I just returned back from a trip to Chicago. The trip was a mix of business and pleasure. My wife and I flew up Friday night and returned home yesterday (Tuesday) morning. It was a great time that included some shopping on Michigan Avenue, some site seeing, mass at the second oldest church in Chicago, some work-related meetings and parties, and above all, lots of eating and drinking. I had plans of getting in a few runs along Lake Michigan and maybe some time in the hotel fitness room…but other than one run on Sunday morning, I did more harm than good to myself while I was gone. But that’s ok.
Some people assume that my life revolves around being fit and healthy 24/7, 365 days a year. The truth is, that’s not accurate and I don’t want it to be. I typically get up at 4:30AM six days a week to train. I strive to eat healthy and make decisions every day that contribute to me being happy and healthy. But if something comes up (like a trip out of town), I will often make decisions that I know aren’t the healthiest in order to keep some balance in my life.
I wouldn’t be much fun to be around if I never stayed up late, or if I never tried a bite of dessert. If I decided to get up early to workout and leave my wife in the hotel room bed every morning instead of spending some quality time with her as we both enjoy a morning without the kids, I wouldn’t be a very good husband. My kids wouldn’t like it if Daddy was never home for dinner or bed time because I was at the pool getting in some laps after work.
I cut loose this past weekend in Chicago. I did some things that I don’t usually do. I drank
some lots of good wine, bourbon and beer. I stuffed myself full every time I bellied up to the table. I stay up until after 1AM two nights in a row! I didn’t take my daily supplements or spend time with my foam roller. There is a cost associated with living this way. I still feel sluggish and lack mental clarity. It will take a few days for my gut to repair itself and my legs to regain their pep…but it’s all worth it.
We made some good memories and squeezed every ounce of fun out of the almost four days that we were gone.
For me, life is about keeping a balance between family, faith, work and hobbies. If I find (or someone makes me aware) that my time and energy has shifted to where one of these four categories is taking away too much from another, I make an effort to correct it – keeping my personal and professional life in balance. My hope is that by keeping things balanced, my home will be full of happiness, I will be able achieve more, and my life will have meaning and significance in all four categories.
As my race season starts to heat up and I place more importance on my workouts and diet, I will try and remember to do enough to achieve my goals, but not so much that it takes away from family, faith or work.
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