WEEK 7 – Seeking Balance

It’s not all about me.

32 miles one Saturday, an out-of-town 40 miles the next …3 hours of training this Saturday followed by 4 hours of running on Sunday. That’s a lot of running, and a lot of necessary recovery; but after all the running, eating, resting and recovering, what is left over for my family?

This is where I need to learn better balance.

I’m not a believer in Christianity as it has been dictated to me, but I do enjoy attending church with my wife and stepson, and listening to the open-minded preacher’s message. I do believe in the foundations of most religions, which are generally centered around being good, helping others and staying positive, and a little weekly renewing is always a good thing for me. Unfortunately, my long run days are also on Sundays, so during this Mountain Masochist training, unless I am recovering from a Saturday ultra race, I am usually absent from my wife’s side in the pews.

Although she doesn’t really say anything, I know she would like me to be there, by her side. I know that Austin would prefer I was there as well, if for no other reason, than to at least have someone to relate to as he slumps in the pews, bored to tears.

I am learning that the real challenge of difficult training is not-so-much the actual running, strength-training and conditioning, but instead, marrying those training elements with my current lifestyle and family routine.

So what if I just ran for four hours on Sunday – there are family necessities that need to be met. We need to go to Whole Foods. We need to buy school clothes. We need pick up this kid’s birthday present, or that that work colleague’s present. There’s always something. Should my wife go alone? While I rest on the sofa from my “tough training”?

No. That’s not fair to her and I won’t let that happen. It’s important that I am an active participant in my family.

I have to remember that those seemingly boring periods of shopping at CVS, shooting into PetSmart and even, {gasp} tagging along at Victoria’s Secret for “bra shopping”, are the times when we communicate and share our thoughts, feelings, and experiences as a family. That kind of communication is so important and more often than not, brings us closer together throughout the day and into the evening.

Dinners together, …important.

Family time talking, all in the same room, with no TV, …important.

Constant, comfortable communication, especially with a preteen in the house, is just flat-out important. If he is not comfortable communicating with us on a consistent basis, how will he be comfortable communicating when there are difficult things going on in his life in which he NEEDS to communicate?

I suppose I don’t need to get into a big, heavy discussion in the middle of my week seven training report, but it’s just another example of how this entire project is opening up my mind, opening up my heart and teaching me to live a little less for myself and my needs, and a little more those around me.

I have a feeling, donating a little to my cause, might give you some of these very same feelings – give it a try – any small amount is acceptable and appreciated and all payment methods are possible. {wink}

Donate here – and thanks for following along in this running project that’s turning into a swirl of life lessons.

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Comments

Jessica:

Thank you for your kind words.

Ben:

Thanks for your insight. I don’t ever have to worry about my wife being into running at all. {wink}

We used to get those walks in which you describe during the mornings, …but then school started back up and all the pressures associated with private school kicked in, and well, long story short, no more walks.

{sigh}

It might be tough having the wife be as into running as you are, but I know that when my wife and I used to ride bikes (her hobby, I tag along for security :-) ) together, it was a lot of fun.

Now, I try to use my rest/easy days to go on walks with her. It’s an awesome opportunity to slow down, have a non-hurried discussion, and stretch out my perpetually sore muscles.

I look forward to having kids in a running stroller. It’ll be a nice excuse to run and give the wife a little time to “herself.” ;-)

Looking forward to your next post! I visit your site often and am always encouraged by your progress!

sounds like your on the right path. :)

Ben:

I hear ya, brutha’.

Sometimes I wish my wife and stepson were into running …and sometimes, I am glad they are not. Having a spouse into the exact same things as you may not always be as peachy as it sounds – at least for a lot of people. I think it’s more attractive in concept than actual reality…

but who knows?

Thanks for writing and thanks for the encouragement.

This has been my toughest problem in my training. My wife and I are recently married, and we are both already working two jobs (that’s 4 total!), and I have a VERY tough time trying to fit in training. I just started a new semester yesterday, and I’m going to be able to run more, but I’m going to stink during class! :-) I’ve heard that early morning training is best for allowing plenty of family time, but I work too late to get up that early! Plus, I need the sleep to heal up for my next runs! It’s a tough cycle. I always tell myself that at least I’ll be healthy for my wife and (future) kids if I keep running. I hope that I can one day get my family to get out there to pace me on the tail end of one of my long, slow runs. Ahh, isn’t life great!?! Keep up the good work, Christian!

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