I’m often asked how I manage to fit it all in. The truth is, it is a fine line and sometimes it does get crazy. Everyone’s situation is going to be different, but here are some of the ways I work with my wife to manage it.
1) Work as a team – if you have a spouse or significant other, you better believe that you are a team. You may be doing the training, but she/he is making accommodations to allow you to train. Respect this team and communicate often.
2) Set your priorities and remind yourself of them. My priorities in my life are very clear;
1. My family.
2. My job.
3. My training
If the top 2 are suffering, I won’t be able to manage my training or competitions.
3) Have an Equalizer – For me, my equalizer is my wife. While I receive full support, she is also my elastic band that pulls me back if I get too far out. If she suggests something, it’s typically for a reason. If you’re not married, this could be that friend who reminds you that it’s been 3 weeks since anyone saw you! Listen!
5) Look for opportunities to combine – Within a given week, I pick up and drop our kids off at multiple events. 3 kids (including two teenagers) with different interests means a lot of road time. However, the events are often for a certain length and typically set each week. This could mean lacing up my shoes, or jumping on my bike while they are doing their thing at gymnastics or horseback. In these cases, I seek quality over quantity for my workout.
6) Use more hours of the day – This is exactly what it means. I get up early or go later in the evening. In summer, it’s not uncommon for me to be up at 4:30 am on the weekend. This ensures I have most of the day with the family. I also try to plan my day around the family as the starting point. If the cross over begins to happen, I use the equalizer (see point 3) to ensure what I am doing is ok. The days are busy and often non-stop, but I would not have it any other way.
Not all of these may work for you, but perhaps it can give you a starting point. It’s no coincidence that the top 3 all revolve around my spouse. It’s no joke when you hear the term tri-widow or ultra-hermit so be mindful and sensitive to what is happening around you at all times.