Jan's Blog - The Balance Challenge

Posted by Jan Guenther on Apr 28th 2015

Well, I have decided to start writing in my very own Gear West run blog.  
“The Balance Challenge” 
While making cookies Saturday night I was thinking about my life. I was reviewing all the challenges I take on: staying fit, trying to be a strict but loving mom to my remaining boy in high school, not eating sugar (after two weeks, that goal blew up with the cookie dough), promoting all the Gear West businesses (not an easy job at all), getting the Gear West Adrenaline building done and the business moved, and a few more issues I will not mention. I decided I need to reach out to other women around my age who take on similar challenges and encourage you all to write in. (please submit your stories to the email address linked at bottom of this blog)
I am encouraging any woman to share how they face daily challenges—we will talk about how to stay motivated to be fit after forty, and after 50. 
While promoting a specific Gear West group run last Sunday, I joined a local workout group that meets at Anytime Fitness in Mound. Members of this group  commit to 100 push-ups and four minutes of planks each day. Now all of a sudden,  I feel I have to do this too, even though I have not actually done any extra push ups yet. I am deciding how to fit 100 of them into my day so it will be a challenge I can ACHIEVE, and not something else I feel personal remorse about not getting done. 
Why am I adding another thing to my life? Because I think I will feel better – internally - if I do, and if others can do it, why can’t I? Sort of a stupid reason, but maybe I will run faster? Look better? Eat more? And of course I have to add these pile of push-ups around a weekly yoga class, cross-fitting, biking, taking my son to get sized for a some super expensive tuxedo rental because “everyone wears formal at prom, duh, mom” and work. Work presents big challenges to me.  In the winter I worry about a lack of snow, in the summer, I worry about how to attract customers in Long Lake for shoes? How to promote all the cool things Gear West does? How to continue to create the best specialty retail store in the age of the web? I could knock my head against the wall sometimes with all the challenges retail throws at me. So I need to run. And do more push-ups. 
I thought the decade of my 50’s would be easier than 40’s or 30’s, but I honestly can say I have experienced my biggest challenges these past 5+ years. And I am super lucky: I haven’t had any cancer scares, no near deaths in the family, nothing really tragic. Yet I opened a second retail store which has challenged me beyond expectations. The changing face of retail has forced me to try to grow our web business in the face of huge competitors. We at Gear West have never been more organized, more knowledgeable, had more marketing, and been more competitive price-wise, yet business is more challenging than ever. I try hard to be that person INC magazine writes about, but I just have not stumbled on that clever idea which will reinvent brick and mortar.
I use and need exercise to stimulate and to give me energy. I am running the Minnetonka Half Marathon this Sunday, a race I have done for many  years. Since I cannot run as many miles as I used to, my plan is to recover from two weekend-long runs, and instead, bike. Tomorrow is some yoga for flexibility followed by an hour run with 40 sec pick-ups for speed and then, I go to work. I will not run much more until an easy trail run Friday or Saturday before the race. 
So, ladies—this cannot be a monologue. I need to learn how to promote this blog so YOU all can chime in with your ideas, your challenges, your resiliency to world – or just family- pressures. Or you can tell me what you would like to hear... how to train? What shoes or clothing problems you have.... all that stuff. 
Please send your stories (and any photos)
I will post them in my new blog.
Thanks, Jan


-Posted by Jan Guenther on Apr 28th 2015