Vacation, Training and Other Stress Factors

Family Fun or Family Disaster?

You are going on vacation. It has been a while. You are looking forward to it, and then you catch yourself being constantly aggravated for no good reason. That was me a couple of weeks ago,  I was going on a trip with my wife and my oldest child. I just did not get it, here we were, going on a vacation, and I am stressed out, moody, and could not help myself doing the same to my family.

The stress of distressing

I am a person that works best with a plan, with organization. I am more likely to fall apart nutrition- or training-wise in times when my routine is interrupted, I am stressed or unorganized. I am not sure about your family but my family is exactly that. My family is chaotic. My wife is someone who likes to sleep in, who sees a schedule, especially when going on vacation as flexible and more of a rough idea with a two hour window. I am diametrically opposed to that. It was a recipe for disaster and my wife was laughing at me, having a hard time relaxing. It took me about one and half days to finally started relaxing.

Are you a driven person?

As a driven person myself I can say that relaxing on the beach sounds like an absolute nightmare to me. I like to run, swim, snorkel, do stuff. Sitting in beach chair is not part of that. If you are similar to me you might be able to relate.

It is important to realize what kind of person you are. Are you the person that just enjoys relaxing at the pool/beach or do you need to be active. Find what works for you the best and make sure to fit some of it in, so you don’t feel shortchanged.

What coping strategy do you have?

Not being able to relax, like in my case can also be a sign that I am trying to stay busy in order not to deal with emotional “stuff”.  That is also something to consider and true relaxation will probably not set in until I confront whatever issue it is. On this vacation it was easy, I tried to be the perfect husband/father and have a perfect vacation. It was the “perfect” set up for failure. Finally Jessie, my wife told me to simply do what I needed, regardless of them. Oh wow, so simple and so hard. I took naps, worked out, read a book, listened to audio books and guess what: I started to relax and was much more fun to be around.

Relaxing is different for everyone

Relaxing does not come in just one flavor. It is okay to take a vacation and chill out, it is equally okay to work out, snorkel, go hiking etc. You need to find what works for you and communicate to your spouse or partner about it and find a solution that works for both of you.

Forget Working Out?

Working out is optional. We work out to feel better, look better but sometimes after a while not working out can be what our body needs to recover strength, grow muscle mass, etc.

If you are not working out for a week and are on vacation, you might gain some weight. That does not mean you cannot regroup afterwards. If by doing so, you feel crappy about yourself then go ahead and work out. Have fun doing it though. Vacations are the time to rediscover your inner child and find out what you enjoy, play around. Have 2 or three structured training sessions during the week and then go explore what you enjoy.

Working out can take the form of many different activities that do not involve the gym

  • swimming
  • hiking
  • rockclimbing
  • snorkeling
  • scuba diving
  • water skiing
  • trail running
  • backpacking
  • horseback riding

The opportunities are endless.



Embrace the chaos of your family and your vacation but make sure that you look after yourself. The saying: “You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others!” holds very much true. Especially in a family environment that can easily get forgotten.

While on vacation find different ways to work out. It gives your muscles a nice break from routine and can rejuvenate the joy of training!



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