Monday, November 12, 2012

Have Some Fun in Life...

I've had a personal goal the last year or so to achieve more balance among training, work and a social life - be more of a "complete person." Most of us endurance athletes are the type who try to do it all, but often we fall short in one or two areas. Training and work are a given because they both just have to get done, but social life can be tricky.

Fun times with my family at a wedding!
For me, there was a period when I got really obsessed with triathlon and being a total triathlon nerd to the point where I was neglecting my social life to some degree because I was just "too tired" and felt like I was "too busy" as it was to give out any extra energy elsewhere, like with my friends. I'm sure you've had that feeling where it's hard to imagine even going out to dinner or drinks with friends after a smashing day of training, especially when the next day is another killer day of training. So, yea, there was a time where I turned down my share of invites, but after doing that too consistently I could tell it was bothering me, at the root of my being. That's not the person I am! I have some great friends and great people in my life, and there's no reason to ignore them. You know what happens if you do? After a while they will simply stop calling and/or inviting you places, and you only have yourself to blame when that happens.

I would never say that you should slack on training/racing in order to be a social butterfly, but at the same time no amount of training is worth becoming a hermit year round. It's just no fun. I think even most pros would agree to that. Yea, there are definitely periods where you do have to tighten up, turn down invites and focus on your training/race goals, but there's no reason for it to be that way 365 days a year. Just go to Kona, and you'll see that first hand after the race!

Personally I've really put all this balance stuff into practice ever since last fall-ish (like when I chose a friend's wedding over Kona). And ya know what? It's a lot easier than I expected to "do it all!" I don't feel that I've screwed up my important training or race performances because I went to Vegas for a bachelorette party, went out to dinners for birthdays, visited a brewery with friends, hosted parties at my apartment, attended happy hours, etc... In fact, I feel like all that has enhanced my love for training and racing! It makes you realize how special it is to be involved in sport - especially when friends want to know all about what you do. More so, you get a sense of balance and satisfaction when you have the love/friendship of others - it's something no amount of training can offer - and, therefore, I argue it will allow you to do better at sport!

Spending time with friends making memories is just as important and good
for the soul as training!
I had this conversation with one of my rockstar athletes this morning. A college girl who just turned 20 and had a fun birthday celebration with friends. We talked about how important it is to do fun stuff with friends (in moderation), especially this time of year when we're all sort of in offseason mode. I know, when this particular athlete gets closer to specific 70.3 World Championship training next year (she qualified in her first attempt at a 70.3), then, yes, I won't be so willing to say "go out and party," nor do I think she'll want to! But I'd never deny her, or anyone I know or coach, some good times in life. That's silly.

And take me for example: I've had quite a few fun-filled weekends recently, maybe too many haha... just ask Lucho ;) This past weekend I hosted a birthday party at my place on Friday, and another on Saturday, which was followed by dinner and drinks out on the town. The Saturday crew consisted of old high school friends - some people whom I honestly neglected at some point in the past several years. But I know they're TRUE friends because they don't care, they understand and they're still my friends to this day. They told me this weekend that they're "happy to have Tawnee back."

I mentioned that I'll be going to IMAZ already, but I'll end by saying that, yes, the main focus involves a little work and a lot of support for my longtime athlete as he executes his first Ironman.... but you better believe I'm also going out there for a good time! I love me some party time with triathletes!

Don't miss out on making memories....
...because sometimes there's just one chance to be there.


  1. :-) I remember in Kona you said you're planning on coming to Kona every year unless a friend is getting married or something and I though "duh" but I guess not everyone sees it that way. that's why we get along so well!

  2. awesome post Tawnee. I pretty much have the same mindset and I think if a lot other people did they would have a whole lot more fun with training, racing, and life...

  3. We only have one life - you have to make the most of it and one thing doesn't define you - great post - more triathletes should read this :)

  4. This is something I had to learn growing up riding horses. There was no balance in my life and if I had balance maybe I wouldn't have gotten burnt out on going after my equestrian goals. So I've taken that lesson, stored it in my back pocket for when I need to talk myself off a ledge with triathlon and/or running. :) Now I feel like I'm trying to balance too much with work, school, training, social life, my dog and Tomas. And yes, I might be busy right now, but I fully intend on living it up this weekend!!

  5. I couldn't agree more! Priorities are very important in life. Mine have completely changed since I became a dad 3+ years ago. I love triathlon, but spending time with my family is worth not setting a PR every time out!