Tis the Season…not only for holiday parties but also for visits from friends and family. When you are like me – a “planner” or someone who thrives on having a good schedule – a day can be completely thrown off if you feel you won’t be able to get something done. For me, the stress and anxiety comes less from the visit itself and more from figuring out how to fit everything in, still get my workout without waking up super early on a weekend, and still be considered a wonderful and thoughtful hostess. Plus, my mother did a wonderful job of instilling a sense of guilt into my psyche so it can be hard for me to justify my “selfish” pursuits when we have visitors. (Let’s leave the topic of being selfish for a different day.) She also, on the other hand, taught me about following through on the things/adventures/pursuits I start. Recipe for disaster? Maybe. Definitely a recipe for making me worry about fitting it all in during visits!
I bring all this up because my mom and nephew came for a visit this past weekend. While very much looking forward to it, my brain also immediately went into overdrive with all the things I needed to do on top of my training. Clean house, clean up guest bedroom and bath, make bed, remove Christmas gifts from guest bedroom, get food and, somehow, RUN! I also had to start thinking about how I was going to fit in my workouts with houseguests. Did I mention I like planning? 🙂
Reading fitness magazines, they always talk about the benefits of having a workout partner. Someone who holds you accountable for those early morning wake-ups and who pushes you when your motivation is lacking. However, guests are not usually thought of as optimal training partners – mainly because YOUR lifestyle is rarely theirs. My mom does not like driving 50-100 miles much less run that far. My question as I prepared for their arrival was to identify a way to narrow the gap between ultra runner and walker. How can I get my miles in, spend time with the family, and still be considered a thoughtful hostess?
TREADMILLS! Yes…do not be horrified. I said the word treadmill and thoughtful hostess. My creative planning idea was to get my mom to hit the treadmill with me. My apartment has a pretty nice gym with side-by-side treadmills which include a small personal TV. I then enticed my mom with the new Carrie Underwood CD and convinced her to walk while I ran. Added benefit, she got a workout AND I got mine. Which we all know makes me a happier, saner person…especially when facing a long and jam-packed day. I’m not going to lie, I may have been giving myself imaginary high-fives for my absolutely BRILLIANT idea.
So the moral of this is to take a deep breath, put your thinking cap on, and a solution will appear when you identify your needs and priorities. And if it doesn’t work, BRIBE them with the newest music you own and promise them something you know they will love.
End result: Great day with the family.