Friday, April 20, 2012

16 Ways to Master Your Derby-Life Balance
 schedule your life, not just work(outs)

Welp, this is kind of the same point as build lifestyle into your brand. But perhaps that was more focused on adjusting your expectations, and this is more focused on expanding your horizons.

3. Schedule Your Life, Not Just Work

“Reserve set times in your schedule for activities that allow you to recharge and that add value to your life, such as daily exercise, a weekly date or social night, reserved time for family activities, and a yearly vacation. You not only will have something to look forward to, but also extra motivation to manage your other time well so you do not have to cancel on others—and yourself!” -Doug Bend, Bend Law Group, PC

I mean, right? Last week I was more talking about all of the stuff that just has to get done in a life, how much time is left over, and how much you can realistically accomplish in the time that's left over; so if you want to accomplish something, say, in derby, you can ruthlessly prune every other blossom from the branch. Which leaves you with the branch—i.e., basic life stuff that you still have to deal with— and one fat angry bird of a blossom that is "Sorry I can't, I have roller derby," which, I'm not going to lie, has its uses. I don't know how it is botanically, but it's probably healthier in life to leave a few other blossoms on the branch.

And I mean blossoms, not laundry. Laundry is the branch. I suppose that working out or going out are the other blossoms for entrepreneurs, for whom work is the angry bird blossom. Working out does not count as an other blossom for derby, it's not other enough. Something other than derby, okay? In fact if I were to flip the above, work would be the other blossom. I'm sick to death of the "by day, by night" trope that's the most fascinating thing the average writer who just discovered roller derby can think to write about women who play roller derby, hello, not professional athletes, have to eat just like everybody else, hence day jobs. We're not Batman. And I simultaneously feel that "by day, by night" overstates the notion of double lives, schoolteacher or librarian or attorney or nurse plus bonus derby girl. I mean, I do know a schoolteacher and a librarian and an attorney and a nurse. But I also know me, I'd say all the pieces of my life just about adds up to one life. Someday I will have one whole life. Just saying, the double lives thing is just another superwoman myth to have to think about. And also, is something to think about. Because this derby blossom isn't going to be on this branch forever, it would be good to have one or two baby work blossoms ready to bloom.

Okay, so. There's that.

I meant this to be a nice post about recovery, and all that spilled out. Now I'm all stressed out.

I meant to write about scheduling yourself recovery time, and actual recovery at that. Recovery is not running on the days you're not skating. I'm not saying that running is bad; but that's cross-training, not recovery. But do you know what else, work is not recovery. And derby is not recovery from work. I'm also not saying that hitting bitches after a bad day at work isn't therapeutic. It isn't recovery, though.

So first of all don't just plan your training, plan your training and your recovery. Remember that what training does is break you down, and what recovery does is build you back up. Recovery is when you get what you've worked so hard for, why would you not recover? Don't just think of recovery as "not training," think of recovery as its own thing. Sleep, rest, relax, stretch, hydrate, eat your vegetables and protein! And actually once you aren't thinking about recovery as "not training," you start to see how a lot of things that are not training are not recovery. Like staying out all night and drinking. Which I'm also not saying isn't therapeutic. I'm not your mom, I'm just saying—

But beyond that, don't just plan your training and your recovery. Because you know, you're a whole person with a whole energy system and derby is a piece that's plugged into that whole system. I mean, if it's derby. It could be running marathons. I mean, it will never be running marathons for me. If you don't have enough energy to run your derby piece, you want to look at the whole system for where you can get it. At the other things using it that you could unplug, or power down.

I suppose that's the answer to balancing derby and work, you balance it over time. Derby uses umpty units of energy, you borrow that for now by deferring, say, doing meaningful work that you can make a living at. But you definitely schedule that for later, you keep those baby blossoms on the branch ready to bloom when derby's done.