“Thinking about work as a day job has made a big difference in the way I approach what I do. It also helped me not to confuse who I am with what I do.” – Bob Goff

Some might disagree but going to the gym is not going to get you fit alone. It is one piece in a much larger puzzle that includes things that many don’t even consider. It involves sleep, nutrition, and the one that many people forget or willfully ignore even: balance.

Consider this; rank these things in terms of importance to you; job, family, friends, finances, and physical/mental health. Asking my nine year old daughter Fiona, her response was family. In her own words, family makes her happy and feel safe. My thirteen year old daughter Amelia put family in the first slot. My wife Caroline said family came first always. The one that seemed suspiciously absent was mental health. 

 “We’re totally guilty of doing too much at once, all while trying to manage the noise in our heads that says we’re not doing enough.” – Vanessa Autrey

If we stop for a second and look at the words “work life balance” they don’t look like they should be put together in the first place. Webster’s definition of balance is “an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.” Work often pushes us to unbalanced spots but so does family. These two things that we will spend the vast majority of our lives embracing do the most unbalancing in fact. That’s when we need the one thing that we can control, that can just be for us, and gives us exactly what we put into it. That is why many of us have come to the gym. Crossfit, or even working out in any form really, gives us a tool that allows us to find solid ground when everything else is being tossed everywhere in the storm that we call life. 

This time of year, many of us are struggling to find grounding that allows us to take on the challenges of life with a clear, focused, mind. That is what you get when you embrace your physical fitness. Sadly, it is also the thing that we all quickly abandon when we convince ourselves that we need to give something up because life is getting “too crazy”.  

If we can acknowledge that, balancing our lives with what we need, what we want, and finally what is best for us, we can find a much healthier life in front of us. 

Personal Note: Sometimes I have to drag myself to the gym against my own desires. My social battery is at zero, and the workout looks full of things that look painful or just a millions miles outside of what I think I’m capable of. One such Sunday, I walked into the gym and was given a stark reminder of what our gym gives beyond a simple workout. 

Beside me in the workout was a man by the name of Allan Groome. If you looked at last month’s newsletter, you would have seen him as our “warrior of the month” Allan was going through the workout with a smile on his face and we quickly started talking in between sets of front squats. It was Allan’s birthday that day and I could not help but notice that all the shirts he wore, he wore several, were souvenirs from the MANY MANY races he had run. Allan had completed almost a marathon for every year of his life. His original goal was to run fifty marathons but he continued running marathons after his running partner had suffered an illness that stopped him from running. 

Allan, was the best part of the workout for me. A genuine, sincere, amazing human being that embraced all the best life had to offer. Him embracing all the workouts challenges with resolute determination inspired the hell out of me and made that the one of the best workouts for me in quite a while. Thanks Allan.  

“I’ve learned that you can’t have everything and do everything at the same time” – Oprah Winfrey

“Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing.” – Harriet Braiker

“Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” – Dolly Parton

“I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.” – Anna Quindlen

“No is a complete sentence.” – Anne Lamont