Balance is not something you find—it’s something you create.
As I sit tonight typing 1,000 miles away from my family and home, I doubt I should be the one talking about finding balance in my life. I am pursuing the life that I created and it is far from perfect, but much like riding my bike it requires one thing: keep moving forward!
My daily routine consists of:
“Mom, what’s for dinner?”
“I need to be back at school in fifteen minutes.”
“What do we have going on this weekend? I was hoping to spend time with friends.”
“I have study group tonight.”
“My long training run is here and it’s almost dark, will you ride with me?”
Most of this happens in the hours after practice and work. The boys both compete in three sports, run half-marathons, are enlisted in the National Guard, and have part-time jobs. We are BUSY!
Add to that my roles as a wife, business owner, and cyclist, and life gets awkward—everything becomes a juggling act. I have been self-employed my entire life, which presents its own challenges, as I have never been able to “leave it at the office” and go home. But it also helps me because I can set my own schedule and prioritize.
Some days I think I am the WORST mother and wife on the planet—I lie awake in bed at night and go over each of the day’s errors in my mind, one by one. But there are days that I can crawl into bed with enough boxes checked that I feel like the day was a success.
Finding Time for Self-Improvement
I have been cycling with a coach for about a year and a half now. My current coaching and training schedule is about 10–15 hours a week but it ramps up as we get closer to events. Fitting that into my schedule has required a routine and determination. There are days I don’t want to go ride or run but in order to keep the Training Peaks app in the green, out the door I go. Do I always like it? No. Like everything in life there are times that I want off the bike because I need a break. Balance requires that I talk openly with my coach and say, “I am feeling burned out” or “I need time to do something else.”
I also love to read. Documentaries, self-help, and motivational books are my favorites. About two years ago I read a book called “Present Over Perfect.” It was LIFE-CHANGING! I learned how to sit down and simply focus on how to stop frantic living and stop caring about what others think of me. I sat down and tried to find balance in my life, but more specifically I tried to figure out what balance even meant to me. I also tried to embrace being actively involved in the present versus trying to be perfect. Do I need to spend time doing the dishes or being with my family? Do I need to clean up the wrapping paper on Christmas morning or spend time in the moment watching what is going on around me? These are questions I started asking myself. As I dug deeper into what balance meant in my life, there was a shift towards doing what I needed to stay involved in the moment.
I’ve also learned that one required piece of the puzzle for me is time alone. My training time is my time. That does not mean that Nick or the boys won’t join me on occasion, but the vast majority of it is spent alone. It’s my time to unwind the knots in my brain and think. It’s also my time to leave it all out on the gravel road or trail and embrace what needs to be done so that I can be happy when I get home. We need to learn to do better at putting ourselves higher on the priority list.
How We Find Balance
Balance in our household also requires that everyone’s needs are meant but no one’s needs are more important that anyone else’s. The Kovacs/Kerscher household has one event almost every weekend that someone is participating in. We do ultra bike races, cross country races, and half marathons nine months a year and it’s exhausting. We eat every evening together as a family. It does not matter whether that is at 6:00 pm or 11:00 pm when the bus gets home from a sporting event. That is our time to come together, talk, and find out what is new in everyone’s lives.
Our children are 16 and 17. Each stage of their lives has required a different amount of effort. As our children leave the house, I know that finding the balance factors will be hard once again. I know we can achieve that but it does not mean I’m looking forward to it.
Life changes but for us harmony has required the following things:
I am far from having all of the answers. But I know that with these few tips we are all putting forth the effort! I try every day to live the life that I want and then move forward to create that.
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