Monday, February 27, 2017

Making the isn't always easy

Oh man, do I owe some people some apologies. Like, a lot of people! 

I have always tried to be understanding when people have said they are too busy to train, but there has always been a small part of me that didn't understand and therefore just thought "Whatever, you gotta make time"....Well, let me say now. I Stand Corrected. Let me tell you why.

I have always been an "on the go" type of woman. I like to be active and involved in things, and therefore I have always considered myself to be a busy person.  Until recently I didn't realize how busy I could be. See, in the last few months my life has become a very delicately balanced juggling act. I spend my days as a full time Emotional Support Teacher, and this years case load has been epically challenging, with some of the roughest kids I have had as a group and with a series of tough situations one after another. It has seemed like the emotional weight of this year has been the worst of my career.

I also have the joy of being on the board for a non-profit, Pumped to Run ( which works with the homeless shelters in Pittsburgh to help the homeless residents get walking and running, to help them build confidence and perseverance. I have been on the board for a year now, and in the last few months I had the honor of being voted onto the Executive Committee. So that gives me an extra set of responsibilities on top of the ones I already had as a committee chair. I love every aspect of it, but the time commitment is real.

Then, because the drain of my job has taken it's toll, I decided I needed a change. I want to stay in mental health, and specifically I want to work with kids from tough home environments that are often discarded as the "criminals" or "thugs". So, I decided I wanted to go back to school to get my doctorate in clinical psych so I could do research to find a way to help those kiddo's. That meant, taking the GRE! Of course, I haven't done this stuff in 15-17 years, so that means I have to study. And I have to study hard.

So while doing all of this, I am also training for the Boston Marathon and Pittsburgh Half. Now, I could run an easy plan, but you know me... If I am in, I am in 100%. That means I am running the Pfitzinger advanced marathon plan that has high mileage and intense workouts. That also means, since I want to eat all the food,  I have to spend time prepping mass amounts of food to make sure my body is getting the nutrients it needs.

Now here is where I owe apologies. Holy crap, finding the time to do all of these things with 100% effort has really become a HUGE juggle and it is hard!  To be 100% honest, occasionally a ball has dropped and things have also had to take the back burner. For example: I am an avid believer in cross-training, well that definitely took a back seat and it wasn't until the last few weeks that I have been able to find a way to work it back in. Often that means a daily 10 minute at home workout with my bosu and kettle bells. or with basic materials I can find in my house. I also use my pull-up bar at work during my prep periods. It isn't a lot but, it is something. Once a week I have started setting aside 1-1.5 hrs at the gym for a lift and swim. I am trying to up to it to 2 times....but it may not happen.

My social life has also taken a big back seat. I feel bad for all of the invites I have turned down and things I have missed from just the sheer exhaustion of making it all fit, and doing everything I am doing to the best of my ability. Often my runs and my workouts are my social time.  However, I have been trying to work in some fun outside of that on occasion too.

So how do I make it all work... it takes some creativity. I study GRE flashcards while I wait for my running partners or while I am sitting in traffic. I try to go from one activity straight to another so that I can just power through it all so I don't hit the chair/couch and then get stuck there. I draft e-mails in my head while I am walking W, so that I can send them as soon as I get home. I manage to cook dinner, shower, and make lesson plans simultaneously. I foam roll at work in the mornings, while meeting with my team to discuss the plan for the day (they are just used to it....hahaha). Multi-tasking is the name of the game!

I have always prided myself on excellent time management skills, a skill-set that fortunately aids me immensely in all of this. I am making it all work, and as always will keep pressing forward to do everything I need to do! But I want to stop and acknowledge all the hard workers out there who also make it all work! PROPS to you! 

So the moral of this story, I get it a little more now.  So sorry to all the people I unknowingly judged, it is hard to make it all work. I can't imagine doing this all and having kids too. So to all my Mama and Papas out there, you are amazing!

I also want to give encouragement. I know sometimes it is hard and overwhelming, push through... it can be done! 

And hopefully here in the next 5-6 weeks I will have a little more time on my hands to do the things I want to do, like have a little bit more fun!