Where on Earth will I find the time to train for GODZone when I have a demanding job and a young family?
Sunday 11th May 2014
GODZone appeals to a wide range of different age groups and across the employment spectrum. However, working professionals aged between 30 and 45 make up the significant bulk of our competitors. These people, like many busy people around the World, are time short and faced with multiple commitments. But, as Benjamin Franklin said, if you want to get something done, ask a busy person and these busy people are just the types to appear at GODZone. You might be under the illusion that the teams at the front of the field do nothing but train or are full time athletes. This is simply not the case and there are no full time adventure racing athletes who make a living out of this sport – they all work, in some form, to pay the bills. Many of the very best racers live robust, rich family lives and manage to combine their love of the outdoors and training with their partners in a very positive way. The secret seems to be the holy trinity of communication, compromise and commitment.
First of all you need to tell your partner/family what you want to do and why. You need to spell out what it involves and be honest about the positive and negative impacts it may have on your established lifestyle. If you can clearly communicate the commitment you need to make it can help to get your family on board and supportive. This line of communication needs to continue for the duration and you should ensure that you invite your friends, family and supporters to the event so they can truly feel part of your experience rather than a remote spectator. The team dynamic in an adventure race can be a hugely rewarding one for a team of four but for your partner, looking in from the outside, it can seem quite intimidating or exclusive. Make them feel part of it.
Compromise is vital for balance in all aspects of life and it’s no different at GODZone. If you’re going to dedicate 10hrs or more of your life each week to training then there logically needs to be some kick back in terms of investing time with the family, during the training phase, in the aftermath or ideally both. Think carefully about when you allocate your training times. It might be a challenge to get up and do that 5hr bike ride at 5am on a Sunday morning but its good mental training and leaves plenty of time in the day for all the other things.
Once you embark on the journey to GODZone you are going to have to be committed. If you are going to sacrifice your family life, ask for time off from work and spend money on the way, then the last thing you want to do is reflect at the end of it all on a job half done. You owe it to your family, your team mates and yourself to give it a proper go. You don’t want to have to explain to your partner that the reason that you pulled out on Day 2, having trained for 6 months, was that your feet fell apart because you’d neglected to get them into shape.