Bike/life balance

Congratulations! Good luck with the little “adjustment” :slight_smile:

Enjoy it while you have the chance. My 3 girls are all teenagers now and although it gets easier to find riding time as your kids get older because they don’t want to hang out with you as much anymore, on the downside they don’t want to hang out with you anymore. So that time has gone forever. So when you are out on an early 6 hour ride and you start to think “oh, my kids will be getting up now and having breakfast and hanging out… i wonder if i should go home and hang out with them…” it might occasionally be a “good thing” to do. I followed my kids into sport as i used to take them to running/Tri club then just drifted into it myself and ended up obsessed with endurance sports so we had some family crossover sporting experiences early on, but when i went full Ironman and it really cut into family time my wife eventually got angry with me…
There’s a lot of divorced dads out there with a stack of medals on their walls… be careful to keep the balance right.

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We are not divorced but my significant other and I believe that divorce should be an option for everyone without any stigma whatsoever.

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Here is a recent story of a life/training sacrifice I experience this past weekend.

My oldest daughter birthday was the last weekend.
We had a bunch of things planned for her.
Saturday was spending the day (open to close) @ Universal Studios (both parks). She is into Harry Potter.
Sunday her birthday at the community clubhouse pool with her friends and family.
Because of this day, I switch my weekend around. I was supposed to run 70 minutes Sunday and do a 2:30 ride and a 35min brick run Saturday.
I switch days and did my run Saturday and wo Sunday… or so that was the plan.

I was told we were leaving the house to the park at 6:45 am (opening at 9). I was no biggie, I wake up at 4:00 for a run and I will be back around 6 get a shower and leave the house… that was the start of bad ideas… I was ask (multiple times) why I can’t skip a day… I was like nope, not happening. Then at the park we had a mild disagreement about me getting coffee to help me deal with how tired I was after spending 8 hours in the heat walking… It was my fault for waking up early and going for a run… :man_shrugging: I lost that one… no coffee for me (very long lines to get one)

Then Sunday. We got home LATE Saturday…like 10 pm. We were in bed by 10:30 ish. I put the alarm to 4:30… but was shocked when the first number of how long before the alarm was just a 5, plus I was drained from the day. So i pushed the alarm to 5:30… I told my self I would be ok if I started at 6 and be out of the bike by 8:30 and be home my 9:10 after the run. Silly me. Alarm goes off… I am exhausted… made my mind about riding slightly harder for 90 minutes and then run slightly faster for 30 minutes. HA
Another silly me. Had a ton of stuff to deal with when I woke up (pet related). Finally was on the bike by 7. At 8:15 my wife shows in the room to remind me there are a ton of stuff to finish up before the birthday at 11 (finishing the cake, breakfast, pickup a few other stuff). So i stopped the workout. I was in an absolute foul mood for hours after. My wife knew i was pissed. I always get like that when i can’t finish the workouts.

I asked her to not start a fight, because this was on me. That me not finishing a wo its my problem and I would deal with it and will not to take it on her or the kids.

As parents/spouses we need to realize than most of us are not pros and missing a day will not make or break anything (there is absolutely nothing to break, because only you care and it really matters at the end of the day). family should always come first no matter how you feel, and you should not let your feeling get in the way.

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Yep, we had a birthday weekend here as well. We went camping at a spot that I love to mountain bike at, so of course I figured I’d “sneak one in” - well that didn’t go as planned, I was just needed at the camp site pretty much the entire time and that was OK. Rather than force the issue I gave up a weekend of riding for my kiddo, which happens frequently enough. I prioritize his well being and me being on my bike for half a day while he’s at grandmas and too much screen time doesn’t work for my guilt issues. I’ve learned I’d rather just get slower than missing out on him. That said, I need to tip the balance back towards some personal maintenance and self care, I do hope to find the time and desire to train seriously again some day…

Congratulations @velopiano !!!

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I have 3 kids… 1.5, 3, and 11. I’ve found that I really have to just adapt to their lifestyles and ride when it is convenient to my wife.

Nap time worked pretty well for me for a while. Saturday and Sunday afternoons I could get longer rides in and do the hour trainer rides after bedtime during the week.

