The teeter-totter effect…

Remember that feeling you’d get as a child sitting on a seesaw – that teeter-totter feeling where you aren’t sure if you’ll stay up, balance well with your friend on the other end, or come slamming to the ground? 

That’s the balancing act I sometimes find myself in as it relates to fitness and living a balanced, healthy (and happy) life.

You all know how much I pride myself on my ability to maintain pretty decent balance most of the time – and that it’s something I’ve been working on extra hard this year in particular. Focusing on being more present, on getting past the workout “numbers game” and enjoying my workouts, and my life outside of fitness, as much as possible. No regrets, no guilt, no what-if’s.

Well I was reminded this morning of that dangerous teeter-totter effect that comes into play now and then and that yes, I still battle it from time-to-time. Long story short – I tried to skip my rest day because this morning’s weather was begging to be run in. And I almost did skip it if my conscience didn’t get the best of me and I admitted to Scott that I  hadn’t taken a rest day in almost two weeks (my last one was on a Sunday I believe). To that, he promptly responded by resetting the alarm clock and forcing me back to bed. Now, I’ll admit that my body was indeed telling me to rest, but my brain was not hearing it. It literally took Scott’s reaction to get me to accept it (thank God for him, seriously).

I guess the moral of this little story is two-fold:

Finding – and maintaining – balance is hard.  And takes lots of diligence. 

Falling out of balance happens to the best of us. Even to those that *think*  <ahem> they’re doing a bang-up job of maintaining said balance.  

Now don’t get me wrong – I’m honestly not beating myself up here. I’m human. It happens. I know that. I guess it just totally struck  me this morning by just how much of a teeter-totter effect that this whole “balance” thing can take on. And that I can always be more diligent about maintaining good balance.

And, similar to what Fred DeVito said about fitness being a journey that never ends, well – balance is also a journey that never truly ends. 

My question to you – how do you keep good balance in your life? Do you struggle with it? Do you try to go with the flow? Do you not think about it at all?


20 thoughts on “The teeter-totter effect…

  1. Here from Jolene. 🙂

    I really like this post. It is so difficult to maintain balance. In my fitness routine, I struggle with falling to one side or the other. When I work out frequently, whether it be road biking, running or yoga, I can’t seem to get enough.

    When I fall off the wagon for a couple of days, due to life’s responsibilities, I have trouble getting back on.

    Balance is indeed difficult to achieve, but it’s beautiful (and oh so human) to try!

    • Hi! LOVE that you found me through my sis – she’s pretty awesome, isn’t she? 😉

      You’re right – it is a really tough act to get into a healthy balance – either side of the equation can be really rough if we slide too far to the right or left. Sometimes though, all it takes is a reminder like this to get you (or me) back on track and in the right mindset again.

      As for it being a beautiful thing to try to maintain – I absolutely agree.

  2. Balance is a BIGGER journey that doesn’t end, in my opinion. it is HARD to maintain it. I am glad you took the rest day and I did too. I was also trying to sneak through without taking a rest day since I will on Sunday, but alas, limping around definitely means no run today!

  3. Ahhhhaaaa!! No wonder you didn’t scold me 😉 It really can be a battle between the brain and the body sometimes. I think it’s harder when it comes down to weather and that weather allowing you the opportunity to do what you enjoy most. So you feel like you have to take full advantage at every ripe opportunity. I was that way today. Desperately wanted to run. But I knew I was on the edge of exhaustion with workouts. And while I was in that gym looking out, part of me still thought I made the wrong choice.

    I think it might have been Dorry??? Someone recently did a pretty good post about balance and maybe we all think too hard about finding balance. Maybe we just overthink things too much?

    • LOL! Yes, this post certainly played into how I responded to your post today, my friend. We’re totally on the same wavelength today, as usual!! 😉

      I think you’re right – Dorry had a great post on balance recently, and the whole “presence” thing we all struggle with as bloggers. She’s a smart cookie, that one!

  4. Finding balance can be soooo hard sometimes, but I just try my best to listen to what my body needs.
    I’m fighting against myself a little bit right now because I want to get right into training for my first marathon, but I don’t think my legs have fully recovered from my half marathon two weeks ago.

  5. I definitely try to go with the flow as much as possible. I used to plan my life out and think I knew exactly what was going to happen in the day..basically living a static life..and if something went wrong in any way, it threw me off. Slowly I’ve been learning to go with the flow and I’ve been SO much happier. Life just runs more smoothly that way.

