No I don’t mean cadence as in cycling rpms I mean cadence in life. As a friend, father/mother, son/daughter, brother/sister, co-worker…..list goes on… there is a cadence to be found in the energy you expend.
After spending a thorough session with a holistic healer and physical therapist I’ve discovered that I’m onto something in my own personal life’s cadence.
If you are anything like me your day is planned before you even wake up. For me it starts with a cup of coffee and ends with a kiss goodnight…sounds perfect right. Well in essence it is, but what Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and whatever other mode of distraction (including this ironically) don’t show is all the stress jammed between the cup of coffee and kiss goodnight. As a social media addict you generally only get the highlight reel of the people and media you follow.
What many don’t know is that after that cup of coffee, if I’m lucky enough to enjoy a whole cup in solitude, I get a 3yr old up, fed, teeth brushed, and then 3days a week off to daycare with his entourage of toys and accessories. I then spend from 9–2pm answering emails analyzing countless data files from athletes and trying to squeeze another cup of coffee or two in. I then exercise 2–5pm plus or minus an hour to mold myself into a competitive cyclist only to get home shower, change, pickup son up at daycare, make dinner, and welcome my wife in the door while simultaneously trying to take some stress off her back and talk her down from her stressful day. Take note this is a day where I have daycare…
Now many look at this (including myslef) and say wow that sounds perfect. Coffee, email, bike ride, dinner…. and it is. My life (for me) is nothing short of perfect when everything is running smoothly and things are in balance. It’s when I try to throw another log on the fire and before I know it I’m trying to contain the fire. Add in tax time (right now), trying to buy a house (right now), aging parents health (right now), and being there as a father, which for me is number one on my priority list.
Each of us only has limited bandwidth and within that there are a finite number of channels that can occupy that bandwidth. Something that has really helped me as of late is first and foremost it’s ok to say “no” to someone or a situation. You can’t do everything. I used to jam my schedule full of races and over commit myself at the expense of my bandwidth and in turn it affected my home life, sleep, work, friendships, everything. So lesson one is say “no” if that’s what your heart is telling you. If you are trying to justify it somehow…that’s your heart saying “no”.
Next is prioritize your energy buckets. From highest priority (most energy) to lowest (least energy). If you can’t figure this out look at your calendar and ask yourself, “what is scheduled the most on there?” Does that align with your goals and ideals? If so then you have the hardest task done and you can go to the next which is de-clutter. If like most work obligations and appts. are the only thing on the calendar then get a new calendar and start over. Scheduling with your priority buckets in mind. Be honest and schedule accordingly. If you don’t like your honest then what are you going to do to change it.
Lastly is clarity. Clarity is amazing when it occurs. For me I’m here at this step… I’ve done the last two and I’m stuck on this one. For me it happened unexpectedly when a client of mine took me to lunch and asked me the following.
“Why do you do all the training and racing what’s the end goal or reason, what are you chasing?”
That was a few days ago and I’m still meditating on that question. The honest answer is I don’t know whether I’m chasing or being chased… We all are running from or to something inside us even if it’s just for a season of the year or our lives. However I find myself trying to find what I’m chasing. I think for the last decade I’ve been chasing my limits seeking that experience athletically that leaves me at the finish line crawling and blown but I honestly haven’t felt that yet. I’ve been very close, but haven’t felt that complete euphoric limit of my physical capacity and maybe I just haven’t been in the state of mind to push myself there yet but it’s not for lack of trying. Now that I’m approaching the turning point where the road turns down hill and certain performance limiters like VO2max and aerobic development will slowly plateau and decline I wonder am I running from or to something bigger.
I love to compete and never really was competitive growing up but through various influences in my life I’ve explored numerous endurance sports from running to cycling and some extreme ones in between. In the end maybe I’m running from the health issues that riddle many peoples families including my own parents. Or maybe I’m trying to outrun my youth and the harshness of a broken home and alcoholic father. Maybe I’m the new norm. Whatever the answer I’m enjoying the chase and the adventure that comes with it. Seeking solitude at just the right cadence on the ever changing horizon, and when I arrive…. I hope I’ve poured just enough energy into the buckets with nothing left to give.