Friday, November 2, 2012

The Balancing Act

Hi Everyone!

It has been a long time since I last wrote a blog, but it has been a busy fall! I am back at Carleton University for my second year studying law. The struggle this year has been to balance an even higher amount of training than last year with a more intensive work load at school. So, I thought I would share my thoughts on this with everyone else out there that has to balance training with school or work!

Here are my thoughts:

            I think of it this way: there are three categories in my life that I must balance: training, school (or work), and all the other little requirements of life. Most people only have to balance two categories, and find that hard enough! Unfortunately (or fortunately,) high-level athletes must add a third category that takes up A LOT of time: training. For me, the two main categories are school and training; however, it does not seem to be any easier balancing these two categories than the full three. School and training take up enough time that it seems logically I should only do one at a time. For most people (myself included) doing one at a time is not a feasible option, so the question remains, how are you supposed to balance the two so you can succeed at both?

           My answer is to prioritize . You must decide what is most important and focus mostly on that. First time management is key, you must not spend your time wholly doing one thing. If school is important one week, sure focus on it, spend more time on it then you would usually, but remember that going for a run or out training every day will still add to your productivity rather than waste time.

            On the other side, if you have a week where your training plan and lack of schoolwork meet up, take advantage of it! Enjoy this week and get that hard training in, or big hours or even just go a little farther afield to train to add to the enjoyment of it. These weeks are truly precious.

However, the realist in me recognizes that really even with prioritizing and amazing time management skills, most of the time for 8 months you and I will be scrambling to keep up with the workload of school and training combined. This is the time when you wonder is it all worth it? Is the stress of it getting to be too much? When this happens to me, all I have to do is take a break and go for a long run in beautiful conditions.  Or out on a truly wonderful map. These excursions make me realize that the stress is worth it. My life would not be complete without training, and its hard to get away from the requirements of life! School keeps the brain occupied and training keeps the enjoyment in life. Balance is key.

And always remember the enjoyment you get racing and training! For me, North Americans was one of those races, it revived in me the enjoyment I get from orienteering and of course hanging out with the people you only see a couple times a year at the big meets! Have a good fall and winter everyone :)

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