Thursday, August 23, 2012

Challenge of Balance

 Photo by Sherry LaVars

Looking back on this awesome article from a few weeks ago, I kind of chuckle to myself and long to be that busy. What I mean by that, is that day was leisurely and relaxed comparative to the days since. 

I knew that the SF Marathon would be the kick off to a very busy time in my life. Not only did it commence another training/racing season, it also was the start of wedding season (for me and many close friends/family), the busiest part of opening our cafe MH Bread and Butter, moving to Marin and still running my own business at the same time. It is a lot to manage and I tried to prepare myself for the big life changes.

Managing the day to day stresses has been a great learning experience. I have found myself to be able to handle a lot more than I ever thought I could and also buckled into a giant heap on the floor (before picking myself up and carrying on, of course) more times than I can count. 

 Photo by Sherry LaVars

One of the hardest things for me has been redefining myself as a runner. For the better part of the last two years, my running goals have been the primary motivator for how I schedule and navigate my life. While I am not and have never been a professional runner, running was my priority from how I ran my own business to how I structured my days. 

Now my days are much more demanding between the cafe and personal cheffing. Our cafe is becoming a reality (thanks in part to all of my awesome friends, family and supporters through our Kickstarter campaign) and the new onslaught of activities surrounding that endeavor get squeezed into every nook and cranny of my day (Nathan and I have had more productive "meetings" on runs than I can count). I am still working full time as a personal chef and have focused intently on maintaining awesome service for my clients, even as I am building another business.

I am still running and training hard. I have an insane racing schedule through the rest of the year which includes a marathon every month (Kauai, Chicago, NYC) until December, when I will be racing the North Face Endurance Challenge 50 miler. I want to do more than just participate in these races, I want to do big things. But the new paradigm of my life also means that I have been forced to redefine what I am capable of.

It is a hard thing to reprioritize.  Part of my struggle is that I am still doing the workouts and putting in miles, I am just not able to lead a running lead lifestyle anymore. Having different priorities means gone are the strategically timed meals, the luxurious naps, bi-weekly personal training sessions and weekly massage appointments. My energy is also eroded away (or should I say, otherwise utilized) so often times I am unable to get in a desired second run. My weekly mileage is less than it was, even though I cling to the idea of squeezing in a 100 mile week, somehow. 

Photo by Sherry LaVars

All of this has reminded me of what I can and can't do. I can shoulder a lot and have multiple chain saws in the air all at once. I can't drive myself into such exhaustion that I spontaneously fall asleep at my computer at 2 o'clock in the afternoon (not that that ever happened today). I can't expect too much of myself and I can't ignore my limits. I can remember to be kind and supportive of myself. I can remember that falling into pieces doesn't mean I've failed, it means I just needed to release a bit of the stress. It is a challenge to find the balance of all of these things.

I know for many people, I am just preaching to the choir about managing stress and balancing everything we have going on in life. It is a challenge, but I truly believe that I will find a way to fit everything I need to onto my plate. I know I will get through all of the challenges ahead. I know I will not navigate it perfectly. But I also know that everything we are undertaking is so important and worthwhile to us that there is nothing that will stand in our way from achieving our dreams.

8 comments:

  1. Best of luck getting it all in at once! You should be proud that you bust out so many miles and so much in the way of your already existing and new-and-upcoming business! It's inspiring to us little people who are ecstatic to get to 60 miles in a week

    Also, this sounds super creepy, but I'm a student out in SF this summer living in the Haight, and I've seen you run by my morning bus stop and also saw you + Nathan go the other way when I was running in GGP I think just last week. I was definitely a little bit star-struck - you guys are running celebrities! :)

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    1. Thanks. Ha, no that is not super creepy. You should say hi if you see us running, always fun to know other runners in the neighborhood.

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  2. Devon- I have been following along with all of your recent life changes and I am excited to see you succeed with the businesses while maintaining your superstar status as a runner. I understand how difficult it can be to balance everything. I think you will find that sometimes balance comes by losing balance, (that doesn't sound logical at all but trust me it happens). I found it interesting what you titled your post, it's the same title I have for my blog-wwwchallengeofbalance.blogspot.com

    Best of luck in the months to come, I'm sure you're up to the challenge.

    Luke

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    1. Luke, I totally know what you mean (about losing balance to gain it). It will be an interesting journey to say the least. I follow your adventures too and am always impressed by your endeavors while maintaining work and family at the same time.

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  4. Good luck with everything! Next time I am in CA I will make sure to make a trip to your new cafe!

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  5. I am rooting for you whole-heartedly. I meant when I said if anyone would pull it all off, it'd be you. Be kind to yourself, release, recharge and keep moving forward. Great times. And yes, I am going to have to visit SF at least just to visit the cafe:)

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  6. What an all star! Trying to fit in 100 miles a week and all that. I love reading blogs about people who make me feel like a slacker, it's definitely motivating. The next time I'm struggling to get in a simple, little 12 miler I'll be thinking of you!

    100milebunny.blogspot.com

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