“Getting My Zen Back”
Josh VanderJagt Shows How To Achieve True Work-Life Balance
Ddddd da da da ta doo doo doo… *sound of your iPhone alarm in the morning*
And the day has officially begun!
You roll out of bed, button up your wrinkled shirt, grab a bagel and coffee, spill the coffee on your shirt, change into something even more wrinkled, begin your drive, get stuck in traffic, realize you forgot to pack a lunch….
You get the idea.
Each day is a spectacle. Sometimes it may feel like you’re the star of “Groundhog Day” just getting through your day-to-day tasks. You’re on autopilot.
Josh VanderJagt is familiar with this feeling.
“In the last five years, I’ve gotten so wrapped up in work and trying to do well there that I lost sight of the fact that I wasn’t taking care of myself.”
Josh had always lived an active lifestyle. He was an athlete as a youth, and even coached football in his twenties.
“At one point in time, when I was coaching high school football, I was able to keep up with the kids half my age!” he says.
Nowadays, Josh works as an Assistant Principal at a high school. He loves his career and is dedicated to giving it his all. But he soon realized that his work-life balance was not the way it should be.
“I felt different than I did five or ten years ago. I needed to pull things together to go back to how I used to be,” says Josh.
At the end of January 2016, Josh made the decision to join the Chicago Triathlon. He not only wanted to improve his work-life balance and health, but he’d always been intrigued by a personal challenge.
This weekend will be Josh’s first triathlon –ever –and he recently moved himself up to the Olympic level.
After six months of training, Josh says he feels ten times better than before. “It takes a lot of discipline, you don’t always want to do it, but afterwards you feel like you just woke up. Like it’s a new day.”
He is in a leadership position where stability, patience, understanding, and keeping a cool head under stress is essential. And, surprisingly, adding training to his list of things to do has improved his ability to handle these stresses.
“I sleep better. I’m more patient. I’m less perturbed by stresses. Overall, I’m just really happy!” he says. “Overall I’ve just done a complete 180. I’ve gotten my mental zen back,” he says.
So next time you rush off to work, arrive stressed, spill your coffee, and come home feeling like you’ve done nothing with your day, remember this: if a guy that serves 900+ teenage students on a daily basis can add “triathlon training” to his list of things to do, so can you. It just takes a bit of diligence and time management.
We’ve learned from Josh that there are easy ways to organize meals and workouts so that a routine is easy to manage. Here are the three apps he swears by:
This app helps you set daily caloric intake goals, and track your daily meals and exercise. The best part of MyFitness Pal is that it summarizes your progress in charts and graphs, so you can quickly see how close you are to meeting your goals.
Training Peaks helps athletes log workouts, plan sessions and routes, analyze heart rate and other fitness data, as well as interact with coaches. The premium edition allows you to sync workout scheduling with Outlook calendar, assess your long-term fitness trends, and much more. One of our favorite advantages to this app is the ability to train with groups and upload shareable training plans.
A community-based app like Polar Flow brings a social atmosphere to training. Join a group, share training tips, find fellow athletes, and meet up to train with those in your group. Polar Flow also tracks workouts like other apps, and can sync with a smart watch (psst, we’re giving away a FREE Fitbit Blaze. Scroll down for more info!)