Today, I essentially did four different workouts; I biked 30 miles, I did 30 minutes elliptical (my current substitute for running), I lifted weights and a swam a mile in the pool. To be honest, I wanted to bail on the bike ride this morning when I realized that I had somehow OVERLOOKED the fact that there was a 1 mile swim in my training plan for today. However, I knew that others were counting on me and I probably wouldn’t regret the workout (and of course, I did NOT regret the workout once it was done). I’m following my morning full of physical activity with laundry, studying, clinic prep work and making crockpot chili to help get us through this week.
Speaking of this week, it’s going to be a doozy! I asked the coach to make this week an “easy” week in my schedule because I knew it was going to be a very difficult week for me otherwise. Still, even an easy week contains lots of working out for a multi-sport athlete so there’s going to be a decent amount of sucking-it-up this week and doing what has to be done. I may be approaching the most difficult week of my career as a doctoral student, thus far. I have an exam on Monday, an essay due on Tuesday, and a final on Thursday. Additionally, I’m running an alcohol/drug abuse and addiction awareness event tomorrow (Monday) evening and I’m going to be spending about 25 hours in the clinic this week conducting assessments for an out-of-town client who needs all of the assessments completed this week PLUS I’ll be seeing 2 of my 3 regular clients. To top it off, my sister flies in on Thursday morning. While I’m delighted to have the opportunity to spend time with my sister, that still requires prep around the house and… well, time I don’t have until Friday evening! I’m exhausted just writing all of this!
Truthfully, I sometimes don’t know how I’m going to get it all done being a student, athlete, fiancee, dog-owner, homeowner, etc. but I always manage. I attribute my ability to maintain a decent GPA and a workout schedule AND an awesome relationship to two key behaviors: I prioritize and I work my butt off! Seriously, though, you can work your little fingers to the bone and you won’t be nearly as effective as you would be if you prioritized before you set to work. I’ve already decided where I’m going to “give” this week if the pressure is too much to do everything at the desired level. I skip a workout to do clinic work. I may not study quite as thoroughly for an exam, though I know that I won’t skip studying entirely. I definitely won’t be spending time making healthy, delicious meals; this is a take-out and frozen-dinner kind of week. I also know where I’m not willing to give. I’m going to get the sleep that I need. I’m NOT going to sacrifice quality of client care.
I used to try to do everything at 100%, 100% of the time. As you can imagine, that was not a happy period of my life. You have to learn to prioritize so that you can decide where your energies are best spent at any given time and it is very important that we all recognize that we cannot do our best at everything all of the time. It’s just as important for you to establish reasonable goals for your daily life and training schedule as it is for you to establish realistic and attainable performance goals in your race or sport of choice. If you set an unattainable goal, your self-esteem and quality of life will pay the price.
I’m off to enjoy my Papa Johns pizza (a well-earned treat, if I do say so myself) before finishing up with the school work for this evening so that I can keep my early bedtime. I hope to post more exciting adventures for you all, soon, but for now it’s studying and laundry because a girls’ gotta do what a girls’ gotta do… and I’d like to be able to do it in clean socks!