[bal-uhns] noun, verb, bal•anced, bal•anc•ing
a state of equilibrium or equipoise; equal distribution of weight, amount, etc.
Balance. Never did I ever think that this word would come to haunt me. On the eve of the first day of school, I am trying to figure out just how I am going to “DO IT”. (As a teacher, the eve is always just a bit exciting mixed with a wee bit scary – my feelings are quite similar to my 3 ½ year old who is about to enter Kindergarten!)
Now Nike says it all the time: “JUST DO IT”. This is easier said than done. I am the type of person who rarely flies by the seat of her pants, opting for backward design, schedules, and planning. But, for once, this undeniably simplistic motto just might make sense. And, for hundreds of years, moms have been making IT work. If they can do IT, so can I.
IT – now this nasty little two letter scoundrel and I need to have words! IT means juggling going back to work, family, extra curricular commitments and my new found passion, running. Up until now, I have succeeded because of an OCD chromosomal deficiency of being ultra organized. But, I am running into a wall. I can organize my children, school, students, husband, family, and dance. But, when it comes to myself – I seem to need a big push to stay motivated and follow through on my weekly training plan. Believe me, I can convince myself so very quickly that it isn’t the end of the world if I miss my run for the most trivial reasons: screaming child, mountain of laundry looming, dishes in the sink or a plea for cuddle time! (By either BJ, my Shi Poo, or my girls!)
Juggling my family is my first priority. Through this experience, I have learned that a healthy Mommy is a happier Mommy. And, Daddy likes this Mommy better as well! However, my running does come second to this – and so it should. I run at 5:30 a.m. or 7:30 p.m. I just cannot rationalize being away from my girls all day and, after picking them up, putting them in daycare so I can work out while I should be getting dinner ready and spending quality time together. I don’t judge others that can do this. I know my own limits and because of the age of the girls, this schedule doesn’t work. One of the benefits of DH taking on more responsibilities is that the girls look forward to Daddy time while Mommy is running. Giving up control was hard, but a good lesson learned. I don’t have to do everything. The world doesn’t revolve around me. Really!
Fortunately for me, I have a tremendous support network. My DH and family are there to help with the girls while I squeeze in 5 or 10 km. My BRF is only a BBM away. Like one of Pavlov’s dogs, I see that red light blinking and I immediately run – right out of the house! (Sometimes I sleep in my running clothes – no joke.) I have also been fortunate to reconnect with school mates as well as meeting new inspirational women of all ages who share with me the same passion: running. Now, I didn’t say that all of us LOVE running. And, our end goals tend to be very different: crossing the finish line in an upright position or accomplishing a personal best. For some though, running might be like an ex who just doesn’t know when to give up. You just hope that one day you will actually LIKE the feeling of lead legs, breathlessness and really hot hat hair. And, for the lucky few, running is like meeting your soul mate. I am somewhere in between.
So, just how am I going to accomplish my goal of running ½ Marathon along with everything else that is demanded from me:
1) Support Network (including BRF, family, DH, Friends, Disney FB groups, YOU!)
2) Schedule in my runs just like the girl’s doctor appointments! (Also, coordinate with DH so we are all in the loop. Post it on the fridge in marker – can’t erase marker, right?!)
3) Through Daily Physical Activity, seek the support of my 27 Grade 8 students and challenge them to a Couch to 5km and run WITH them! After all, what 13 year old wants to be schooled by their teacher? Bring it on!
4) Begin a running club with like-minded staff. This will have to be every other week due to DH shift work schedule. But, running with friends twice a month is better than running not at all.
5) Seek professional help. LOL I am referring to signing up for a ½ Marathon Training Plan at Tri and Run. After all, I seem to work better when I have an outside demand put on me. This will ensure that I will be Pretty as a Princess in Disney!
6) As Nike said it – JUST DO IT!
I would sincerely welcome any advice on balancing family, work and running. How do you fit it all in?
Look forward to future reading: Don’t Drop the Balls! (Once Report Card Time Hits)