balance: the ultimate goal



One of my biggest challenges in life is to maintain that which means most to me, in a word: sanity. As an academic this goal often seems at odds with the demanding curriculum I am dealt each quarter. At times, I fail to complete even the most basic tasks (eating, sleeping) and caffeine becomes the pivotal nutrient upon which all productivity depends. I'll be the first to admit that this is an untenable lifestyle and it is during these depleting frenzies that I become most mindful of my need for balance.

This morning I awoke feeling as if I hadn't slept at all and knew that the time was ripe to reevaluate my situation. Luckily, I have friends who can help. So, I called up our La Jolla ambassador, Minh Nguyen, who is a nutritionist and trainer at The Sporting Club. He told me about a new program that he is creating called the 30-day Fit Challenge. Although still in its early stages of development, Minh is testing out the new athletic regimen on other trainers at the gym and, upon hearing of my dire state, he invited me to join in. About an hour and a half later, I found myself in Minh's office being pinched and poked as he determined my body fat composition. He then asked me a series of questions, which he will use to create a nutritional program tailored to fit my lifestyle and fitness goals.

As Minh outlined the requirements of the program, 7 am workouts 6 days a week, I could feel my pulse begin to quicken. I felt a dizzying combination of apprehension and excitement as I thanked Minh profusely and made my way back to the parking lot. Minutes later I was sitting at the Starbucks across the street, drinking a venti non-fat chai latte, and pouring over Marcel Mauss’ classic essay on gift exchange in archaic societies. Gone was the anxiety I had felt upon waking, that irking twitch at the back of my mind which hinted that there was always something more important I should be doing at that very moment. In its place was an inexplicable calmness, a confidence in my presence of mind and body in the here and now. Even the quote on my coffee cup seemed to confirm what I had just learned: "The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating…. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life." And so it is perhaps strange, and strangely appropriate, that today I found peace not in neglecting my preexisting commitments but rather in adopting yet another.

What now:
- Hydrate for first 7 am class tomorrow: Spin and Flexibility with Kerri.
- Find old heart rate monitor and insert into new lululemon Heart Beat tank.
- Upload new tunes to ipod shuffle.
- Breathe deeply and smile!

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1 Comment »


Yes! Commitment and balance are two favorites. Great blog. :) Say hello to California for me.

Comment by Elissa Joy — July 27, 2009 @ 9:08 pm


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