Balance, Don’t Forget It!

Balance is one of those things that I think a lot of people go through life without.  It applies to just about everything and can be hard to achieve.  In fact, we often forget to look for the balance in every situation.

Here are some examples:

1) Horseback Riding – The rider must balance their weight on the saddle.  Lean too far right or left and you risk falling off.  Lean too far forward descending a steep hill and you risk tumbling forward, horse and all. Constantly maintaining balance in the saddle is the key to happy horses and happy riders.

2) Triathlons – During a triathlon, the triathlete is balancing speed with energy exertion, meaning that you want to finish in the fastest time possible but still have energy left to make it across the finish line.  Fail at fueling your body correctly or pushing yourself too hard and your performance will show it.  Balance the speed and energy to be a successful triathlete.

3) Swimming – The key to moving through the water is perfect balance, which creates minimal drag.  Michael Phelps (sorry, you can’t talk about swimming and not mention him) is somewhat of a scrawny guy, but his success comes from finding the most streamlined position and movements in the water.  Phelps does not need power when he is not losing speed to drag; he just needs enough to maintain.   Balance makes you a happy, efficient swimmer.

4) Nutrition – Eating lots of one thing, really doesn’t work for the human body.  In fact, the phrase concerning moderation is right on.  Eating a balance of vegetables, fruits, proteins, and fats is the key to feeling great and losing weight.

5) Personal and Professional Life – Working too much can lead to burn out.  Not working enough can lead to bankruptcy and foreclosure. Not having enough fun can lead to depression.  Not exercising enough and eating too much can lead to obesity. I think you know where I am going with this.  Life balance is about getting paid to do something you enjoy, hanging out with the people that make you laugh, going to the symphony, and even sweating a lot playing basketball or running through the neighborhood.  Finding balance in life can be difficult and many die never having it. 

As you are reading this, ask yourself, Where is the balance in this moment?  Is the lighting just right?  Is your chair comfortable? What can you do to bring balance to the moment?

When you get up tomorrow, keep balance in mind all day.  Observe your world and find the places that you may have forgotten where balance exists or needs to exist. 


The Sublime Ocean Swim

Some of you may have read my post on the benefits of Rough Water Swim Training, but I think there is also another benefit. While I discuss the progression of psychological development by swimming in rough conditions, I think swimming in a very calm ocean can have just as much benefit in terms of serenity and relaxation.

This morning's swim at Leadbetter Beach is a great example of this. With the heat wave settled over the central coast, one great way to find relief is to dive into the ocean and I did just that this morning.  The water was remarkably warm & calm.  Swimming out to the first buoy I noticed how clear the water was, almost pool-like, but there was enough of a swell to make things a little interesting.   After stopping for a moment to tread water, I realized just how lucky I was to be alone off-shore.  The clear skies, sea gulls, sun, moutain views, and cool water was so refreshing.  I just paused there for an extending time to soak it all in.  It reminded me of one of the reasons why I started training for triathlons, to experience nature and the outdoors.  The diving bombing sea gulls really made the moment even better.  But then, it was time to continue on in.  I said a small thank you to the ocean and continued on, relaxed more than ever.

While you may not want to stop in the middle of a triathlon to take in the moment, taking a moment during training to reflect on your surroundings and why you are there is as important as the workout itself.  We must not forget why we are here and take in the benefits of being in the moment.