I don’t believe in balance, in fact I crave anything but. When it comes to my work I know balance won’t get me the outcome I want. An unbalanced life often creates the outcome. The more effort I put in, the more I get out. I’ve built my business without a sense of balance and it’s worked.
I’m an advocate for the plan A mentality – not ever settling for plan B. I’ve taken risks, financially, physically and even mentally. When the going gets tough, I keep going. It’s been thousands of hours now of looking forward and never looking back. I’ve burnt all the ships, and they’re still burning.
But there is one problem with this mentality.
It works, to a point.
You can and will achieve the outcome you’re after.
In fact, I’m a huge advocate for believing the outcome, putting in the work and achieving it.
But, is the destruction you’ll leave behind worth the reward?
Can you attain or achieve your aspirations, without losing something along the way?
The short answer is, No.
THE BALANCE OF OUR PHYSICAL LIFE
Let’s break this down into a few easy to understand categories. If you’ve read this far, you may know I believe in the idea of finding balance in the way you train, live and rest. You may not believe that after reading the introduction… But I’ll get to my point.
AN OVERVIEW OF THE TRAIN ELEMENT
Let’s start with the prescription for training. If you’re here you likely move your body in the form of some type of fitness or sport.
To train, in our terms, is to perform a certain style of fitness with the aim of achieving a certain goal. You could be training for a triathlon, to lose weight, to build a better physique or attain any other type of fitness goal.
To train is to be seeking to achieve and reach a more optimal health or performance.
There are different styles and types of training. Bodybuilding, CrossFit, Hybrid Training, Running, Sport, the list goes on. All styles are different and serve their purpose for the individual doing them.
For me, I've taken up a number of training regimens, but currently I enjoy CrossFit, and I am seeking to do so at a competitive level.
Growing up, I was a three sports athlete, playing baseball, basketball and soccer and then, I played collegiate soccer later on.
The fitness journey one can have is incredible, and I’m thankful for every moment I’ve experienced having the opportunity to move my body and become better.
AN OVERVIEW OF THE LIVE ELEMENT
Now, to live. To live is to quite literally be defined as, to ‘remain alive.’
While this may seem obvious, to me this definition could not be any more spot on.
What makes you feel the most alive, and gives you the greatest sense of fulfillment is what allows you to truly live - I call this purpose.
Excerpt from Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl:
“Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone’s task is unique as is his specific opportunity to implement it."
Knowing and carrying out your reason for existence is important.
James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”
I’m a huge advocate for asking and believing with confidence you’ll receive the answer.
When I was suicidal in 2015, while struggling with anxiety and depression, I begged for answers, and I received them.
God said, he intended me to use my pain for purpose.
So that’s what I did.
I started a company called LRX to share the Prescription for Life, one of these prescriptions I’m writing about now.
This is how and why I live - it’s a part of my purpose.
AN OVERVIEW OF THE REST ELEMENT
John Mark Comer says in the Ruthless Elimination of Hurry,
“Here’s my point: the solution to an over-busy life is not more time. It’s to slow down and simplify our lives around what really matters.”
I read this book about a year and a half ago, it was when I finally started practicing journaling daily and taking one day off a week. I encountered ten times more progress than I had prior to taking time off.
I gained more perspective and my vision was clear for the next steps I needed to carry out.
In fitness, most training regimes call for a day or two a week off. I take an active recovery day on Thursdays and a full rest day on Sundays.
The argument is, less is never really “more.” And a recovered physical body is preparing for the taxing it may take during the week of training.
Taking a rest day in life or training can make you perform more optimally.
UNBALANCE - THE RISK & THE REWARD
Train, live & rest. All categories are beneficial. But when one is out of alignment, the other will inherently suffer.
Train: Take a CrossFit Athlete for example… CrossFit Athletes train to become the fittest man or woman on earth.
There a number of negative outcomes that could occur:
Said athlete could risk life altering injury from over training or they could miss out on close family or friend relationships.
