My life is now lived in snippets. I need to train differently.
Back in the day, I ran marathons. Not just the 26.2 mile races on foot. My LIFE was a marathon. I worked twelve hour days, enjoyed full-day shopping excursions, spent entire afternoons reading a book. I went for three-hour runs on the weekends, attended graduate school at night, and cleaned the house top to bottom at least once a week. There was no need to hurry. I set a pace I could sustain and kept at it, day in and day out.
At some point along this course called life, I evolved from a marathoner into a sprinter. With my own company to run and three kids, my days now are more likely to look like this:
SPRINT through a workout before the kids wake up. Answer a few emails and tidy up.
SPRINT through shower, hair and makeup. Make beds/dress children/supervise teeth brushing.
PAUSE to enjoy breakfast.
SPRINT to get kids on the bus/off to camp/settled in with Granny. Pack car with computer/files/iPhone/Target returns.
SPRINT to get in an hour or two of work before the first client appointment.
PAUSE to cherish unhurried time with a client. SPRINT to eat lunch/shop for a new toilet paper holder (or ridiculous necessity of the day).
SPRINT to write blog post/make sales calls/confirm client appointments/research new software/watch a webinar/troubleshoot a client issue/make pediatrician appointments.
PAUSE to meet with another client or someone on the Nourish team.
SPRINT to drive home/talk to girlfriend/plan a birthday party/make a grocery list in my head.SPRINT to make dinner/go through mail/tidy up kitchen/change clothes.
PAUSE to give hugs, play, collect kisses and marvel over craft projects.
SPRINT to check email/pay bills/get to soccer practice or other event.
SPRINT to finish up work/prep for next day/plan lunches/give baths/put on PJs.
PAUSE to catch up with my husband John. Read a little. Fall asleep. Wake up. Begin it all again.
Gone are the days of long uninterrupted stretches! My life is lived in snippets, and I find that I need to train differently for these intervals than I did for my marathons. It’s harder to coast because I can’t build much momentum in these short bursts. Long periods of focus aren’t required, but getting down to business quickly is.
I’ve been a sprinter for a number of years now and I’m finally getting used to it. I find that setting the right expectations helps immensely. Speed matters now, not distance. Being realistic about how many projects I can complete in a day helps me feel like a success rather than a failure.
What’s the rhythm of YOUR life? Are you a marathon runner or a sprinter? More importantly, are you training and setting expectations for the right type of daily race?
Cherylanne Skolnicki is Founder and CEO of Nourish, a company that inspires, educates and enables busy, health-conscious people to eat and live well. Prior to Nourish, she spent 15 years working for P&G in sales and marketing leadership roles. She is a sought-after speaker and expert on healthy living. For more information about Nourish, click here.