The Art of Balance
- 4 Jun 2019
8 Mantras to Help Juggle Training & Life
By Team INFINIT Pro Triathlete Alycia Hill
As I drove away from Washington with the lush Pacific Northwest in my rear-view mirror, feelings of excitement and apprehension flooded over me. I was leaving the only place that I had ever called home and was headed for the dry domain and steep mountains of Utah.
Big things were on the horizon. Graduate school loomed, I had just decided to begin racing triathlons as a professional athlete, and I was moving in with the love of my life.
Away from the comfort of my home, family, and friends. I had ripped the bandaid off and there was no turning back now. Although I was unsure of what lay ahead, I took solace in acknowledging that the unknown can be scary and as long as I did my best to stay present, I would find routine and balance in this new chapter.
Balance is an art, not a science. It is not black and white; what works for one person may not work for another. I do not believe that there is a singular key to creating balance, but rather that harmony arises when you do your best to embrace the present in each and every moment.
There will be times when life is tough and feels completely out of balance. Sometimes it is just the nature of things that need to get done and commitments beyond sport.
Then, there are other times where all endeavors are in harmony. I wish those moments would last forever, but unfortunately they don’t. Life is more dynamic than that. Acknowledge and accept the process. Work hard and success will come. There is no use in trying to rush points in time, because with honest hard work and dedication everything will work out the way it is meant to.
Key Mantras to Remember
- Always stay present.
- Acknowledge and accept the process.
- Work hard and success will come.
- Make lists and create a schedule.
- Pick one day a week that is for you. (for me it was Sacred Saturdays)
- Periodically plan technology breaks.
- Truly know what makes you happy.
- Constantly surround yourself with amazing people.
Acceptance of change and learning how to balance are fluid processes. I continually go back to the mantra of creating a detailed schedule and making lists—lots and lots of lists.
However, amidst the structured chaos, do not forget the importance of “you” time. For me on a micro level it was “Sacred Saturdays”. This was the day where I gave myself a free day. It usually included a long training day and downtime with my significant other, without homework or other to dos.
I would be lying if I said there were not exceptions, as life happens and things come up, but I stuck pretty true to this routine. It gave me something to look forward to at the end of the week, before getting back to the daily grind of balancing school, training, work, and any other obligations.
Now on a macro level, I utilized planned vacations and technology breaks. This meant getting out of dodge, being in nature, and putting the phone away. In society today, we spend so much time with technology, either behind a computer or phone, failing to truly being present with what is going on around us. Working to be present helps to create perspective.
Now here I am, just over three years later. I have graduated from a Doctorate Nurse Practitioner Program at the University of Utah, passed my national board exam, and am working as a Nurse Practitioner at the University of Utah Orthopaedic Center in the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine division.
"Balance is an art, not a science. It is not black and white; what works for one person may not work for another. I do not believe that there is a singular key to creating balance, but rather that harmony arises when you do your best to embrace the present in each and every moment."
I have had multiple top five finishes on the Ironman 70.3 circuit. I am getting married to the love of my life and I feel so fortunate to have taken so many rad adventures and shared so many laughs with him. Without him, my journey toward balance during a time of change would have been very different.
If I had not been blessed with such amazing family, friends, and athletic sponsor support, none of this would have been possible.
So, with that said, the last two things I will leave you with are, truly know what makes you happy and constantly surround yourself with amazing people. If furthering my education and racing as an elite athlete did not make me happy deep down in my soul, I do not think these past three years would have turned out so awesome.
Balance is attainable, it just takes practice and patience.