Training and Dealing with the Stresses of Life

I love to coach athletes at all levels. The variety of fitness levels and motivations are so interesting. I have single athletes that have an undiluted focus on their career and sport. I also have single parents raising their families and still love to love to train. And the most amazing, I have athletes that have a career, 4 kids, a marriage, and still manage to train. How you ask? Well, that latter describes me. I have 4 kids under the age of 12, multiple entity occupations, and a marriage to keep alive! Not easy and I assure you that my sports time doesn’t always fit in. I have to make it fit out of necessity. Sport is my sanity in an otherwise crazy time of life. While I am training, I can feel stress leaving my body with each exhalation. It is so incredibly therapeutic to train that I cannot imagine life without it. Do you relate to that?  If so here are three tips to make it all fit in.

Number one most important tip; Establish a time plan with all those around you. Communicate how important it is to you to train and what it does for you. My kids tell me that I am the mellow parent that is even keeled. The truth exercise to me is like a giant Quaalude! I still care and all, but am usually just pleasantly fatigued enough to weather family situations in a mellow way. So tell the family that you prefer to stay calm and that the time invested allows a healthy way to release steam. Then come to a time frame agreement that functions for your family situation. Once you have mutual buy in, carve that time into your calendar for all to see. Then stick to the program consistently. Don’t write down a 30 minute bike ride and then go train for 2 hours! I found it is better to write down 2 hours and come home in 1 hour and 50 minutes. Build trust into your time frames by being on time on the calendar.

Number two. When it is time to train, leave your life’s “stressors” at your house (They will be there for you when you get back!) and FOCUS on your work out. Take the time to enjoy the great outdoors and the rhythmic nature of training. Chill out and surrender to the beauty of your workout. It is your time to train so be there. Don’t muddle it up with all your current challenges. Practice this, you will be refreshed when you return instead of stressed.

Last point. Don’t train so hard that when you get back to your LIFE, you are a useless pile of lactic acid for the rest of the day. Your family will miss you and the trust factor for your training window will diminish. This is a tough assignment because when you are either gaining fitness or finishing a very tough training session, you can and perhaps should be shellacked! So what do you do then? DO NOT WHINE about how tired you are. In fact, it is best to refrain from mentioning it at all. Just keep moving on with your day’s responsibilities at a normal speed. Be tough about this. As with point number two, be where you are! Training is over, and the rest of your life is in session. Attend to it! The entertaining part of this is when your wife asks you to rub her feet because they are hurting her! Of course your legs are still pounding even after you took two ibuprofen, but don’t talk about it! You know what you want to say and what I recommend you say are very different! So just say YES, and rub her feet.

By: Coach Craig Hopps

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