Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Extremists! Ugh!

Okay, I was originally looking for a picture of me when I was crazy obsessed with triathlon, but couldn't find any I liked, so who doesn't like a chubby toddler running through the sprinkler with a 5 pound diaper? However, this picture does prove a point - take time to enjoy the simple things in life.

Finding the balance between life, hobby & work. Isn't it something we are all striving for? It is a constant process that I am not sure I will ever achieve, but I do know that I am happy and that is important. I am lucky, I have an awesome husband who I still find super hot who has a good job, two healthy kids that I enjoy 90% of the time and a great dog. I have a roof over my head (with a brand new basement I might add), clothes to wear and food to eat. Those are the basics or might I say, simple things in life.

Going back to my first sentence, there was a point in time when I was an extreme triathlete. Yeah, one of those (they are not all like that, but most are). You know, the ones you don't want to get stuck talking to at a party? I got sucked in hard. I loved it while I was there. I didn't realize I was missing so much around me because "I had" to get that bike ride in. So my post today is on extreme behavior and how I struggle now with people who exhibit it. I also hope that anyone reading this isn't offended by anything - I've been there.

There is the argument that if you aren't really into anything 100%, then what are you passionate about? Does your passion have to consume you day after day, year after year? Once I realized my behavior, I took a step back and learned that I wasn't that happy in that place. I was driving my husband crazy making him feel low on the totem pole compared to my sport - not a good thing. It was very toxic for me. However, I do like to move (exercise) but not in the extreme (everyday for hours - AND, I like my weekends off!). So I had to find another outlet.

Another example is all of these crazy foodies that are so knowledgeable about nutrition, which is great, but then they come off as elitist snobs. Example, Whole 9 and their followers. This is a food cult, seriously. I swear they would rather die than consume a french fry. When the new food plate came out replacing the food pyramid, they were in an uproar! I know and agree that it's not much different than the food pyramid, just more user friendly maybe with the same content? However, if we could get 80% of Americans to follow "the plate" then we would see major health improvements. Can't we celebrate an effort towards improvement? Whole 9 can't and really, they are missing the point. You might recall that I followed Whole 9's Whole 30 Nutrition Plan. I had to add booze back on day 17 so I am certain they would classify me as an alcoholic.

Have you gone off your rocker? If so, take a step back and reevaluate. Then take more time to enjoy the simple things in life - run through the damn sprinkler!


Misty said...

I like this post. It is good food for thought (especially the Whole 9 stuff. You're right, they are very extreme in their thinking!!).
I agree that you do not have to been an extremist at something in order to have a passion for it or make it your hobby, but sometimes investing all of your time and energy gets you the results you want and the expertise you desire. Sort of like the opposite of that saying, "Jack of all trades, master of non".
I do think that everything has a time and a place, however. Perhaps it wasn't so much that you were obsessed with triathlon (though I like how you descibed it as toxic for you. That's very descriptive.), but perhaps it is that your passion just had the wrong time and place?
As a single girl I do not have to factor in quite as much when deciding where I want to dedicate my time. But now that you have invested all of that time, look at what an expert you are on fitness and triathlon (not to mention mental health and balance). That is something you only could have acquired through being passionate (and maybe a little obsessed) with your hobby :)

Darcy Franklin said...

Good point Misty. Everything I have experienced up to this point in my life makes me what I am today. I am just glad I sought balance before other parts of my life were past the point of no return and I hope I can inspire others to do the same!