Been Caught Stealing: Part One

I didn’t know J. (of course, not his real initial!) was going to break my heart. Our intro session started just like they all did, back before Covid–we shook hands, I sat him down in our conference room, and we started talking about why he was interested in trying some new workouts.

As he shared his story, I ticked off a few familiar boxes: super busy at work, tired in the early evenings, trouble falling asleep, not enough energy for his family or the weekends.

But what broke my heart wasn’t J’s origin story–so many of our clients start in similar places–it was the circular nature of the arrangements he’d made with himself just to get through each day.

He’d wake up tired and not feel like he could get anything done until he’d had three cups of coffee and was a few hours into his workday, so he’d ride an afternoon wave of productivity into another late day at the office.

He’d get home just in time for dinner some nights, but other nights not until a few minutes into the meal. Either way, after his family had eaten, his food would feel like a rock in his stomach and he’d need to crash on the couch for an hour or so before he could summon the energy to be present and playful with his young kids…usually not until about a half-hour before their bedtime.

After that, because he’d had some rest on the couch after dinner, he had another burst of energy that would take him towards midnight, two hours after his wife had gone to bed. And because he’d spent his entire day on someone else’s clock, he clung to that time like a climber on the ledge. He’d usually head to bed just before midnight, tired enough but starting to shift into worry mode for the next day.

And in the morning after hitting snooze three times, he’d get up at 6 to do it all over again.

Some might hear this and think, “man, that’s a guy who needs a better schedule and some discipline.”

But I didn’t hear it that way, and that’s what broke my heart. You see, as J. told me his story, I noted how the segments of his day actually fit together pretty deliberately and with intention–just on delay. He wasn’t sleeping enough, so he stole some time from the beginning of his workday to ease into things. He needed to get his work done, so he stole some time from his family to stay late at the office. He needed to crash after dinner, so he stole some time from his kids to give them a little bit back before bed. And he needed to take some time for himself before bed, so he stole some time from his wife and a full night’s sleep to do that.

The end result? J. felt like he was moving through his life in fits and starts, never fully present, usually running on fumes. He felt crappy physically and mentally–like he just wasn’t quite enough for anyone and anything in his life.

Been there? I sure have. We steal time from ourselves and our people and we end up playing from behind. It’s an unhappy place that gets you questioning your own heart and whether you’re just stuck here for the long haul.

And it doesn’t have to be this way. We can help. Tomorrow we’ll share the plan we put into place for J. that had him feeling better, happier, and more energetic within his first few weeks of working with us.

it wasn’t easy, but it was pretty simple. Stay tuned!

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