Never Do This on a Downhill!

You feel like life is full…then you have kids, or in my case, one amazing kid.

Suddenly life is overflowing, over the top and down the sides washing with it spare time once taken for granted. It’s awesome and tricky. What I’ve come to understand in the last 6 years is that I can have only 3 top priorities. Once I reach 4, they compete and become elusive goals.

My 3 top priorities are family, work and getting exercise outside. Simple… though sometimes I wonder if pay the bills, watch the news, clean the house, call a friend and so forth should be on the secondary priority list.  A familiar story though. I have no complaints. Just the same challenges other working parents have.

The way to finesse the situation and allow more time for your secondary priority list is to combine 2 of your 3 top priorities into one. Following? For example, Kevin, one of TMRC’s partners accomplishes this by walking and talking. He often lets us know he’ll be taking a call then instead of closing the door of his office, walks out the front door, headphones on. Blake, another TMRC’er gathers up social content during his whirlwind weekends. Kill two birds with one stone – it’s the way to go.  

Combining work and exercise though is tricky for me; I’ve tried but have not achieved.

I’ve also failed at combining family and work.  Plugging my son in for a couple hours is accompanied by guilt and bringing him to the office, though fun, is distracting. He enjoys a little hard work especially if there’s a gadget involved. TMRC has a mop that is also a water sprayer so Beck, my son, will cordon an area of the office with upside down plastic keg cups (think construction cones) and go to town on the floor. This gives me about 15 minutes of barely-focused time at my computer as I try not to hear Beck in the other room bumping into things, spraying a little too close to the feet of people trying to work, pouring himself some very hot tea from the very hot water dispenser, and asking Dani, the other TMRC partner, to move her chair.

This leaves the family/exercise combination as my one opportunity to combine 2 of my 3 top priorities. I love to mountain bike and so does Beck. The tricky part is that his enjoyment level is topographic. It’s all smiles on the downhill, some grins on the flats, and at best, deadpan breaking into protest on the sustained uphill (which is the part I love). I had been worrying over an idea for months and decided to put it into play. The child/bike power-assist. As I attached girth hitches, carabiners and a tow rope between my bike and Beck’s I ignored the looks of passers-by and fought my nervousness about how things might turn out. It paid off. I am able to power-assist Beck uphill allowing him to pedal more easily and enjoy the ride. Pavement is simple, trails are less simple and corners are fraught, however with patience it works well.

It’s hard to get video while going uphill so here we are on a slight incline making it look easy. Needless to say, never do this on a downhill!