In search of ever elusive BALANCE

IMG_3430IMG_3436IMG_3442We are in our second week of our August training camp in Germany and blogging season has once again begun. Starting this camp is always an adjustment because it makes me think about my two separate and distinct lives- home and biathlon. In this transition phase, I finally have time to sit back and reflect on all of the ideas that go through my mind during long summer workouts. One of my ongoing thoughts revolves around being able to do it all yet managing to have balance in my life.

Finding balance is challenging for me on many different levels because I like being busy and I hate to say no to anything, especially when I am home. Everyone has different needs and finding what fits me so that I can train hard, keep learning, be creative, invest in my community, spend time with people I care about and still find a way to take quiet time for myself is difficult. This is exasperated because I feel like I lead two very separate and distinct lives.

My on the road biathlon life includes my team and our staff. We are such a close-knit group that it is more like a family- with all the aspects of family life included. We have inside jokes, we can spend hours at a table talking about bull*^#&$^, we irritate and tease each other, we depend on each other, we lift each other up, and we share a bond that not many other people will be part of. It includes traveling every week to new places, living out of a suitcase, spending 24/7 with the same people, making friends with people from all over the world, and facing the ups and downs of competition life.  I know that I will miss this immensely when I retire someday. It is very special to feel connected to a group of people who understand what I am doing and whom are all working with me to get to somewhere.

IMG_3437That being said, every year we get back on the plane at the end of the season and I have a totally different life to jump back into. It is very important to me to be able to feel like I lead a somewhat normal life on top of the biathlon training that is my job.  I come home from my nomadic life and feel a strong urge to re-establish a stable place for myself. But I often drive myself crazy trying to do everything all at once especially because my friends and family are all active people and have many of the same outdoor interests as me

IMG_3429This isn’t always conducive to the perfect athlete model of working hard and then resting because I often skip the rest and keep on going from one thing to the next.  While this is something I need for my soul and I thrive on this type of energy, I tend to push it until I reach a tipping point of exhaustion. It is at this point that I absolutely have to step back and take time for myself to regenerate. I haven’t quite figured out how to walk this line perfectly.

Being here in Germany is a much- needed break from my normal summer routine. It is the best way to really focus and get into the nitty-gritty of biathlon like how exactly I want to put my poles on after I shoot. This can make up seconds in a race. Even though I am tired from training, it feels really relaxing to be here and I actually have the ability to chill out and take naps.  But while this is something I really need right now, I will also have to find a way to make all the down-time that we end up having during the racing season meaningful so that I don’t miss all the projects that I leave sitting at home once I get on that plane. So I keep coming back to this idea that balance is one of the most important things for me to stay happy and fulfilled.  Balance, Balance, Balance.

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