Like most competitive athletes growing up, my school life revolved around training. Each day was waiting for practice, eating a hurried dinner and completing homework before lights out at an unreasonably early hour. The routine was everything to me. Now, as a Masters swimmer, balancing the responsibilities of “adulting” with the pursuit of athletic excellence can be quite daunting.
I work full-time – what if meetings get in the way? And what if last minute errands prevent me from having pool time? The solution is to prep the week accordingly and adapt to interruptions as they come.
That usually means setting a few goals, and managing your own lifestyle to fit those needs. For instance, most USMS swim practices are held early in the morning, around 5am, at noon, or also in the evening. If I’m working late, evening swim practices are a no-go.
In Florida, I began rising early to attend swim practices, but found that these left me drained and fatigued during the work day. Ultimately, I’m not an early-riser and choose to prioritize my career. The alternative was to swim on my own terms. Missing out of the community aspect of a team swim can be a bummer, but your own lifestyle needs should come first!
“This is the best part about MySwimPro in my experience – having a sense of community and a regimented workout. It keeps me on my toes and inspired to adhere to a structure I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.”
While I usually lift and swim after work, sometimes other commitments make sticking to a schedule difficult. If I’m pressed for time, HIIT sessions or other short-term high-energy workouts will take the place of a longer traditional workout.
It’s easy to make excuses and tell myself that tomorrow is another day, but I know when my internal compass is pointing me towards laziness, it’s better to do something than nothing at all – have a backup plan in place! If I’m absolutely not able to make it to the pool or gym, I have a muscle-busting band workout as a last resort.
Finally, don’t forget to to nourish your mind. A fit lifestyle can be tough for a working professional, but you can avoid burnout by knowing your own limits and spending plenty of quality time with family to recharge. We all need mental downtime to replenish our reserves and fully recover.
– Julie Kamat