Since I ran the New York City Marathon in November, I’ve taken on a fourth sport – juggling.
I make it a point not to talk about my work on social media and I’m not going to start now, except to say that when I returned to work after the marathon I took on new responsibilities at my job and the workload and stress level have been building ever since. Suffice it to say, I’ve been logging a lot of extra hours.
At the same time, I started working with a new coach and she has me doing more two-a-day workouts than I’ve done in the past. I’m improving tremendously working with her, but it has definitely added some strain to my already busy schedule.
I also have a husband. He works odd hours for his job (real estate), often working an opposite schedule to mine (evenings and weekends). During the workweek the week before last, I think I probably saw my husband for a total of three waking hours between our work schedules, my workout schedule (and related early bedtime), commuting, etc. And, I was grumpy for all of those three hours. Like most people, when I’m feeling tired and overwhelmed I get cranky.
As I’ve been trying to juggle these various aspects of my life – work, training, family – over the past few weeks, I haven’t wanted to admit that I can’t do it all. But, things can only build for so long before they inevitably collapse.
Last Monday, while I was in the middle of a masters swim workout, everything hit me. I wasn’t enjoying myself, I was feeling exhausted, and I just needed a break. I left the workout early and decided I had to do some thinking about my priorities and why I’m doing this in the first place.
The bottom line is that I’m swimming, biking, and running for fun. I’m not winning any races or making a career of this. It’s a hobby. I love running and triathlon and I want to keep it that way. If this hobby starts adding to my stress level, instead of alleviating it, I know that means I need to back off. That isn’t to say it isn’t going to be hard – of course it is! But, it should be hard because I am challenging myself to be the best version of me I can be, not because I can’t manage it with all of my other responsibilities.
This is me back when I had short hair in 2012 smiling from ear-to-ear during the run at my first triathlon. I smiled from start to finish because I was having such a blast!
Happily, after a talk with my husband and a talk with my coach, I was able to get my training back on track the very next day and I finished out last week strong. I even completed my first ever 50×100 swim on Sunday!
I think juggling is an inevitable part of life, especially when you’re a multisport athlete. But I want to make sure I’m only juggling the number of balls I can without dropping them all.