Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I remember when a buddy of mine was teaching me how to ride a mountain bike in the hills of North Carolina, him saying, "Don't look over the edge because the bike will go where your head goes." Good advice when you are faced with the prospect of plummeting down a 50 foot cliff face. I came to realize what he was talking about was balance.

Balance is essential in all athletic endeavors. I was taught how to achieve balance through position in high school football, basketball, and baseball. Balance is essential to riding a bike, for riding a straight line and increasing efficiency. When running it is important to have good balance to avoid injury and improve endurance.

To improve my balance I implement some core work into my strength workouts twice a week. I have continued to use the Ab Ripper X video and I do my seated dumbbell maneuvers on an exercise ball. I think it has all really started to help my balance.

Outside of my fitness life, my everyday life is feeling extremely out of balance. Work has SUCKED. I still have the same job, at least in title, while I am continuing my search for new employment, but all of my responsibilities have been stripped from me. In the name of transition, I have relinquished all of my supervisory duties, and now answer to some of the same people I was supervising last week. The working relationship is fine, but it is extremely damaging to my dignity. I come to work now with absolutely now idea what I should be doing, and I am literally waiting around for the next schedule to come out so I know when I will be working next month. It is extremely humiliating, and when I requested to speak with one of my bosses about it, he refused because "he is just to busy". So busy in fact that he had to have somebody else tell me he couldn't talk. While this situation should technically "lighten" my work load, it has weighed on me with increasing significance. So much so that it is throwing me completely out of balance.

In an attempt to bring myself back into balance, I concentrate on my job search. While some inquiries have been promising, the entire process takes so long and can be extremely exhausting.

So I focus on my fitness, and I have had some great runs and rides. In fact, last Saturday I officially ran further than I had ever run in my life, 4.5 miles, and this Friday I will bike farther than I ever have before. And I feel great while I am participating, but afterwards, after the "high" wears off, I find my mind preoccupied with work and schedule.

We live in a great neighborhood, where all of our families play and socialize outside and in each others' yards. I play with my children and I converse with my wife. But all to often my mind goes back to work. It is terrible. I have all of these things to be happy about, and all of these things to distract me, but what I keep coming back to is the same shitty thing. I got screwed at work, my supervisors wouldn't know what professionalism was if it was smacking them in the face (pause for pleasure-filled fantasy), and I am the one running around pleading for a decent job with a reasonable salary and good benefits. F%#K.

So needless to say, I need to find a good life balance workout. In times like these I used to turn to food to fill these little holes. I still occasionally self-medicate with a good beer or a glass of wine, but I need a good workout that I can rely on for the long term. Any thoughts?


  1. Drugs? perhaps we could start taking drugs...and then in a few years when we've hurt everyone we know, we could go on INTERVENTION and try to get help.

    Thats all I've got. As you know, balance is not one of my strong areas either

  2. Since I only have enough free time for either a workout or leisure activities like tv, reading, music, etc, I try to combine the two. Listening to a book on tape (ipod) to pass the time, watching tv or a movie on the treadmill (especially good for those loooooong runs) and always listen to new music to see what inspires me. Balance with work seems to be something that over time I've come to manage well. I don't overexend myself (ha - Katie!) and I focus on giving 110% on a few projects rather than being mediocre at everything. Jeff Ford recommended a book to me that sounds like it might resonate with what you're looking for - "The 4-Hour Workweek" by Timothy Ferriss. Sounds like balance to me :) Love you and good luck.