When I competed in CrossFit, I tore my pec major tendon, and this now affects me quite often.
But there are also a number of positive outcomes that could occur:
Those include, becoming famous, making a lot of money and/or achieving the goal.
Is the risk worth the reward?
Live: I’ll give you a personal example. I’m recently married and I love my career. This is a great thing, it gives me a sense of purpose and brings me joy.
If I never pick up after myself and expect my wife to cater to me hand and foot so I can fulfill my career aspirations, will I still have a healthy and fulfilling marriage?
On the other hand… working and doing something I love gives me and my family the opportunity to have money, create jobs for others, and build something that makes an impact.
Is the risk worth the reward?
Rest: The risk of extended resting can result in laziness. Imagine I’m caught up in a good show on netflix… and I binge watch for weeks on end.
I may begin to overeat snacks while I’m watching my favorite new show or I may put off the work I needed to do to push forward my career.
If I ‘rest’ too much, I may become lazy and will be less likely to achieve my goals.
Is the risk worth the reward?
The key here is to find balance in these three areas - train, live and rest.
While balance may be optimal - is it truly possible when you have grandiose aspirations…?
Or is balance just a gateway to mediocrity?
BALANCE - THE GATEWAY TO MEDIOCRITY?
OOOFFF… this question hit me like a ton of bricks.
Is balance just a gateway to mediocrity?
My aspirations are big. The goal of LRX isn’t just to be a local t-shirt company. It’s to be the Chick-Fil-A of the activewear industry, to be brick and mortar, and to build the best customer experience that exists in our space while sharing a message that changes people’s lives.
This goal will take a lifetime to build.
Excerpt on Phil Knight, founder of Nike from Shoe Dog:
“Knight’s life was Nike... He and his oldest son Matthew always had a strained relationship. His son resented his absences, rejected sports and never felt connected to his dad.
One evening, Knight and his wife were at the movies when their second son rushed into the theater and urged them to come. He told them that Matthew had died in a diving incident in El Salvador.
Knight was decimated.”
Knight built Nike, an activewear and shoe empire… but he sacrificed a relationship with his Son and a ton of regret after his death - did Knight live a balanced life - NO.
So, am I saying, you have to live a mediocre life? Not so much.
The question really isn’t this… the question is, What’s most important to you?
With the answer to this question, you have to know what your actions may result in.
Grandiose aspirations will result in a less ‘optimal’ life.
Is the risk worth the reward?
MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE - TEARING MY PEC
I’ll give you a very relevant example.
In 2021 I tore my pec, weeks before I was set to hit the road for my first road tour with LRX. At the time the business needed revenue, and the quickest way I knew how to get it was to go door to door of every gym that let me in to sell products.
In this, I would not be able to get through the rigorous recovery process of pec major surgery. I had a decision to make.
Was the risk worth the reward?
And in this situation, was I not prioritizing one of the elements of Train, Live or Rest over the other? My career aspirations led me to prioritize living over recovering and resting.
The risk: Never being able to have surgery on my pec, I can’t bench press what I used to and I will never have the same function in my pec I had prior to tearing it.
The reward: In 2023 - A growing business.
BALANCE - NOT ONE SIZE FITS ALL
So, can you attain or achieve your aspirations, without losing something along the way?
An optimal life would be to find balance in the way you train, live and rest and you should seek this as often as you can.
But, to achieve grandiose aspirations… you will have to live out of balance in some seasons of life.
You must weigh the pros and cons, be aware of the consequences and make a choice.
With this, you should, at some point, be willing to come back to a more optimal life.
Keep in mind, balance is not one size fits all.
It won’t be the same for you as it is for someone else, and you shouldn’t expect it to be.
If you have a goal, and you want to and believe you should attain it, you’ll have to do whatever it takes to do it. But be aware of what you aren’t willing to risk to achieve it.
- Ryan Husband, CEO & Founder of LRX