I need to start by saying that I wrote this yesterday, but life made it impossible to post until now!
I started a whole other blog this morning, but now it is almost 2 pm where I live and I think that there might be a better blog unfolding. I think this blog might be more for me than anyone else, but I am sure that there are a few gems for all here.
Last night my daughter came down with a virus. Out of nowhere she was sneezing, her nose was running, and she was coughing. This was alternated with bouts of whimpers and tears. I work from home, and while this provides me a ton of flexibility and freedom, I also am a very rigid person, some might say robotic, and set myself a schedule each week that I adhere to, from workout times to copious lists of tasks to complete. I derive a huge amount of pleasure accomplishing and ticking off these tasks with a big check mark. I actually still handwrite said lists, as it is so much fun to write that check mark!
When my daughter started to get sick and I knew she would be home from school, I went to work on how I would deal with my lists and my workouts. If I woke up before 5 am then I would knock it all out with ease. And providing she was mostly couch bound, I could work from the computer without issue.
Alas - I did not wake up and get on my bike at 5 due to a terrible nights sleep dealing with the kiddo.
I did get up and start my blog and get some work done, but that was interrupted by a kid who was in need of snuggles. Snuggles are amazing, but snuggles were NOT ON MY LIST! (Clearly, I need to add them, even a robot needs some snuggles.)
A few hours later and I had basically made breakfast i.e thrown a bunch of stuff in a vitamix and scarfed it down, and started a whole bunch of tasks and completed NOT ONE. My list was mocking me. And I was feeling in a funk.
RELAX ROBOT! That was my newly adopted motto.
The problem is that I can tell myself to relax, but that is hard to actually make happen. Have you ever met a robot that was just about going with the flow?
At some point in time I also checked social media and it was like every human on earth was exercising and accomplishing. I on the other hand, had done nothing …
Noon came and I was finally in a place where I knew I had to jump on my bike or I was going to meltdown like a toddler. So we dragged out all of the American Girl dolls and I said a silent mantra about letting go of organization and being a normal less robotic human. My house does not have to be ready to show at all times - right? On the bike I jumped and 15 minutes in I heard a little voice, “Mom, I’m hungry”. Okay - be calm, pause the watch, head up and make a quick PB and J - no big deal. It’s like a pit stop to refuel - right. So up we go, only to turn around to see blood squirting everywhere and a tooth dangling from my daughter's mouth which needed one last yank to be freed from its current residence. Whelp, the PB and J was out and so a new plan of soup was forged. I grabbed the broth to heat up and a pot, and when I went to the stove the burner would not light. Long story short, the gas company came over yesterday to change the meter and forgot to turn the gas back on - this however stole all the enthusiasm from the workout and I had to accept the fact that the bike was not happening. Or should I say was not happening at that moment.
It’s 2:20 pm and here I am. I still have my bike clothes on and my bottles ready, but the bike needs to be put off for a few hours so I can work and focus on my daughter. The window for me to get it in at that point has closed. And the question that I have is will that window re-open later today? Should I re-open the window?
Here are my thoughts as a coach:
When you are in danger of missing a workout you need to assess the reason why. While there are more than listed here - this was my run down:
Risk of injury
Social of family obligations
Feeling super stressed from life
Don’t feel like it
When I ran down this list in my mind - 1-3 were not my issue. If they were, obviously I needed to not workout. 4-7 were there, but I would be able to work around them if I made sure not to fall into the trap of number 8. And so that left 9. But 9 wasn’t really the issue. I did want to workout, but I really was struggling with the fact that my workout plans were not as I wanted.
Which brings me to 10. I was being inflexible.
The robot mind was set on a specific time and the little monkey aka my kid and life were doing their all to test my ability to adapt.
I sat my robot self down on the couch with a kiddo curled up in my arms and read to her until she fell asleep and then as much as I wanted to doze off bedside her, I popped up and hopped on my bike. Before I knew it, I was done on the bike and Brynja was awake, but deep into playing and I was able to get both of my planned sessions in for the day.
Flexibility and being adaptive are essential as a mom and a long course athlete. I know this. And I’m pretty good about this on race day.
But man do I struggle with this on every day of my life. And at times to my own detriment.
Today was a poignant reminder that I do this for fun. I need to be reminded of that at times. I’m lucky to be able to move my body and workout. I am lucky to have a tiny, sweet daughter who still wants to snuggle. Both things that can get overlooked or taken for granted. When I get hyper focused on the checking of boxes and let that rule my world view than I risk stealing the joy from the movement. And worse yet, in some cases I run the risk of missing a workout and all the growth it offers to me as a mom, coach, business owner and athlete. Oh and seriously - snuggles are never worth missing.