As indicated in a previous post(here) I was somewhat forced to take Tuesday evening off from training. Once I got home from all the errands I had to run my wife and I ate dinner then I began to work through my training logs and flit around on the internet. At this point, both of us engaged in our own pursuits sitting in the living room together, my wife looks over at me and asks me “Do you enjoy you what you do?” I was lost for a moment before I realized she was asking about all the hours I spend training and the load I put myself under to prepare for races.
I delayed in answering her as I was a bit lost as this question came from left field. At that point she further elaborated: “I mean do you enjoy the stuff you do? You used to have ‘down time’ but now you seem always busy training or planning or even just getting stuff prepared for the next days workouts.” That’s when I truly understood her question.
Last year, before I went all mad and athletic, I spent allot of time basically doing nothing. My spare time was filled playing video games, watching television and movies and sleeping. I spent allot of my time engaged in DVR show schedule maintenance, to ensure that “my shows” were recorded. At that time I was watching and involved in over 40 hours of television watching and recording a week. Evenings were spent with the wife, so every morning I got up two hours before work just so I could watch television. Pretty pathetic, but this is what mattered to me and my life at the time: the wife, television and video games.
On the weekends I often had yard work or house repair duties that I should have done. Often I convinced the wife to let me have the weekend to play games and just be lazy. I spent allot of time sitting or lying on the couch glued to the television, either engaged in video games or just watching shows. The yard grew wild and occasionally I had to go out and regain semblance of control. The weekends also were often times for deep prolonged sleep and lazy days of milling about the house with the wife. Often we would stay up late and sleep in till close to afternoon the next day and the day after.
That was my life….
Then my life changed and instantly I was a different person. Unlike previous efforts these stuck and have gotten me to where I am today. These changes were driven by goals established to get me to my first triathlon and beyond. Overtime I began to be able to train longer and harder and I grew stronger and more durable. Somewhere in this process my time became consumed by ‘The Training Schedule’ (my wife’s most hated word or phrase in my training regiment).
My mornings for a while involved my first workout instead of hours of lying on the couch watching television. My evening became consumed with hours of biking and running or swimming. My weekends changed also as I started getting up early to go to group swims or to go cycling or to complete my long run before the hot part of the day. I tried to give some time to my wife, but I was less interested in spending hours indoors. Other things changed as well. In some ways I became more responsible about lawn maintenance as well as completing other chores.
So when my wife asked this question she was just curious if I enjoyed always training and preparing and spending so little time just ‘chilling’, not being active. Oddly this question was difficult to answer as I never thought about how consumed I had become by my training, I had been so involved in getting to the next goal and trying to continue to be better at running, cycling and swimming that I never even thought about how little I slept in these days or how rarely I just sit in the living room for a day and ‘veg’. I have sorta considered long runs and long cycling days as my down time. These activities really relax me and while they are hard and tiring, I love doing them.
The flip side of course is that as I near the end of my first season of triathlon training I often realize how long its been since I have not been preparing for an event or race. This has been a long season and I am ready for ‘Down Time’ as my wife puts it. More so I am ready to go cycling, running or swimming without thinking about a training goal I set. I want to just ride or run with no purpose but to enjoy the moment.
For now though I can not afford to reflect too long on the joys of down time, I have a race in just a little over four weeks that has been the sole focus of the second half of my season, an international distance triathlon, my first. I know for now I just have to follow the plan I set and enjoy the thrill of executing this plan and seeing all the details work. I can enjoy some down time in October after I finish my race. Then I can sit on the beach, reflect on the season and sleep in. At that point I can have some ‘down time’. Of course I am sure that won’t last too long and I will shortly start planning my next season. Til next time.
- The Home Stretch! (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)
- “ONLY” A Sprint Distance Triathlon – Soapbox Time (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)
- 2012-2013 Long Term Goals Revisited (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)
- One race done…. (makemeatriathlete.wordpress.com)
- Triathlons: It’s Race Day, Be Prepared (infolific.com)
- Your Habits And How One Simple Change Can Lead To Long Term Success (mywifequitherjob.com)