I live the life of a struggling athlete. It is a constant struggle between working enough to earn money to stay alive and finding the time outside of work to train enough to stay in shape. Both equally as important as the other because if I am not alive then obviously I am not in top physical condition, and if I am not in top physical condition then why be alive?
OK, maybe it’s not as black and white as that but seriously, when something like running and triathlons is your passion in life yet you work so much you can hardly find time in your day to enjoy it, then why work so hard? Granted, I only work 40 hours per week right now but it isn’t just the amount of hours I put in that makes it difficult, it is how the hours are distributed throughout my week.
Most of my shifts start at 3pm and end at 11:30pm. That means I am leaving my house a little after 2pm and arriving home right around midnight 5 days a week. In addition, I am not ready for bed directly when I get home from work…that’s when I feel like going out and running! Yea, at midnight in the pitch dark with no streetlights in my neighborhood!! Not the best time. So instead I stay up late eating food, writing blogs, watching hulu/youtube and generally living the life of a hermit until it is time for me to lay my head to rest, sleep in, wake up, go to work, and repeat.
What further serves to compound the problem is that I currently work in the hotel business. That means we are open and staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Weekends, holidays, overnights, national disasters, did I mention weekends? So yea, I don’t even get WEEKENDS off! Not only am I working total opposite schedules from the rest of the normal 9-5 society but I am working weekends!! However, even that wouldn’t be so bad if I regularly had 2 days in a row off each week, but my manager has decided it is better to split up our 2 off days every week so we don’t get them in one big lump and become overwhelmed with off days! After all, with 2 days off in a row I think I might forget how to get back to my workplace! That is if I remember I used to have a job after being off for 2 days...
So therein lies another problem. Anytime I want to do a race - which 99% of the time falls on a weekend and the other 1% of the time falls during the week in the evening (e.g. The Dam Mile – May, 20th 2010 @ 7pm) - I have to make sure I will be able to get off work in order to participate. Regular 9-5ers don’t have this problem. Did I mention my job required me to stand in one spot for eight hour shifts? Not walk around. No. If I get to walk around that is a treat! Much less am I able to sit down. No, I have to stand, in a suit, wearing dress shoes, for eight hours a day.
I have only been at this job for a little under 6 months now and the lack of balance in work vs. training already has me seriously considering other options ASAP. Is this what I went to college for? I know I could have gone straight into construction right out of high school and I would have had better hours than this, work weeks that would include 2 days off in a row (Saturday and Sunday), paid holidays off, probably a better hourly wage, and I wouldn’t have to stand in one spot. In fact, I would probably be encouraged NOT to stand in one spot! Can I have a redo please?
And don’t even get me started on the type of customers I have to deal with on a daily basis all while wearing a smile on my face. I will save that for another entry…