Photo: Santana Blanchette
Santana Blanchette Balancing Act
I cannot stand it when people lament about not being able to do things because they are too busy. It’s not because I don’t believe they are busy, or that I am unsympathetic; it’s just that we are all allotted the same 24 hours to fill each day. Instead of saying, “I’m too busy for that,” I try my best to say “that isn’t a priority for me.” It seems this month, I have to repeat my priorities over and over in my head like a mantra for the time-constrained. I must remind myself I’m not too busy to run, it’s just not my priority.
I have been running every Tuesday during run club and, aside from that, I run maybe once more a week. My coach has programmed four runs a week, but with class five days a week, work on four of them and a few side contracts, I’m more of a sitter than a runner as of late. Here’s the thing with goals: just because you have committed yourself to achieving them doesn’t mean that the rest of life obliges by halting to a screeching stop. My instructors care no more about my work than my work cares about my assignments, or my assignments care about my runs.
This blog serves as an honest account of a normal person, with a normal life, training for a common goal, which is why I feel the need to be transparent. I’m having a hard time making time to run and I feel guilty. Guilty that I’m misleading anyone who takes the time to read these posts, guilty that I’m not motivated enough to wake up at 5 a.m. to run before school, guilty that I’m not doing what a friend of mine was nice enough to program for me. Writing this right now, I know that somewhere a single parent is making time between getting their kids to school and going to work to go for a run; a CEO is between meetings and has just laced up her shoes to get a quick lunch jog in and a teacher has just stepped onto the path to go after class but before he coaches an after-school sport.
Ultimately, I need to be more realistic in my training. Running four times a week right now is not what’s best for the rest of my life, so I’m going to cut out one run a week and commit to scheduling in the rest. I’m going to keep my running bag with everything I need in my car so I can get a quick jog in between school and work and mostly I’m going to try to be more understanding of life coming up.
After my race I’m looking forward to graduating. I will be grateful I prioritized assignments. The same goes for the rest of my life. What I am doing are all things that I want to do and will benefit me in the future, which is why I’m trying to gently remind myself to be kinder. I want to encourage anyone reading this and feeling similarly to do the same. Be more sympathetic to yourself, be more understanding, talk to yourself as though you are a friend and not an Internet troll. It is unrealistic to expect to put your whole life on hold for a goal. I know I am not alone in this feeling of not doing enough, not striving enough. Making excuses for not doing things is not who I am, so I will continue to push. But to myself or anyone who needs to hear this right now, stick with it. You are still ahead for not giving up.
A freelance writer, journalism student and donut connoisseur living in Calgary, Alta.