One of the tips I would give my coached athletes:
Have your family come after the event.
I use this advice in different ways.
With young kids, I would train before any family event. I’m a whole lot more tolerant (of anything) after 45-90 minutes of cardio.
Eventually, I decided to train each morning before my kids wake-up.
I set my life up so my family sees the best part of me.
With the kids older, and with varied appetites for adventure, we placed a camping trip before a family vacation.
It was two nights out in the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness. This included a monster hiking day, for my son and me.
Tire out the high-maintenance family members then…
…my wife and daughter rolled into town. The following day, we did a moderate hike.
A trip within a trip. Worked well.
The week away from home – my longest trip since the end of 2019 – reminded me:
Life can simplify when the kids grow up. With little ones, I remember the insane amount of gear we used to carry when we left the house => pack and plays, strollers, separate food, clothes, helpers… it was a major operation, and exhausting.
Ten years on, my son and I were able to do a week away with backpacks, a duffel bag, coolers and a carry-on. This seemed impossible five years ago.
This feeds into a reminder that life will change in ways I can’t anticipate.
Looking from the outside, My life has changed radically.
Internally, I’m following a similar path => teaching and exploring nature.
I got here by understanding my deeper motivations.
Two key components of my family strategy:
1/. A willingness to compromise and no races. Instead, a focus on being able to move outside with family. Personal events have changed to quick trips with a little adventure.
2/. Patiently, and relentlessly, up-skilling my family. I did a lot of “slow hiking with preschoolers” to get to the point where my 10 year old son could enjoy a 28-mile circuit bagging high peaks. Same deal with our 8 year old, she’s good for ~7 mile routes in the High Rockies.
I resist the urge to “up it” with my kids. They are a profoundly good influence on my aging body and personality.
Again and again, life has shown that, over 5 to 10 year time horizons, we can have a HUGE impact on our life experience.
Keep it simple, one positive step per day.
But I need to beware.
A hazard of enjoying myself, in any environment, is the temptation to make a capital commitment, with ongoing costs of ownership.
I must remember => owning an asset doesn’t improve my enjoyment, especially as I’m a person who dislikes admin.