Archive for March, 2011

The Balancing Act: Family, Work and Health – How Do You Prioritize?

I’ve been off the blog for awhile; definitely somewhat off-keel in balance lately – very busy with growing Annovium, including travel, working with our factories, negotiating and evaluating partnerships, and all of the day-to-day work. On top of this, I really got thrown for a major loop in January with some major family health issues, especially regarding my father’s health.

My Dad and I

My father is one of those people who works and works and puts others’ needs before his own (yes I have learned this from him).  While he looks and acts very healthy, and in fact swims 3-4 days per week, I have always and only somewhat teasingly, given him a hard time about his exercise and eating habits.  I joke about his 4 food groups: grease, salt, sugar and miscellaneous.  This past Thanksgiving, Dad was having some shortness of breath which quickly developed into an arrhythmia by Christmas. He was acting fine nonetheless with no other symptoms to speak of, but his health quickly snowballed and we found ourselves in the hospital with him in January having not a double, not a triple, but a 6-bypass surgery combined with a mitral valve repair and a Patent Foramen Ovale repair.

After much recovery, rehab, and time, my Dad is finally doing better. Thanks to Lisa, his life partner, our wonderful family, our friends and the fantastic doctors and nurses who were so instrumental in Dad’s recovery, as they helped us better understand the term “normal recovery time.”

While my father was so ill, I still was managing our two businesses and as any entrepreneur understands, struggling with the interesting juggling act between business and personal priorities.  Throughout my Dad’s hospital stay, important business decisions, deadlines and schedule requirements still needed to be addressed. While I have a great team to support me (thank you – you know who you are!), I still was not able to completely step away to rest or to just be with my Dad.  I was up very early each morning and again late at night working to ensure that I was able to have my days with Dad.  I soon became extremely run down, sick and the reality set in that my own balance was completely off and that I wasn’t taking very good care of myself at all.  Workouts on the CFR, time to meditate and relax, eating healthy and consistently and even drinking enough water all completely went out the window. I was simply rushing from task to task, and email to email. One day as I was struggling to think through a simple question in an email, I really started thinking …

While it’s so important for me to make time for family and for business, it’s just as important for me to make time for myself, my exercise, my nutrition and even to take a few minutes each day to be present in quiet thoughts and to prioritize my intentions for the day.  I heard a question in my own head – “How do I walk my talk and consistently live my intentions on a daily basis?” I know many friends, even my Dad and some acquaintances who also struggle with this same question. Thankfully due to amazing surgeons and my Dad’s own courage as well healing time, my Dad is almost back to his own tough old bird, wonderful self.

What about me and my choices? While all the balls in the air can be an exciting challenge, I soon began to realize that not everything had to be done IMMEDIATELY.  My business is very important and fun for me.  I meet people all over the world who are passionate about health, fitness and teaching all the wonderful ways this can be applied in daily life.  But no matter how much I enjoy my work, I realize that I can’t function properly if my health is not a priority.  So knowing this, that while work is so important and so ingrained in so many of us, family and health are MUCH more important, I ask myself, “how do I consistently live my own health and vitality?”  While it’s cliché, we know that “work will always be there,” but quite frankly, without good health, we cannot work. From good habits around the decisions we make regarding our time, to the food we eat and the people and information we surround and engage ourselves with is so vital to maintaining our own health, our sanity and the vibrant energy we need to make every moment of every day amazing.

I am absolutely committed to taking care of others and what I have learned in the past few months is how important my ability to take care of other resides in my ability to take better care of myself. I do this by making sure I have food prepped and available when I am hungry (thank you Kathy Kaehler and Sunday Set-up!), by not skipping my workouts and by spending more time with my family and friends. I also see my business and my relationships grow and thrive in ways that do not happen when I am not taking care of myself. Those old adages: we are what we eat; energy begets energy; we call what we put out ring true.  For example, 2 weeks ago we exhibited at the ECA World Fitness Convention.  It was a great success and we met so many wonderful people, including star trainers Gilad Janklowicz; Jennifer Galardi and Susie Q, who all loved the CoreFitnessRoller.

In my own reflections about health, work, family and balance, I offer for you to consider: what choices do you make that take away from your life? What choices do you make that enrich your life? What is your deepest intention and as you make each decision, does this move you closer to or farther from this intention?

With deepest love and gratitude
Spread Health


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