The Non-believer – There is life beyond running !
Me – Seriously ! Are you sure ?
People run for many reasons….and then they get addicted to it…the runners’ high, me time away from it all, sense of accomplishment on getting a personal best, social recognition, new friends who share your madness, blah, blah. So much so that it starts dominating your thoughts, time, friend list, reading and shopping! Sometimes at the cost of your family and/or your work. And sometimes, while every fiber of wants to run; you can’t do it because of the demands of your family, friends, work, etc,etc. Intrigued by this dilemma, I googled, and googled, and googled. Search results – tons of internet literature on work-life balance, but almost zilch on our topic of interest. Since it is a near virgin topic (Huh ! Near ?), we would love to hear your take on it. So what is Work-Life- Running Balance? Four bullets to tickle your grey cells….but first a definition….
Wikipedia : Work–life balance is a concept including proper prioritizing between “work” (career and ambition) and “lifestyle” (health, pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development/meditation). This is related to the idea of lifestyle choice. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Work%E2%80%93life_balance
Add running to the above and you have Work-Life-Running !
We do Most, What Defines us the Most. The fundamental question – where does running figure in the big picture. Is it a part of our identity, our ‘Wajood’ ? For most runners, it is way beyond fitness…it is meditation, it is discipline, it is self-affirmation that you can achieve the impossible. It cements the belief that we can beat all googlies which life can throw at us. It is a search for the self…our boundaries and for the most part we are stunned by what we can achieve. Ponder over :
But some might say that this is putting too much focus on the self. DEFINE the place of running in your grand scheme of things !
Attitude. Attitude is everything. It is the single most significant difference between the man who achieves the elusive work-life-running balance and the one who doesn’t. Merely knowing the place of running in your life is not enough. You have to win the battle of Mind Over Mattress (try the link. Interesting take on running motivation) everyday ! The right attitude becomes a self fulfilling prophecy – time will be found, situations will be created…..things will happen….and balance will be achieved.
Time and Energy Management. Ah well… having a clear mind and a few motivational quotes are not going to make it happen if you don’t have the energy or the time ! Some tips and tricks (do add your own in the comments) :-
- Plan your day. Work time is work time, family time is family time and running time is running time. Please don’t mix them up.
- Plan your runs. Early mornings are best as the rest of the world is still sleeping – no demands on your time !
- Focus on what you are doing in the moment and get in the flow – max results.
- Use your run to think out the day, ponder over issues and come to definitive game plans.
- Sleep early. Wake up fresh (Google it to find answers). What works for me – a warm glass of milk just before going to bed.
- Clean up your diet– switching to a high protein diet worked for me. Recommended reading – The 150 Most Effective Ways on Earth to Boost Your Energy
- Remain healthy and injury free – train to a plan suited to your age and fitness level. Listen to your body.
Support of Your Family, Friends and Boss. Your running addiction rests upon the bedrock of the support of the most important people in your life. It cannot be sustained otherwise. They must know and understand the importance of running to you. Best is to baptize them into running and make them as mad as you. If that is not possible – involve or integrate them into other running/fitness related activities!
Balancing the trio of work, life and running is a very personal thing. There are no set piece solutions. The motivation, circumstances and abilities are unique to each runner. Do let the runner-thinker in you reflect and mull over this dilemma !
Like the marathon, life can be sometimes difficult, challenging and present obstacles. However, if you believe in your dreams and never give up, things will turn out for the best – Meb Keflezhigi