Now my 3 year old naps less frequent so my rides are 95% after 8:30 at night. I’m not a morning workout person so I gave up trying to do them in the mornings. Actually bought some nice lights and do some of the endurance rides outside as well.

Long story short just make the most of your time when everyone else is asleep. No matter what time of the day that may be.

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Does anyone ever think about exercise as an addiction? I understand that exercise has health benefits and can be really positive for individuals and families, but I also am getting the sense that for many it can easily slip into something a little more sinister that can have negative outcomes. I really wouldn’t want that for myself or anyone else.

In terms of having a family, flexibility is key and therefore skipping workouts days/weeks/months/years on end for other things is just always going to be part of your life. I see others (and I can see myself falling into this) struggle with feelings of disappointment, frustration, and a lower mental outlook when they have to skip a workout, which then can affect everything else they do. This sounds like how addiction is classified, no?

I guess flexibility is one thing, but also being able to feel mentally positive about this flexibility is another and that seems to be key. To actually feel good about deciding to forgo a workout (or many) to attend to other parts of you life that are just as important. I think that’s the part that many people struggle with. I sense that folks will skip a workout but then in their head are still thinking about how they can make up for it, or how they can make sure it doesn’t happen again (it will), or are feeling like crap about it. Flexibility shouldn’t be seen as an exception but really just part of living a diverse life.

It is so easy to get into this obsessive cycle over training and working out and to then see everything outside of that as a distraction, that just seems really sad to me and I wonder if others can relate.

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absolutely. It’s not inherently as harmful as many other additions, but taken to the extreme can and does cause disfunction. I think many of us are addicted to everything from the chemicals associated with hard training, gear and bike acquisition, the rush of racing, and numerous other aspects of sport. It can be a very positive thing, but must be managed like any other endeavor. Doing my best over here. I’m able to keep family first, but I’d be lying if I said I currently care about cycling less than my career— which is not good for my family, since I’m the sole breadwinner at the moment. Working on it.

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It is absolutely an addiction, I am 100% exercise addicted. My mood drops, my energy drops when I dont do it. Far better addiction than many though. I tend to fall on the side of life with the balance, but then my riding happens outside of family time for the most part, so I dont often have to make the choice one way or the other. When I do I always go the family side. My kids are young, they wont be young for long in the grand scheme of things. I will try to make the most of it while I can

Even so I still managed 14,000km last year

It’s fine to let your cycling “go” a little bit. You’re making a friggin’ kid. Help your wife. Spend time with her. Spend time with your kid(s). You’re not missing out on yellow jersey on TDF. Few years down the line, you’ll have enough time for yourself and more.

Don’t be an all or nothing person. Instead of training 2 hours. Train 1 hour. Instead of 10, do 5. Hell train 30 minutes some days. Anything is better than nothing. You wanted to make kids, commit to that choice. Riding less doesn’t make you a sh!tty person. Riding 1/2, 1/3 the volume of what you’re used to shouldn’t make you unhappy. You should still be happy because you’re helping your wife and spending time with your kids. Let that unhealthy relationship with cycling go.

I personally don’t wanna make that choice so I don’t have kids. Commit to the choices you have made / you make.

It’s pretty simple really.

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I have had two female co-workers who were exercise addicted which was complimentary to some kind of eating disorder. One would spend 7 hours a week on an elliptical and eat an ultra low calorie diet (lots of rice cakes). She didn’t even look healthy. The other one had a similar MO but she ate healthy and while thin was generally healthy. Hitting the gym every day and eating salads sounds horrible to me.

I don’t think I’m addicted to cycling but at least it’s a sport I partake in as opposed to spending time on an elliptical or treadmill like a rat. I’m also into the hardware, training, exercise physiology, and I follow the sport on the pro road side. It’s a hobby I love.

My primary motivation now is feeling physically younger than my 55 years. I was fat in my 40s and putting too much of my life into my job. I don’t want to go back to that.

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Crazy. You really would have lost nothing by taking those days off. If you don’t feel you can take time off for your kids birthdays then you’re doing it wrong. Take the time off then use the break to be super motivated for the next sessions.

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