This word appears everywhere on advertising, billboards, company workshops, wellness magazines, fitness ads…… the list goes on. Apparently the answers to achieving balance are readily available from self-help books to 10 step formulas in Fitness Rx. Perplexity fills me- why is this so far from my reach?

A competitive weekend warrior describes quite accurately who I am. I work a full-time job that is quite time consuming, requiring from time to time late nights, after school meetings, weekend field trips, and my sanity. Yes, I chose this profession, but I did not foresee magnitude of the lifestyle challenges.

To be an athlete, care of the body is essential; eating right and adequate sleep are high on the list of priorities. Along with working all day, focus in the gym is paramount to training for long days on the wapta, running northover ridge in a day, and feeling like I can compete in randonee racing. I find keeping the vision the easy part. I can dream and dream of couloirs and summits and type three fun on a long descent after the summit high; the other responsibilities in life is the conflict. How do I keep my employer, family, and friends satisfied with my commitment to them? How do I convey that going out for dinner and drinks with colleagues is not my driving passion? How do I impart the significance of my hopes and dreams without displacing the needs of others?

Intermittently, I wonder if I am kidding myself. Do I stack up to others? Am I pursuing a fragmented reality? I adore playing outside in the mountains, but I also am crazy about skimo racing. This style of racing is what drives me to get up at 5am before a long day of work. Can a stressed out weekend warrior really compete with other athletes?

It’s a decision I have to make for myself. It’s a self-reflective journey I have to undertake as I fight this constant battle. I have to be ruthlessly honest with myself about the lifestyle choices I make and how they can support my dreams or maybe even my delusions.

Balance. Dreams. A battle to co-exist.


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