I have been a steady weekend warrior for the past three years. What does that look like? It looks like 5am wake ups in the winter to get out touring in the mountains all day. Or 7am starts during the summer to go on scrambling and climbing adventures. Or if I am camping, then Friday’s at work where I rush home, throw everything into the car and head out to adventure. Generally I crawl in late on Sunday and usually don’t unpack before going to sleep and waking up early for work on Monday.
Being a weekend warrior is great. It allows me to have a full-time job and career which helps me pay off my student loans and get out to do the things I love to do like touring, climbing, camping, hiking, and basically all things mountains.
But what no one tells you about being a weekend warrior is that it can be exhausting. I work a 37.5 hour (on a normal week) job in consulting from Monday to Friday and I teach dog training 2 nights a week. Factor in summer weekends where I’m camping most weekends and that leaves me really with two nights a week to manage gear, do laundry, train my own dogs, follow my passion projects, train for races, make food, do groceries and all of the other fun life stuff.
A couple of weekends ago I was throwing together my gear to head out camping and I started crying. I had a laptop that had been broken for months that I still hadn’t fixed, my gear shelves were becoming more and more disorganized, I hadn’t unloaded photos from my DSLR in 2017, I still hadn’t put up frames in my bedroom for my apartment that I moved into in January… and the list went on. I was mentally exhausted from only prioritizing weekend warrioring and not taking care of anything else. The worst part though, was that I felt that skipping a weekend of camping and taking a day for myself would mean that I’m not a real weekend warrior, that I’m not as capable of dealing with life and making it all work.
Obviously, this was stupid. I did go camping that weekend, I didn’t regret it. But the following weekend I decided that one mountain adventure day was enough and that I would take a day to actually take care of myself and release the mental stress which had been piling up by crossing things off my to do list. What happened was an amazing thing. I caught up on so much of my to do list and my mental game improved immediately.
That is the shitty side of being a weekend warrior. I’ve already learned to let my cleaning and organization standards drop. But we are only capable of so much. So if you’re a weekend warrior like me and you find yourself crying while packing gear for your adventure, then you should probably take a day for yourself. It won’t make you any less of an adventurer and it will make your life feel far more balanced.