A little integration for a Monday morning :).
Since when is separating your 9-5 from your passion truly an option?
Daily I remind myself that my career accelerated because of the conversations I had with a Sales Manager in my company about my successes away from work. I was a truck driver for the company at the time and with a clear drive to succeed and good communication skills I was given an opportunity in sales. All because of what I had done outside of work.
And how about when I go to work daily and grind that day to a pulp with the only end goal being that I need to do better, and perform at my job so I can provide for my family?
I will tell you what, there is no such thing as work/life balance, at least not for me. The only work life balance that is an option is work/life integration. If I think back to when I was most happy at my job and happy at home it was when I found a way to integrate the two worlds into one seamless and smooth existence. Maybe I am off my rocker, or maybe it is the late night coffee talking but it is time for me to step into that reality and find my balance again.
In 2010 I took the position with my current company as a sales representative and put my dreams of becoming a professional mountain bike racer on hold so that I could provide stabilization for my family. I was training upwards of 25 hours a week at some points and my happiness was off the charts. That year I weighed in at 168 lbs at the start of the race season and finished the WORS series at 2nd over all, also logging my first PRO MTB win all while holding a full time job. From there the job and home pressures started to pile up as an old Friend (Coach Joe) told me they would. Fast forward almost 8 years and here I sit. 208 lbs and not one real race under my belt this year. I have lost myself! I have lost my work/life integration. Now there is also this little thing called father time and he will stop for NO ONE. I now have three children and an amazing wife who not only puts up with me but also my shenanigans (yes I said it). From work to play she supports me all the way, so where did I go wrong. Well I can pinpoint the time where my mind made a monumental shift toward believing things that I never thought could be true, or would not let myself believe anyway. I used to think I was invincible, that is until I lost a loved one. That is what helped the mortality settle in, we are only human and father time stops for no one.
But really the wheels didn't fully come off till 2017. I fell off the tracks then put myself back on, then off, then back on. This spring I had big plans, which did not amount to anything except talk. Any guesses as to why? WORK/LIFE INTEGRATION. I have consistently buried myself in my work with any spare moment I could scrape up, and that is not completely a bad thing either. There have been some amazing things that have come out of it and I am surely a much better person because of it. But as I sit here writing this blog I realize that I am a fraction of the person that I was 7 years ago, even though I weigh almost 40 lbs more...
But really, are you all looking for an ending to this story? Well so am I. Unfortunately there is no ending to this story, only a beginning and my plan is to start right now. We are all facing our demons in life and it doesn't matter what they look like. The thing that is important to remember is to DO something about them and remember that topics like work/life integration(balance) are a work in progress. So for me, I am going to first begin to integrate my life as a whole. Cycling in particular is one of the most important things in my life (aside from family) and I was starting to forget that. My professional site on LinkedIn will be updated tonight to share with the world that I am a cyclist! I am going to integrate cycling back into my daily routine, whether it is reading an article, or riding my bike (which I would prefer to ride my bike :). Keep tabs on me and I will keep you all posted. I had to see my heading of this blog to remember that it is my pursuit of happiness and it is up to me to write what that will look like.
Stay tuned and keep the rubber side down!
AKA BIG D
Watch this movie, you will not be disappointed (rising from ashes). It is about a cycling team from Rwanda, but also so much more. Even if you are not into cycling, you will enjoy the film and get something out of it.
Till next time.