Finding Balance

December 27th, 2016 by Kaitlyn Patterson

–By Elaine Sheikh, Team Athletic Mentors Triathlete


I’ve talked to a lot of people lately about their triathlon training.  And let’s face it, it isn’t super easy for people who have “real jobs,” families, and other commitments in their lives to get in the necessary training for three disciplines while balancing rest and recovery, as well as healthy fueling.  The word I hear thrown around constantly is “balance.”  How do we find a healthy balance of career, family, and sport?

Balance is a concept that tends to mystify me.  Sure, in day-to-day life, it is important. However, I firmly believe that greatness is achieved by being temporarily thrown out of balance.  Look at the Iron Cowboy, James Lawrence.  Last year, he completed 50 iron distance triathlons in 50 states in 50 days.  Was he living a life of balance?  Absolutely not.  However, there is no way he could have achieved something so extraordinary while living a balanced life.  Collin O’Brady, a former professional triathlete, just shattered the Explorer’s Grand Slam and also set a new world record for the seven summits.  Was his life balanced during this feat?  Absolutely not.  What am I trying to get at here?  Well, not all of us are in a position where we can take 50-100 days to go do something amazing.  However, what can we do?  Stop shaming ourselves for living a life that is not perfectly balanced.  That might training for an Ironman while working a full time job, being a dedicated parent, etc.  It might be not training enough while throwing 90 hours a week into a professional career to chase another dream.  No matter what your version of greatness is, it may be necessary to eschew balance for a period of time in order to achieve your goals.

So, my encouragement to you is to stop seeking greatness in “balance.””  Instead, try to explore your boundaries.  Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.  Learn how to live temporarily imbalanced lives to seek the greatness you dreamed of, and then rebound from that imbalance.  Greatness is earned, not deserved.

Elaine 2

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