>Like so many other triathletes, triathlon is not my job. It’s a hobby – and frankly one of many “things” that I do. I have a career – one that often times requires me to invest copious time due to lots of work &/or travel (or both). I’m a husband. A father to three kids. A friend.
Life in the TriMadness household can be chaotic. As any parent will tell you, my kids get a lot of my time. I have three kids, and they are all involved in sports of one variety or another. For example, my oldest daughter is a cheerleader. My son is a swimmer and plays lacrosse. My youngest daughter plays soccer. We have something going on literally every night of the week. Sports practice. Church. Errands. Often, some of our events and activities overlap, but when they don’t much of my free time gets vacuumed up. Take this coming weekend, for example. On Saturday we have a mid-morning soccer game, followed by an early afternoon lacrosse game. After that, I have to tackle a “honey-do” list as long as my forearm. Sunday morning will be tied up with a swim meet.
Trust me, I’m not griping about it. I truly love watching my kids play sports. I enjoy spending quality time with them – whether its playing a spirited game of Jenga, getting destroyed by one of them on the Wii, shooting hoops, catching a movie. Whatever. I really enjoy time with my wife and our friends. We eat out. Have a beer (or several) together. Celebrate life.
So why the heck am I writing about all this? It’s because all of the “stuff” in life sometimes gets in the way of triathlon. I find it really tough to fit in high quality training.
How do I work it all in, then? You see, I’m not a morning guy. I am not one of those fellows that rises at 5:00 with the birds and takes in a 2 hour workout before going to work. I just can’t get my tired bones out of bed. So I try to find balance. For example, I will often snag a run workout in while my son is at lacrosse practice. I’ll swim while he’s at swim practice (which is often very demoralizing, because all the middle school kids totally kill me in the pool). I’ll hit the bike trainer at 9pm at night. Whatever it takes.
I also am not selfish enough to not change my race schedule when I need to. Again, take this weekend. Tomorrow is the annual Gate River Run here in Jacksonville. It’s probably the largest road race in town – and happens to be the 15k national championship. If you check my race schedule, you’ll find it there. You just won’t find me running the race. I’ve dropped it in favor of a soccer game. There are at least two other races on my schedule (including one of my “A” races) that are at risk, too.
Occassionally, I feel like I’m selling myself short when it comes to triathlon. I know that so long as I keep this approach to training I’ll never be more than a slowpoke. I will never vie for a podium spot. And I’m OK with that. Nevertheless, I’m constantly in awe of how other triathletes seem to train more, race more, and have more involved lives than I.
I think I’ve got the right formula…I just wonder how everyone else gets it all in. So my question for you is how do you manage to get it all done? How do you juggle work, family, and life in general with triathlon?