When people say “You just need to find a balance” – What does this really mean? Do they mean, Work/life balance? Relationships? Healthy eating and how we view food? Training and recovery?
Finding balance means something different to everyone and their given situation.
So, when Craig and I asked ourselves “What do we need to do to have overall balance in our life?”, we looked at what our goals were and where we could make changes. Some of these included how we balanced training, nutrition, home life, and work.
With big goals for 2021 in mind, we set forth making small sustainable changes.
We knew continuing to eat a healthy well-rounded diet was key to fitness performance, recovery, and mental wellbeing. Opting to do a weekly shop of fresh fruit, veggies, and meat from our local markets and minimizing what we buy from the grocery store allows us to support local small business, reduce packaging waste (I’ll probably cover more on this in another post), and keeps our budget in check.
But you may still be asking, “what’s the balance part of all this?”. It’s no little secret that I am an ice-cream monster. So, it’s not all colourful salads, steamed veggies, rice and chicken in our household – although Craig may disagree – we occasionally enjoy a sneaky treat, or four! This is our balance to ward off food boredom, maintain a healthy relationship with food, and not getting the HANGRYS!
Training & Recovery
Even though we are both active individuals, it is important to us to have a specialized plan of attack that will help us reach optimized performance, reduce the risk of injury, and allow our bodies to recover. This is where we enlisted the professionals –
Dan Ryan, Principal AEP at Bodytrack Exercise Physiology
Dan built us a progressive periodization cycling plan, which ensured we incrementally built our cycling strength over time and incorporated de-load weeks to allow for muscle recovery and reduce fatigue build up. He has also prescribed supplemental exercises, focusing on stability and strengthening muscle groups which were either weak or could become stressed with prolonged endurance cycling. Craig and I have an in-person session once a month with Dan to check for injury, fatigue, and progress as well as reevaluate our supplemental exercises and cycling program.
Hayley Deller, personal trainer and owner of HDPT Health & Lifestyle Coaching
Craig does 1-2 session per week with Hayley focusing on core strength and small muscle endurance through the use of bodyweight movements, resistance bands, and Pilates techniques.
Josh Greaney & Izzy Davis, coaches and owners of The Pro Team
Previously, I worked with Josh and Izzy in preparation for bodybuilding competitions, but have continued with their coaching for my lifting programs and nutritional guidance in preparation for our cycling goals in 2021. Whilst endurance sport generally isn’t their main focus with clients, they have taken on the challenge and worked in conjunction with Dan Ryan to ensure balanced strength programs and nutrition to complement our cycling program.
I personally find work/life balance the hardest to maintain, especially if I have big goals in either part. The current dynamic and impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic threw us (and everyone else) a bit of a curveball in 2020. Whilst on one hand, it has allowed us to embrace the working-from-home routine and enjoy the flexibility for training, the other has created challenges around maintaining the social dynamic of our lives. By making those close to us and our employers aware of our goals, we have been able to create a better work/life balance for ourselves. However, this doesn’t mean it’s all been smooth sailing. Craig still works full-time and up until recently so was I. This just meant we had to re-adjusted our lives a bit. Thus, I dropped back to more contract adhoc based work, allowing me to focus on our home-life balance. We still try to ensure we have a bit of social life with friends and family too, even if it’s just the occasional dinner or coffee catch-up.
2020 was certainly a challenge for Finding Balance, but it taught us so much about being flexible and adaptable in the changing times. I truly believe we can learn from anything and apply these lessons across many aspects of our lives. We just need to make sure we keeping checking in on our priorities and ensuring our actions keep those aligned. Most importantly remember, it’s ok to teeter every now and again.