Life and the Busy Athlete

There are twenty four hours in a day.  Subtract eight for sleep, then eleven for work.  That leaves five.  Take away another hour and a half for eating, commuting, showering, and taking care of life’s little annoyances, and you’re left with three hours a day, on average, to live life.

That isn’t a hell of a lot of time.  And yet I try to fit into it time with my wife, exercise, Hebrew study, socializing with friends, and everything else that makes life worth living.  It can be stressful and discouraging.  I set my sights high, but I rarely have the time I need to fulfill my passions.  Welcome to adulthood, I guess.

If I am going to do the things I love, and meet my goals, I’m going to need to live a little smarter, get a little more done.  So enough whining, let’s solve some problems.  Here are some ideas on being a more efficient amateur athlete:

Prioritize – What is more important – watching the Tour de France or getting to the gym?  Do you really need to sleep in on the weekends or could you use that time better?  What you need to do is set achievable goals, and reach them.  Some things are going to have to be sacrificed, make sure they are the things that do not matter.

Multi-task – You’ve got to get to work, but how you get there is up to you.  Right now I am slowly building up my running miles.  As I creep back up towards an 8 mile run, I’ll set my sights on run commuting again.  Now that is an efficient way to exercise.  It doesn’t take much longer than the train, and it definitely saves time overall.  Until I can run that distance again, much as I dread it, I am going to have to start biking to work.

Diet –  If you’re interested in the same areas of fitness I am (running, climbing, stupid human tricks) then you know that for most of us, the easiest way to increase performance is to lose weight.   If your training time is limited, then you have to be even more diligent about your eating.  Basically, don’t eat like Michael Phelps if you aren’t training like Michael Phelps.  The idea is simple, for me the execution is hard.

If you want extraordinary things out of life, you need to put in extra ordinary effort.  No one said it would be easy.  I gotta get out there, I gotta get it done, I gotta get a run in tonight.

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