    • I’m with you – I used to be a LOT more rigid and stuck in my own little structure and wouldn’t deter from it without lots of kicking and screaming. I still have those moments or days where I get caught up in it all but I’ve been trying to work my way down from Type A+++ to Type A…;-)

  6. I don’t want to simplify your question because I think a healthy balance is something we all struggle with to some degree. At the same time, I don’t think about it all that much. As long as I’m happy, I feel good, and the people I love feel happy and healthy, I try not to stress too much. There are always times (hello, marathon training!) when one thing takes over and I need to make a conscious effort to carve out time for other important things. Luckily, I have a supportive family and boyfriend who make it much easier for me.

    • What a great comment – you really do inspire me with how you approach life, so relaxed and a happy approach, is the best way I can describe it from my perspective. It’s so refreshing to see…I really need to take a page from your playbook I think.

  7. I think we all have those moments questioning the decisions we’ve made to implement balance. Working for lululemon, there’s ALWAYS a yoga class, CrossFit, group fitness, run group, etc, etc. going on, but I have to prioritize and make time for Billy, for myself, and for rest. We’re blessed to have husbands who remind us of the balance!

    • Yes. Truly blessed to have husbands who “get” us and appreciate our quirks and our passions and allow us to embrace them fully. They also are great at bringing us down a notch when we need it, too. 😉

  8. loved your post. especially the part about scott. our husbands are amazing, aren’t they? i think without markus i’d be a total mess, running in the wheel like a hamster without realizing what life is really about. on the other side he gives me enough time and space to do the things i like (running, reading, my blog…). balance is a lot about the balance in our relationships, may it be family members, lovers or friends. whenever i read your posts it feels a bit like reading about me – we’re both trying too hard to be a 120% perfect. let go from time to time and don’t forget to exhale 😉
    have a nice and cosy weekend, my friend.

    • such a beautiful comment from you, my friend. you are absolutely right – balance is a lot about the balance in our relationships – and it makes an amazing difference to have a husband who “gets” that and knows when it’s time to help me pull back the reins a bit, and also knows when I need to just go, go, go. I appreciate that about him, so much…same goes for my family who seem to get it, too.

      Have an awesome weekend right back at you my dear!

  9. Glad you took that rest. Sounds like you needed it. Although I can all too well relate to not wanting to rest sometimes.

    I think I find the hardest time balancing doing things for myself so I feel personally fulfilled and giving time and energy fully to my family. I always feel pulled in so many directions there. It’s always a work in progress.

    • There are so many things we learn to balance in life – from workouts, to blogging, to family time, to husband/wife time, to work (oy) and everything in between. It’s honestly exhausting…especially if you put so much pressure on yourself to be perfect, to never let anyone down, to do it all. Sometime I for sure have done to myself in the past…trying to do all/be all. Slowly learning that being perfect isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.

  10. I love the idea of a teeter-totter effect! It makes the whole thing seems far less like something we should beat ourselves up about, and more something that we just need to work on maintaining control over.

    I am familiar with your body telling you one thing but your brain not hearing it. That’s a great way of putting it. I felt that really strongly when I got admitted to hospital — how on earth had I not heard what my body had been telling me for days? With exercise you end up injured or overtrained when that happens. But with a temp of 104 I suddenly realised this wasn’t something I should be f*cking around with. It scared me. I don’t know how I’m going to manage it when I back to health again, but let me tell you, I am not rushing back to working out. Not once have I worried about loss of fitness or muscle mass. Sure, those things are going to happen. But what I’ve realised is that my body is so much more than my workouts. And that finding that balance is not just about taking enough rest days, it’s about seeing the bigger picture.

    Ok, so that was totally nebulous and unhelpful, but I promise I will be back with something more useful when I’m back to working out! Whenever that might be…

    • I just went and commented on your blog – I am so freakin’ incredibly amazed and inspired by your reaction to being sick. Pretty much the opposite (in many ways) to how I reacted to being sidelined for two weeks. I am so proud of you for turning this into such a learning experience…and can’t wait to see where this takes you. I’m sure only to great places. Feel better…xoxo

      • Aw, thanks Jess! I think I turned some kind of corner with this — maybe it was just feeling so damn ill! Whatever it was though, I definitely feel like I’ve gained a bit more respect for my body through all of this. Silver linings, etc etc 😉

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