Finding Balance in Chaos

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To say life has been hectic over the past 6 weeks would be gross understatement.  In fact, as I’m writing this, I’m  interrupted every 5-10 seconds by our two month old foster son, who continues to abruptly wake from a peaceful sleep because the pacifier fell out of his mouth.   Meanwhile, our 4 dogs are barking at a squirrel…or a bird…or a leaf…or nothing, our new pig persistently searches for an escape, the goats scream for more food and the chickens are in danger from being eaten from a wild bear roaming the mountain.  This is all while I’m working from home.  In a few short hours, I will have to pick my son up from the bus stop and take him to karate, while my wife desperately tries to finish the farm chores as quickly as possible before I explode from lack of time to breathe.

There are moments in our lives where we feel as though we cannot handle one more responsibility.  Our hobbies (for lack of a better word) are our escape and provide solace in times of overwhelm.  They can keep us afloat when we risk submerging into the underworld of reality and responsibility.  For me, I find escape in triathlon.  For my wife, she finds it in the farm.  They are our passion and keep us engaged in life when the chaos closes in.

But how do families balance two time consuming passions?  It isn’t easy.  At times, it is down right impossible. But what makes it possible is understanding and sacrifice.  It’s about setting realistic goals that are achievable along with your spouses.   Obviously, it would not be a realistic goal for me to train for an Ironman given our circumstances at the time.  Also, just know that you will be required to give a little more from time to time.  Right now I’m on baby duty most of the time so my wife can accomplish the highly time consuming tasks she needs to do for the farm. And when I need extra time to train or race…she will be there to support me in the same way.

For our family, finding balance is about gratitude and understanding.  It’s not always easy and certainly not always pretty, but it is always better.

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Team effort or fail!

Triathlon is generally an individual sport…however…for me and a lot of full time parents and employees, it is very much a team effort to make everything work. Without the support of my amazing wife, I would be worthless. Whether she is watching the kids, lugging kids and snacks while navigating confusing race courses, suffering through another conversation about training, or plugging her nose from the stench of sweat, she is a saint and pushes me to reach the goals I have set for myself.

I saw this picture today and it immediately reminded me of the daily comments about how much dirty clothes I produce on a weekly basis.

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Yes my wife is amazing and supportive…that doesn’t mean she loves all the unfortunate side effects of being married to a triathlete.

I also can’t wait to see the look on her face when attempt to pack our little hybrid car for thanksgiving vacation with three kids, luggage, stroller, and all my gear. I may be riding on the roof of the car for the 9 hour drive…

Regardless, marriage is a team effort,
and for me, triathlon is a team effort. I would never make it to the finish line without my wife. She is my biggest fan and I could never express my gratitude enough.