A Balancing Act
Work/life balance. What is that? Is there a clear definition? Do we have to have it? Is it something others have and I don’t?
A work/life balance in the fitness industry is what YOU want it to be. It’s what you want it to look like. It’s what you BELIEVE it looks like.
I found mine 19 years ago. I was working for a YMCA in Southern California and putting in 12 hour days, five days a week and raising a 5-year-old. After about six months of this, I realized how much of her life I was missing. I would come home and she was already fed, bathed and had story time. But, even seeing this, I thought I had to keep working those 12 hour days. I mean isn’t that what you are supposed to do? Especially if you want to move up the “ladder” and make more money, right?
While I was struggling with this, my workouts seemed to be the one thing that helped me get through it. Of course, with this schedule, I wasn’t even getting those in as much as I liked. As a result, I found myself crying my eyes out in my car every morning in the parking lot. It took everything I had to open the car door and walk up the stairs to my office. My life was what I considered to be the definition of unbalanced.
The Tipping Point
So, how did I find this balance I mentioned earlier? I woke up one day and realized I couldn’t go on this way any longer. I knew if I did, I would look back on my life with regret. I decided that in order for me to find some balance, I had to overcome the fear of confronting my supervisor to let him know how I was feeling, and find a way to remedy it. What fear, you ask? Pick one: the fear of rejection, fear of failure, or the fear of incompetence. I talked through everything quite openly with my supervisor from the long hours, to the lost time at home and the fears I had, all of it. Fortunately, my supervisor completely understood.
After that talk, the eight hour days started (of course, there were the occasional 10 hour days, too). I learned to let go of those things that I knew didn’t have to be done at that exact time, or on that specific day. I didn’t “need” to be at the office for 12 hours a day. If I didn’t get to something, it would be there for me tomorrow. My daughter, however, wasn’t going to be five forever.
I was home to cook dinner, read to her at night, and I was playing outside with her before it was dark. You know what else? I was working out regularly again and feeling fantastic. My daughter is now 24 and I can honestly say I have no regrets about my decision back then, because I didn’t let work get in the way of raising my daughter. I also haven’t stopped working out, staying fit and eating healthy. I even continue to work for the YMCA after 32 years.
Striking the Best Balance for You
So, that is my work/life balance. That is what worked for me and it still does to this day. If you’re struggling like I was, look deep inside, find what you need to attain your balance and own it! What you decide today could impact the rest of your life.
Be as effective as possible at work to create a better work/life balance. Learn how to build your fitness business with community events and convert more of your leads into loyal members.
Feeling pressed for time to plan workouts?
No problem. The Cybex Workout Center has free workouts organized around the four most popular fitness goals.
Sign Up for Free Workouts →