I was caught off guard about a month ago when a friend said "so you just ditch your family and go ride your bike? I mean, it seems like you are gone for a long time"
The cord was certainly struck. So much so that I asked Chelle if she felt like I was neglecting my kids in search of better health. She reassured me that I am usually only gone for an hour and that taking time for my health is important....but the question remained stuck in my head.
First off....I don't ditch my family. Over this summer I was riding a 18 mile loop on the road and I would leave right from my house. Total time gone was around an hour. I would vary the course but in general my rides were never over 75 minutes. I didn't want to be gone that long due to our schedule and that was enough saddle time a few days a week. Also, I would take my son and even my 9 year old out for rides. I would cut the loop shorter and drop them off and then head out for some more mileage.
Second, I spend a lot of time with my kids. With 4 kids it is not uncommon to be separated a lot. Two girls in dance, one in drivers ed, one is soccer and volleyball, doctors appointments, physical therapy and whatever else is needed. Add in cooking dinner, helping with homework, trying to keep up with laundry and some sense of the house being clean....and our days are full.
Third, who the fuck are you to question if I am ditching my kids or family? You really don't know anything about our family life...as you have 2 kids under the age of 5 and are not running all over the place like we are. But, I will not compare my life to yours.....we work out or schedule the same way you work out yours. We make the time and do what we need to do. I don't really appreciate you putting the thought in my head that I am doing something wrong...because I am doing something for myself. If my heart stopped while eating a bag of chips while sitting on the couch because I weighed 400 pounds and I died....how would that be helpful to my family? I work my ass off to support my kids. My wife works her ass off to build her business and help support our family. Our schedule works. Sure, we are busy as hell...but if I don't take a chunk of time here and there to focus on my mental well being I will end up a bigger mess than I already am.
When I do something for myself that is exactly the reason I do it....for myself. If a plane is crashing the instructions are to put your mask on first....then help. Why? Well, if you can't breathe and pass out you are no good to anybody. Put your mask on first, you never know how many people you can help....especially ones that cannot help themselves. But, in doing what I do....in being who I am...I do all this for myself first....knowing that the outcome will be more beneficial to my wife and kids. Walking around pissed off at the world doesn't help anyone. It makes me more miserable and everyone around me more miserable.
Lastly, I don't need any single person's approval. I don't do this for you. I could care less what you do. It is your life, make your own decisions. I live my life and make my own decisions. If I wanted your approval I would ask for it. You don't pay my bills. You don't pay my wages. You are just a judgmental prick that is trying to make yourself feel better by trying to take away from what I do. In case you missed it....my kids followed me around the entire time. The comments I heard were "your kids adore you" and "your kids give you no space" which I a sure could be twisted into "if you spent more time with them maybe they wouldn't follow you around so much". Think what you want. I would walk through fire for my kids. I have given up more than many people could even imagine so my kids could take trips to Europe and stand on top of Mayan Ruins. Again, I won't compare our family life with that of another....because it is pointless. My life is mine.....yours is yours. Try to live it.
Life without chaos is death......