I think it’s safe to say that most triathletes are self centered. Not all, but most. You almost have to be to be competitive in this sport. The sport demands hours and hours of your time—time that could have been spent with your spouse/significant other, your kids, your friends or maybe even a hobby that doesn’t suck all your time away. For this post I want to specifically focus on doing this sport with kids because it’s completely different than having just a spouse/significant other or a dog to look after.
I have a 3 year old and a 5 year old. Right now time with daddy is more important than ever. It’s their developmental years. Experts say a child’s personality is fully developed by the time they hit 1st grade (No pressure parents)! These years are the years that my wife and I develop that eternal bond with our kids. We teach, train and develop their behavior, morals and establish rules that they will forever take with them. Our influence plays the biggest role in their future lives. Parents have a lot on their plates. So why choose the one sport/hobby (except maybe golf) that can potentially occupy most of the time you should be spending with your kids and family?
I’ve used the sport as a growth tool for my family and me. All of the discipline, overcoming adversity, patience and tolerance I get from triathlon transfers over to my career and the upbringing of my family. The sport teaches me a lot about myself. It promotes a healthy lifestyle for my kids. They see me workout constantly and they want to be like daddy and mommy so they always want to swim bike and run too! We have eaten a lot healthier since I started racing and the time I do spend with them is always quality time. Instead of going out to bars or hanging out with friends at night, I am home playing with my kids and going to bed early so I can get up for that early morning workout before work. In a way, triathlon makes me a better person. It’s a dangerous sport to flirt with though. There are many broken families caused by obsessed triathletes, so balance is key, and so far I believe I have done a good job—even if it has sacrificed training time.
Those who read this blog or follow me via social media probably think I’m doing a lousy job as a parent. All of my posts are triathlon or beer related (ha ha). The truth is, I do this on purpose. Besides some pictures, I don’t really want to expose my wife/kids’ lives to the world—they never asked for that! Sure, I’ll post something about them from time to time, but I’m going to try and keep this blog all triathlon (and beer) related. At home, it couldn’t be any different. They are my entire world. Triathlon is just a little garnish in my life. Of course I have big goals and HUGE commitments this year in trying to qualify to go to the Big Island, but I have other real life commitments that keep triathlon as just a hobby of mine. I have a career, a mortgage, a wife of 10 years and two beautiful kids to look after. Balancing all of this along with 15-20 hours/week of training really is a tough balancing act. I posted twice on this subject at my old blog (time management) that you can read HERE and HERE about how I do it.
And this is the reason why I decided to do this blog. This is a completely different journey then those Kona qualifiers who only have themselves to look after. It’s increcibly hard to balance work/family/triathlon. Day after day after day. If you don’t have kids, you have no idea. If you have kids and think it’s not hard you’re probably not training enough or neglecting your family. I know it’s possible to do it because there are others just like me who are in the same boat and have qualified. They inspire me big time. To juggle a family and still be one of the fastest age groupers in the country is amazing to me and more than anything else, that’s what I’m striving for.
Since LAVA started publishing my blog posts on their site, I’ll be documenting every single workout I do leading up to Ironman Couer d’Alene every single week. With the workouts I’ll be trying to get you inside of my head of all the highs and lows that I go through. Too many blogs are filled with fluff about how great their life is and it looks like to the readers that everything just comes so easy. It’s not easy and I’m hoping to translate that to my readers. I’ll also give insight to how I balance the family/work/triathlon balance in hopes that maybe you can benefit or give me tips of your own!
Back in March when I qualified for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship at Ironman 70.3 Oceanside, I blogged about how I was going to focus and go “all in” for six months leading up to Vegas. To have tunnel vision focus and discipline that everything I do surrounds me getting better at triathlon. It’s a very hard thing to do! I screwed up a lot, lost focus, regained it and ultimately learned a lot about what it takes to get (semi) fast in long course triathlon while still being a great husband and dad. I know I have a long way to go at this point to qualify for Kona. I thought I would have been a lot faster last year but things just didn’t work out like I had planned and I didn’t come anywhere close to my goals (besides racing in Vegas). However, it was a great learning experience and my coach has taught me a lot about what it takes to get to Kona. I basically have six months until IM CDA. The focus is back, the determination and motivation are at an all-time high and I’m excited to share with you my Kona Journey.
I would love to hear comments from all the parents who are Kona Qualifiers and who have a great family/work/triathlon balance. Give me your tips, because we’re all in this together.