After questions like “Do you really run in the cold?” and “How much do you run while you’re training?,” the next most commonly asked question I get about marathon training is: “How do you find the time for all of that?”
I love getting this question because the answer is apparently shocking in its simplicity: “I make it a priority and just do it.” For me, this means getting up at 4:45 a.m. four or five days a week so that I get in my training runs before anything can derail my day. I’ve actually come to treasure beginning each day with this ‘me’ time.
One of my biggest pet peeves is when people say they really want to run a marathon someday, but don’t have time to train. (This is especially true when it comes from single or married, but childless, people who are either unemployed or work set-schedule jobs.) I have trained with lawyers, a neurosurgeon, a cardiologist, a reproductive specialist, engineers, and several small business owners. Almost all of them have at least one child, if not three or four. They, too, make it work. They are my heroes!
Say that you don’t want to make time for it. Admit that you don’t want to work that hard. Acknowledge that you care more about the other things that you do with your time. We all have different priorities. It’s okay. Really. I respect that. Just own it. And, whatever you do, please don’t tell me that you don’t have – or can’t “find” – the time.
It probably sounds like I’m taking this too personally, but here’s the thing . . .
This conversation seems to have become almost daily occurrence for me. Every time, I get the same wide-eyed, how-do-you-do-it look. Every time, I tell the same story: About a year and a half ago, I had an epiphany. (Yes, it hurt, smarty-pants.) I thought of myself as a very well-rounded person. I had plenty of interests, like cooking, movies and music. I had several close friends and family members. Yet, I was spending nearly all of my waking hours working — not cooking, not actually talking with my friends and family (as opposed to a sporadic exchange of emails/text messages), and certainly not relaxing at a concert or the movies. Regardless of how I viewed myself, my actions made it pretty darn clear that I was a career-driven lawyer, and nothing more. Had this been the future I wanted for myself, I would have been set!
Re-prioritizing life is not easy. I made some tough choices. I had to give up some things that I enjoyed and worked very hard to achieve. In the end, though, I am gaining something a lot closer to the life that I envisioned. And, I’d much rather be known as the bouncy ball than the workaholic. 🙂
I’m not saying that I get it all right. Far from it. I still don’t have time for all the things that I’d like to do. I doubt I ever will. (And, I don’t even have kids yet. I can only imagine!)
What I am saying is that you have to take control. You get to prioritize your own life. You must make time for your passions. No one else is going to take the time to discover that you’d really like to train for a marathon, learn to cook, learn to speak Spanish, or whatever else your heart desires, and then re-arrange your schedule to accommodate it.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never “found” time just sitting around waiting to be snatched up.
Don’t wait for time to find you. Make it. And, make it count.