This subject has come up several times over the past few months. Quite a few people seem to be talking about it, but what does it mean exactly? In order to explore this concept, I invite you to put on your flexible thinking caps and follow me.
What is it? Is it real? How do I get it?
1. Balance is fluid.
Firstly, it’s important to distinguish that, when it comes to life, balance is never really fully “achieved” at one point, but rather it happens on a continuum, over time. It’s just simply not black and white. This concept can be difficult for those with rigid thinking to conceptualize. Binary reality has its place, but it doesn’t fit in when describing balance.
2. Balance is relative.
It means different things to different people; life trajectories, cultures and subcultures, adults, teens and children and so on. What defines balance for you today will most certainly not be the same for you when you are older (or when you were younger). The paths we choose set the tone for the balance in our lives. Balance is personal and contingent upon a person’s choices.
3. Balance can mean tradeoffs.
Following up the last point, to put it simply, balance can, in fact, mean imbalance. An example of this might be when someone decides to adopt a puppy. I don’t know anyone who has adopted a puppy and their whole world didn’t become centered around that puppy for a certain amount of time. Yes, it became imbalanced. But guess what? Over the bigger picture, the puppy also created balance. In short, trading short-term imbalance for bigger picture balance.
4. It’s not bullshit.
People who say this crack me up. As if they didn’t use their two perfectly balanced legs to walk into the room. As if their perfect balance of body chemistry, electrolytes, blood, neurotransmitters weren’t helping them, to in fact, SAY the words “Balance is bullshit.” Come on, we need to open our eyes and view reality. Balance is literally everywhere.
5. Balance will happen, whether you strive for it or not.
This is about the closest I can come to defining balance; that it will happen regardless of our intentions to create it or not. How many of us can look back to our young adult years to endless nights of staying up late, cramming for exams, trading sleep for whatever… only to come down with an illness or maybe even deep fatigue at some point? An example more related to bike coaching would be over-training. The excitement of a big event, coupled with the pressures of work, school or family life, can catch up with us. Sometimes it means illness, other times it means simply not performing as you’d hoped… not exactly how we’d envisioned things would work out.
This is where collaborating with a coach really shines. Through structured coaching and routine check-ins, we can explore the concept of balance as it relates to YOUR life; it’s one of the primary concerns a good coach has for you. Together, let’s discover what balance means to you!
Talitha Vogt is a certified endurance and behavior change coach with an elite racing background. She has 22 years of experience as a mountain biker, including 13 total years of racing and other endurance events including Xterra triathlons, innumerable cyclocross races, a little dabbling in road racing, and even some trail running. She provides custom-tailored, accommodating coaching locally in the front range of Colorado and online internationally.