Everyone talks about balance. Career-driven parents struggle to find balance between work and home-life. Moms struggle to find balance between Mommy-time and Me-time and if they’re lucky, a little Girlfriend-time. A business owner struggles with how many hours to work “in” the business vs. “on” their business. An athlete struggles with the word balance in many ways as well. It’s a little more complicated than balancing with one foot on a dyna-disc or doing a single-leg squat on an upside-down Bosu ball. Balance does not refer to the amount of time they spend on the Barre or the amount of time a gymnast spends on the beam. Balance for an athlete comes in the terms of varying workouts to get the greatest possible desired outcome. The constant over-planning of number of reps, rest intervals, pre- and post-workout nutrition, and rest days can be cumbersome.
People brush it off so easily when you had a bad day, not enough sleep, or feel stretched too thin between meetings with the casual comeback “You just need to find a balance.” Have you ever wanted to yell back at them, maybe point a finger, get in their face, and say “What the heck is balance?!? Where am I supposed to look for it? Like it just grows on trees?”
Balance. Let’s break it down. The hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly habits begin to define us and therefore define our own “balance”. Your routine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner is a caloric balance for the day (or maybe it’s not!). Your sleep verses awake time each week is a balance. The number of workouts or fitness classes you schedule into your calendar becomes your balance. The amount of time you read blogs, attend church or civil community groups, watch TV, and educate yourself all becomes your own balance. The unique thing about balance is that it means something entirely different to each person. And there lies the struggle.
So what happens when your balance is way off wack? You feel out-of-control, tired, overwhelmed. You may feel slouchy and/or grouchy. Something is sure to slip whether it’s your diet, amount of sleep, or exercise. For most people, going out of their usual routine is scary. Heading to a Kettlebells class when you’re usually a spinner is scary. Getting up at 5:30 instead of 6:30 am feels nearly impossible (for obvious reasons!). But if we are constantly in a perfect state of balance, are we ever really pushing ourselves to achieve more? Are we reaching our greatest capacity? Physically? Financially? Relationally? When you can muster enough small, baby steps together, combine it with encouragement from your biggest fans, and a split-second of insane courage – YOU CAN ACHIEVE MORE! You can do more. You can BE more!
What if you INTENTIONALLY threw your balance way off wack? It gets chaotic. Really quickly. It feels very uncomfortable and out-of-sorts. We may become irritable, may become lost or short-tempered, or just uneven keel. But What IF?? What IF, we embraced our own chaos and threw BALANCE out the window. After all, ask anyone who uses the word to define it and I’ll bet they struggle. That is my challenge to you today. Do 1 thing different. One thing that makes you uncomfortable, scared, gives you sweaty palms or the heebie-jeebies. Better yet – grab a friend and do two things. Choose a new outdoor fitness activity. Try a new, healthy, organic dinner. Challenge yourself to do something at a higher intensity level than you have done before. I believe in you!