HEALTH, FAMILY, CYCLING, AND BALANCE
The heading above often requires one to evaluate their priorities. When you begin to evaluate personal priorities, it leads to a season of transition, thus resulting in finding balance. Finding balance can be difficult. It was a transition I struggled with greatly and continue to do so in some areas of my life. When I began to evaluate my hobbies, goals, lifestyle, and priorities, finding balance became easier because then my focus was to invest into the things “I” consider important to me.
HEALTH (Physical, Mental, and Spiritual)
As I awake each day, I thank God for allowing me to open my eyes and ask that He provides me with the endurance needed to conquer my day and that I may stay focused on His words and His voice as I move forward. Age, muscle aches, lower back pain, and unexplained soreness have reminded me that I am no longer a spring chicken.
Though aging is a process, I made the decision that age will not place limits on my physical ability and I have been intentional about healthy eating and active living. One of my hobbies is gardening and this year my wife and I decided to only grow what we eat. We have increased our juicing and have made a transition to consuming plant-based meals as a family. Because of my slim stature, I was hesitant about plant-based meals, assuming I would lose weight. The reality is I have maintained my weight and have developed a nicer physique. But health isn’t categorized by what we consume in terms of food only, it is also categorized by what we consume in terms of our thoughts, ideas, beliefs, etc.
With the new year, my focus is to be intentional with what I allow to enter my body and what I choose to invest energy into. For me it has been prayer, listening to sermons, breathing, and not sweating the small stuff. For others it may be reflecting, meditating, going on a walk, or just ignoring things that have no meaning or beneficial gain to them.
My physique has always been a sensitive area for me because of my slim stature. With the need to find balance I have had to modify my workouts to being strictly at-home exercises. Everyone wants to have the strength to lift a small car, but exercising begins with identifying your “Why?” Once I realized what MY Why was, going to the gym to exercise was not necessary. If you are crunched for time, I would like to encourage you to research effective workouts that can be completed at home. Start small, increase gradually, and in due time you will see the benefits.
FAMILY (Love, Peace, Laughter, and Memories)
My wife and I have three beautiful children (Anaiah, 7, Gabrielle, 4, Josiah, 2) and they have brought so much joy our lives. The term “vasectomy” can make men cringe, but it seems to be common and is no longer an unpopular discussion. The thought to have a vasectomy was something my wife and I battled with since we were pregnant with our youngest. We constantly went back and forth, prayed on the thought, asked God for guidance, spoke with friends, etc. In December 2020, we made the decision to have a vasectomy and it was while having the consultation with the doctor that he made me believe we made the right decision.
Upon introduction, the doctor said, “So you and your wife made the decision to invest your time, energy, finances, and resources into the three children that you have?” Hearing him explain it that way made me confidently say yes. Though parenting has its challenges, you are always rewarded with love and laughter. As a husband and father, I made the decision to be thoughtful with how I invest time into the lives of my children. Introducing them to gardening, craftsmanship, bike maintenance and riding. I still craved working out, but I was willing to commit and sacrifice the things needed so I could have the best of both worlds.
My day begins with a 5 a.m. alarm and I’m typically out of bed by 5:30. My oldest usually wakes up at 7 a.m., which is my cutoff time even if they’re still asleep. This cutoff time allows me to work out for 30 minutes to one hour before anyone wakes up. Though I would rather sleep in bed, priorities will shift your schedule if you’re willing to complete a task. From the time when Gabrielle was two, I had to leave for work at 6:30 a.m. and returned at 5:30 p.m.For two years while working out of town, I would not see them awake, have breakfast, lunch, and I sometimes missed dinner.
Those were the things I missed and during this pandemic, I have been blessed with the opportunity to work from home and have had the privilege to be there when my kids are awake and have breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Our goals will always require sacrifice. My goal is to maintain a healthy physique. The sacrifice is sleep. The reward is creating memories with my family that I was not able to create while working away from home.
CYCLING (Freedom, Refining, Endurance)
Basketball was my sport of choice growing up and so when I ventured into cycling in 2012, some of my athletic abilities made the transition not as difficult. I often tell people cycling is the most therapeutic sport I’ve ever done, but the most dangerous as well. The demands of cycling can be damaging to your body. Of course this all depends on how far one is willing to push oneself, but once you cross the threshold of being an endurance athlete, a lot is required. Health, Family, and Cycling is a revolving circle. As I further invest into one, it benefits the other.
When cycling, it gives you the feeling of being free and being one with nature. ‘Til this day, I have ridden my bike in places where I have not driven my car and do not plan to either. Cycling has the ability to refine you as an individual. It will reshape your expectations of yourself and will defeat you all within the same trip.
Similar to life, cycling requires perseverance and patience. And with discipline, you will eventually gain the endurance needed to sustain any challenge that comes your way. Throughout this article I have mentioned priorities, sacrifice, discipline, and commitment. Each is a major component in the sport of cycling and I have managed to find a successful structure that allows me to enjoy the sport and not sacrifice time from family. There are 24 hours in a day. A full-time job requires 8+, sleep requires 5+, and now you have roughly 11 hours for the remainder of your day. When we begin to calculate the hours in a day, to wake up at 5 a.m. isn’t so difficult when one has things they’d like to accomplish while not robbing other priorities of precious hours.
Years ago an elder said to me, “Every decision will either add or subtract to the legacy you leave behind.” March 2021 would have been 12 months since COVID-19 changed our daily life. Schools shutting down, social distancing, closure, virtual learning, and remote working. As you build your LEGACY, focus on your health, love your family, find the activity that brings you joy and establish balance between each of them. Balance greatly differs between each individual. Envision a four-handed scale. A marble represents time. Distribute your time and efforts so all areas have a healthy balance.
This story originally appeared on Reel Urban News.com