. My physical therapy is mostly done now, but for months the painful, slow process of rehabbing my knee required getting up early to meet my therapist. I can’t really tell you which is more excruciating to me: Early mornings, or breaking up ACL scar tissue. The internal monologue is a continuous stream of F-words either way. Sweaty and limping, still groggy, I’d rush home to shower and feed the dogs, then show up at the office with wet hair and sloppily applied mascara, and grind through a whirlwind workday. Come 5pm, I’d rush to CrossFit to try and cram in some half-assed training before coaching a class or two. 8:30 would find me at home, trying to create a healthy dinner before doing dishes, laundry, and another shower before collapsing into bed. Rinse. Repeat.
Something had to give. It came in the form of another (temporarily) painful adjustment. I started setting my alarm for 4:30am to get to the gym at 5 and get a solid couple of hours of training right off the bat. One massive goal already accomplished, I’ve been able to go home, make a massive breakfast, do some paperwork, spend time with my dogs, and shower and do my makeup like a real grownup before I head to work. It requires me to go to bed at an hour when people are still texting me, and fighting my night-owl nature tooth and nail. But my knee is now improving faster than I expected, my training has taken off again, and things have slowly fallen into a pretty good rhythm for the time being. Not perfect, but it’ll do for now.
Of course, there is balance in everything. If I choose work every single waking hour, sometimes the message is, “I like to eat, pay rent, and make student loan payments on time.” Other times, it’s closer to “I’m neglecting my family, relationships, training, and personal health.” I’ve given up on the belief there is a sweet spot that I’ll fall into when I’m a bona fide adult. Winging it will have to do.
I’m not huge about New Year’s Resolutions, but I suppose I do have one this year. I want to make sure my actions align with my priorities. It will require me to say no to many people and things, and that’s okay. I’m pretty excited for the things that it will bring. Including more writing.