Juggling life is a huge challenge, with ambitions of doing some serious endurance events but still finding balance between family (3 very sporty, active school going children, and an active wife), work and other commitments. Finding the time to enter (the easiest) to actually doing the event are not much of a problem. Finding the time to train however, is always the big challenge.
Some how it is possible, even if it means a certain amount of sacrifice and prioritising the things that remain. A supportive wife is always a major blessing, and thank goodness I have one. She just thinks I’m crazy.
The main thing is to be flexible and adaptable. If getting out on the bike is not possible, get a run in. If a run is not possible, get on the bike trainer.
Sometimes it means getting on the road at 3am in the morning to be back home for parental duties by 7am, and yes on those days it is early to bed. There are always easy excuses but there is also always a way.
It reminds me of the Skyrunners Manifesto, which I first came across in the book “Run or Die”, by Kilian Jornet. Inspirational read.
THE SKYRUNNER’S MANIFESTO
Kiss or kill. Besa o mata. Kiss glory or die in the attempt. Losing is death; winning is life. The fight is what decides the victory, the winner. How often have rage and pain made you cry? How often has exhaustion made you lose your memory, voice, common sense? And how often in this state have you exclaimed, with a broad smile on your face, “The final stage! Two more hours! Go, onward, upward! That pain only exists inside your head. Control it, destroy it, eliminate it, and keep on. Make your rivals suffer. Kill them” I am selfish right? Sport is selfish, because you must be selfish to know how to fight on while you suffer, to love solitude and hell. Stopping, coughing, feeling cold, not feeling your legs, feeling sick, vomiting, getting headaches, cuts, bleeding…can you think of anything better?
The secret isn’t in your legs, but in your strength of mind. You need to go for a run when it is raining, windy, and snowing, when lightning sets trees on fire as you pass them, when snowflakes or hailstones strike your legs and body in the storm and make you weep, and in order to keep running, you have to wipe away the tears to see the stones, walls, or sky. The strength of mind to say no to hours of partying, to good grades, to a pretty girl, to the bedsheets against your face. To put your soul into it, going out into the rain until your legs bleed from cuts when you slip on the mud and fall to the ground, and then to get back on your feet and continue uphill until your legs cry out, “Enough!” and leave you marooned in a storm on the remotest peaks, until you die.
Leggings soaked by snow, driven on by the wind that sticks to your face and freezes your sweat. Feeling the pressure from your legs, the weight of your body bearing down on the metatarsals in your toes, pressure that can shatter rocks, destroy planets, and move continents. Legs suspended in the air, gliding like an eagle, or running faster than a cheetah. Running downhill, slipping on the snow and mud before driving yourself on anew, and suddenly you are free to fly, to shout out in the heart of the mountain, with only the most intrepid rodents and birds hidden in their nests beneath the rocks as your confessors. Only they know your secrets, your fears. Because losing is death. And you should not die before you have given your all, have wept from the pain and the wounds. And you cannot surrender. You must fight on to the death. Because glory is the greatest, and you can either aspire to glory or fall by the wayside. You cannot simply not fight, not suffer, not die…Now is the time to suffer, the time to fight, the time to win. Kiss or kill.