This is going to get a bit personal. It does have bearing on the ideas of maintaining balance in food, exercise, CrossFit and other aspects of our life. Here goes…
Everyone knows I’ve been excited to take my annual leave this March in Denver, Colorado, my hometown. I was so ready to take that break. There was a list of crappy things that I was having to manage at my home in Perth, mostly professional and business related. These issues were stressing me out and starting to play havoc with my fitness routine, my eating, even my home life. I really was not balanced but I seemed to be keeping things together. Just. In retrospect my health was taking a bit of a dive.
The 3-week holiday was going to be my reward for the hard work and drama I’ve been experiencing since last October. It was a major bummer not to have Rob with me (he was off to South Africa instead) but it was the best solution to both our schedules.
TO DO LIST
This was going to be my chance to reenergise and relax. I had a list of things I was going to do:
1. Hang with my sister and family.
2. Do some hiking and driving in the mountains.
3. Visit lots of great restaurants.
4. Do CrossFit with Linda as much as possible at her box, CrossFit Verve.
COLDS ARE BORING
I didn’t plan on getting a mild cold the day after I landed in Denver. I suppose it was to be expected after the way I’d been pushing myself. Colds don’t normally get me down, so I barrelled forward, put a brave face on and started to enjoy my time in Denver. The cold and jetlag held me back a bit the first week but I was able to clock some great time with Linda and my family.
But I wasn’t really firing on all cylinders. I had to miss some workouts, take some drugs, stay in more than I wanted…wasn’t really the fun guy I normally am.
Toward the beginning of the last week of the break, we got a chance to do some hiking. It was so much fun to hang with my nephew Leo and his parents. We were very silly, as usual. I had a ball.
COLD GOES NUCLEAR
…But I came back from that trip with an even worse version of the previous cold. This one put me down so hard I ended up sleeping and staying in the remainder of my trip.
Fast forward to today. As I sat in Denver International Airport waiting to board the plane to start the long journey home, I began to feel very sorry for myself. “Why the hell did so much crap seem to drop squarely on my head from start to finish of my break, stuff I didn’t seem to have any control over and couldn’t seem to rise above?”
EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
In a moment of clarity I remembered a Souza quote I have posted at work that pretty much says “Life just is. This is it, so make the most of it.” In my self-pity, I’d forgotten that present-minded way of looking at life that asks me to take things as they come, remembering that I am sufficient to the task no matter how annoying.
And you know what- Despite being sniffly and yukky and not a lot of my usual fun, I realised I DID have a great break.
…THESE LITTLE WONDERS STILL REMAIN (Rob Thomas)
It’s captured in this one moment: This afternoon, just minutes before leaving for the airport. My sister and I watching television, no need to be anywhere or do anything. Just wanting to be in each other’s company, no expectations or demands. That’s so rare with us both being on opposite sides of the globe. And it’s possible I needed to be brought that low physically to really appreciate that rare gift. Maybe if I’d been my usually full-of-beans self, I would have missed that beautiful, quiet sigh.
It’s made me think about similar moments with Rob, magic times that occur during very mundane situations. I wouldn’t trade them for the world.
So I come home still sniffly and a bit yukky, but resolved to slow down a bit more and appreciate what I have and who wants to spend that time with me. Also, to let life just happen instead of micro-managing it to my ultimate disappointment. Yes, I might eat something non-Paleo. Yes, I might miss a workout. I might even decide to spend a day on the couch watching Buffy reruns instead of doing business accounts. I know I will get things done as they need to be done.
That’s balance. That’s health.
I love you Linda. I love you Rob. Thank you two for being there making my journey so much fun and being constant reminders to expect the unexpected.
And isn’t that exactly what the spirit of CrossFit is all about?