The Elusive Sense of Balanced


Life feels crazy and out of control. 


As we are tossed and turned by the winds of the day, we seek peace through balance.  There is a constant striving for that mystical equilibrium that evades our senses.  We say, I will shore up this pillar, I will wind around this trail in just the right way.  I can find a way to be balanced.  Yet, our fault is trying to control the circumstances instead of controlling our focus.  There will always be distractions, disappointments, and disasters, but it is where your eyes and mind are focused, that keeps the balance. 

Seeking to balance with all four limbs on a large therapy ball, I noticed the parallel to the balancing that happens in my life.  Distractions by my son pounding into the room or the dump truck rumbling through the streets right outside my window, try to pull my mind away from the balancing exercise.  I crash to the floor with the ball ending above me. A mess.

Remember the key to balancing is starting with your intention on a focal point.  Specifically, that one corner of the sofa, or flower in the design of the rug, can gather all your attention.  Balance is all about that focal point.  There will be distractions, no matter how much you try to eliminate them. There will be disappointments no matter how positive you will yourself to be.  Sadly disasters will befall you and those you love.  Those elements surrounding, you can not control.  However, you can control what you focus on.  The tossing and turning you are feeling in the rough waters of life are because you are losing your focus.

So what to focus on?  Focus on what is valuable to you.  What inspires and leads you? For me it is God.  When I have my focus on God, then I am balancing.  Note I did not say balanced.  We are NEVER going to be absolutely balanced.  The earth is turning and you must always adjust.  However, you can be balancing.  When on the ball in my living room, I can be balancing for minutes.  I can be in a state of balancing.  It is active and takes my whole mind.  I sift out the sounds and movements around me.  I know what is happening and care about those circumstances.  I am aware, but I don’t take my eye off my focal point.  


How does this happen in running?  Your focus may be a particular goal race that you are training for.  When a long workday, seasonal sickness, or a small injury, keep you from a planned run, don’t toss in the towel.  Keep your eyes on the goal race and make the needed adjustments to your training plan and continue on.

Last week just after reaching a new level of fitness, I pulled a shin muscle and needed 5 days off from running.  I was not panicked. Patience and wisdom guided my actions and thoughts. Instead of worrying, I enjoyed the extra hours of reading, knowing that I would soon be back on the road with little time to read. With my eyes on my goal of a strong base mileage phase of training, I knew the rest was going to be good for my body.  Balancing through the ups and downs of training can keep me on the path to accomplishments. 

The craziness of a family of six

The craziness of a family of six


How does this happen in parenting?  Your focus may be to raise your children to be contributing adult citizens to their community.  There comes that disappointing decision your child made. Your heart is hurt and you are embarrassed. Don’t throw in the towel and say all is lost and you failed as a parent. Instead remind yourself that it is an up and down journey for your child and keep focused on the goal of raising them to be a contributing citizen.


Balance with calmness by having your eyes on the focal point.

June 2011

June 2011



Shelly Binsfeld

Running Coach in Minnesota

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