Triathlon Magazine Canada

Tips on Keeping It Together and Finding “Balance”


Achieving work-life balance while pursuing success in life’s big goals requires us to persist through unbalanced times, according to Richard St. John, author of 8 To Be Great – The 8 Traits that Lead to Great Success, who is an accomplish­ed marathon runner.

Managing a high-performanc­e athletic career that includes family and multiple profession­s may not feel balanced most of the time, but there are ways to keep it together.

Schedule everything. Figure out what kind of calendar or scheduler works for you and put everything on it. Lewis-Caballero’s calendar has to include athlete commitment­s, patient bookings, family obligation­s, her own training time and deskwork. Every day has time blocked out, including chores and down time. She shares that calendar with her support people so they know what to expect, when her time is blocked and where they need to step in.

Get organized. It’s easier to stick to your schedule if your home life is organized. Get rid of extra stuff and set up systems to help you stay on top of things like laundry and groceries.

Make a simple meal plan so you don’t have to waste energy on deciding each night what to make for dinner. Stock up your pantry with basics.

Multi-task. Do meal prep while doing a phone call. Throw in laundry each night to stay on top of the pile (and keep the workout gear from getting smelly). Fit in your stretching or foam rolling while watching TV. But sleep when it’s time to sleep.

Be flexible. That seems contrary to a highly scheduled calendar, but some things don’t lend themselves to being scheduled, especially when it comes to kids and patients. Flexibilit­y comes from an attitude of “how can I get this done another way?” and getting on with it. Treat your “to do” list like blocks of time that can be shuffled around when necessary.

Accept that life is different with kids – and set new goals that are realistic for your current situation. Full-distance triathlon might not work, but running big distances with a stroller can.

Involve your family in your fitness activities whenever, or however, you can. They will be healthier for it, and you will establish a precedence for your priorities.

See what you can do in 30 minutes. Sometimes we skip a workout entirely because our schedule was compromise­d. Doing something for a little while is better than doing nothing at all – for your head and for your health. Instead of spending 10 minutes deciding whether we can fit it in or being frustrated by the situation, just get going.

Simplify your beauty routine by making the most of your shower time. Can you do a body shower and not wash your hair every day? Can you wear your cycling kit into the shower and wash it while you are wet, then let it hang to dry? Can you shave your legs with just water and soap in the shower instead of lathering on shave cream? Does your hair have to be completely blown dry?

When it feels like too much, stop for a minute, take a deep breath and check in on your priorities. If it’s time to quit pedalling for a while and enjoy the view – give yourself permission to do just that.—SANDIE

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