As I said in my very first post ever, my dad has a way with words and I've got some quality quotes from him that have stuck around for ever. As evidenced here and here.
One of my other favorites is "Focus and balance, balance and focus." For my 21st birthday he had a pin made that he designed. It's a butterfly and in the designs on its wings are an F and a B on one side and a B and an F on the other. (It's likely not much of a coincidence that on a birthday often celebrated with copious amounts of booze he reaffirmed this message.) These messages have been engrained in my brain. Along with the emphasis on focus and balance he also advised my brother and I to never let anything consume you. (I think it was in a drugs and alcohol talk we had when we were kids that it first came up, but I apply it everywhere in life.)
The past couple weeks I've had a hard time getting my ass to the gym. And this afternoon I reminded myself of this message for a couple reasons.
I need to regain my focus. For a while there, since this post, where I announced the ultimatum I placed on myself, I was doing great at going to the gym. I made it to the gym 4 times a week for 7 straight weeks. That is some good focus right there! I made it a priority and fit it in (rather comfortably if I do say so). So last week between shit hitting the fan at work and a long weekend / vacation (that's what I was calling it) thrown in there, it was like I dove head first off the wagon. I worked out once...and it was Yoga. (Not that there's anything wrong with yoga but it's not one of those "my heart is beating out of my chest and it's possible I could die" workouts.) This week I really wanted to be better, I had a plan in place. And then, as it usually does, life happened and I got off plan.
This is where I find it so important to follow up the focus with balance. I am okay with life happening. I know no matter how hard I plan, life will ALWAYS happen. And that's a good thing, I want life to happen. What good is working out and feeling great if you're never around people to share it with? So I accepted last week and moved on. And I'm rearranging things this week and finding a way to get in a couple workouts this weekend.
I don't have any desire to be someone who spends all their spare time at the gym. I don't ever want to have to turn down spending time with people I love dearly to make-up a workout. I understand some people have that type of discipline but it's not something I am interested in. I try very hard to carefully plan my workouts and get them in any chance I can. But if I get a call from my brother and he needs someone to watch my nephew, the plan changes. If my parents call and want to spend time together, plan changed. If a friend is in need of some wine and company, I'm there. And, in the case of this week, when the shelter calls and is having a Halloween party for 30+ kids and needs an extra set of hands? Goodbye Spin, helllllooo pumpkins! Working out is very important to me, but it's not going to consume my life or spare time or priorities.
I've put the ultimatum in place because I love plans and enjoy measurable results. If I see 4 penguin stickers on my calendar for the week, I know I've met my goal. But there is always going to be exceptions. As long as I can at some point get back on the horse, all will work out. I'm compensating for next week. I have workouts scheduled for lunch AND after work. So I know I can make at least one of them. I'm headed back to MPLS on Friday so I'm hoping to get all 4 in during the week so I can not worry about it on "vacation." By next week I will have regained my focus and found my balance.
Semi-related: I could also probably consider not calling every long weekend to Minnesota a "vacation" but where's the fun in that?
What helps you focus? How do you get your workouts in during a busy week? When do you allow for the exception?