I’ve mentioned before that I’m preparing to trek Rim to Rim to Rim of the Grand Canyon. This trip is 46 miles round trip in two days. No helicopters. No Pink Jeeps. No burrows. On this trek you are the burrow… The plan is to hike down the South Rim – cross the canyon floor aka “Bowels of Hell” – climb-up the North Rim. Wake up and do the reverse the next day. I’m not an extreme endurance athlete; I’m just lucky to know a few. They keep the “Tender Paws” like me from dying out there, but the deal is to come to the event prepared, strong and ready to
The logistics of life are tricky for everyone. Carving out time for training is a highly-coordinated effort with my husband. I’m blessed that he is very supportive of my endeavors. So without sharing the excel spreadsheet (yes, there is one) here is a quick rundown of the schedule. The alarm goes off Monday – Friday at 4 am. No, I’m not kidding. An ideal training week includes CrossFit at 5am Mon-Wed. I also juggle a mid-day run that I fit in around calls and meetings during my actual job. Thursdays are happy rest days – which should be renamed “Run-all-the-errands-you-didn’t-run-Mon-Wed Day”. Friday morning is back at CrossFit for the 5am class and hopefully another run. Saturday – I’m fiercely protective of my Saturdays. That day is for playing with my babies and NO SCHEDULE!!! On Sundays we have a standing babysitting appointment, and my husband and I hike. I don’t share all this to brag – I realize it is a lot. I also recognize that my sanity was probably questioned right after I described the GC trek in the opening statement. The point today is WHY I have set this schedule. Ironically the answer is simply because I am lazy. That’s right – in fact, I’m super lazy. I just can’t allow myself to be. I’ve learned the only way to make this lazy girl workout is to bake it into a larger, even epic, effort.
To get the training I need to completely prepare for a successful trek – I need three things – strength, time on feet and cardio. A sauna would be helpful – but I learned my local Y really frowns on camping out in there all day long… I’ll get back to my point. With two little ones at home, the only way to possibly meet my training needs (and not sacrifice family time) is to workout around their schedules. Below are a few questions/commentary I get. “Do you like waking up at 4am?” No. But I can slip out of the house while everyone is sleeping and be back home by 6am in time to wake them up to get ready for school. “Doesn’t running on your lunch make you feel gross for the rest of the day?” Yes. Definitely not bringing my "A Game" in the looks department after a lunch run. But running after work isn’t an option for my family life. I’ve received comments that I spend too much time away from my family, and I disagree. This schedule was coordinated in order to maximize family time yet still accomplish very large goals. Everyone feels the pressure of lack of time. My only real option was to steal it early in the morning.
The plan isn’t perfect. There are downfalls of the plan. One missed workout has a chaotic ripple effect on not just my schedule – but my family’s schedule as well. What I’ve not listed out in the above is how we also factor in my husband’s workouts, t-ball, bus stop, day-to-day life etc. But here’s the beauty of this plan - when that alarms goes off at 4am – “I don’t want to” isn’t an option. For me – it works. I truly doubt I would workout as consistently as I do if my workouts weren’t tied to an overall training plan for a set goal or specific event.
So much of my fitness journey has been realizing things about myself along the way. For me – I have to attach myself to something epic – and just go all in to prepare for it. If the sizzling canyon floor wasn’t waiting for me – that snooze button would be too easy. So if you are struggling with daily motivation, seek out an event that requires planning and preparation. It doesn’t have to be the Canyon. Just aim for something that is bigger than just you. For me the workouts aren’t the end goal – but only a component of a larger goal. That makes them more vital to my overall success and that makes them harder to miss, even on the “I don’t want to” days.