“Sometimes I am two people. Johnny is the nice one. Cash causes all the trouble. They fight.”
– Johnny Cash
Being a driven, type-A individual is one of the most brilliantly stressful experiences in the world, in my opinion. Every motivated person wants to succeed, achieve, and leave a lasting mark on the world. These pursuits can be fulfilling but too much of it can come at a cost.
First off, let me apologize for taking so long to write another post. My first several posts were in rapid succession, and I suddenly realized that I didn’t have anything of merit about which to write. I am in this for the long haul and need to balance my enthusiasm for writing with the rest of my pursuits so I do not run out of ideas so quickly and go for weeks with nothing of substance to provide you.
The way I approached my foray into blogging is not unlike the way many new athletes approach training and racing: full steam ahead without stopping. While working hard for something you want is always a good practice, too much too soon leaves you feeling worn out and lost. You’ll wonder how it happened and you’ll ask yourself, “Did I just put all of this time and money into this to only do it with fervor for such a short time?” If someone who dives into marathon training suddenly realizes that running races is not fun and then gives it up, that is fine. This is a different topic that I will cover in an upcoming post. However, burnout is a totally different story.
Burnout usually happens when you enjoy doing something so much and have such a desire to succeed that you either lose all motivation for the activity or, as in my case on this blog, run out of things to do. As a very driven person, I have a tough time of checking my ambitions. My biggest fear in life is not living up to my potential. So, with everything I decide to do, I do it 110%. I’ve talked about this before. When it comes to my professional and athletic life, I’ve been at both long enough to know when I am pushing myself too hard and when my pace in not sustainable. But, since I was new to writing and blogging, I had no idea what a sustainable publishing pace was. Me being me, I pushed myself too hard and tried to do too much too fast. And all of a sudden, I was left with nothing to say and wondering why.
Now, I know that I need to take my time, think posts through, and let my observations and experiences provide me with inspiration. So my advice to anyone passionately pursuing a new athletic venture or activity is to take your time and do everything you can to not burn out. Endurance coaches talk about this all the time for good reason. If you want to do something for the rest of your life then what is the reason to hurry? Fitness will come in due time. Never forsake longevity in your sport! Injuries and lack of motivation will leave you feeling awful since you cannot physically or mentally partake in an activity that you once loved.
The line of balance and burnout is difficult to walk, but we must trust the process and enjoy every step of the way. I struggle with this and am always trying to find a way to check my motivation for the sake of longevity. I guess if the Man in Black had trouble with balance, then the rest of us shouldn’t feel too bad about it.
Until next time…
Endure the Grind!