Pursuing Balance in My Fitness Goals

March 8, 2023 Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer

This year, I started training for a particularly ambitious fitness goal: a 10-day trek in the Himalayan Mountains. In October 2023, I will travel to Nepal and embark on the adventure of a lifetime, but first, I need to acclimate to hiking in extreme weather conditions at the highest altitude on earth. That's no small feat for someone who lives in Phoenix, Arizona, a desert with minimal elevation.

But it's not only the elements that present a challenge—if I am not careful, my training habits could easily veer into compulsive exercise terrain. Knowing this about myself, I need to focus on pursuing balance in my fitness goals. But what does that even mean? Am I capable of achieving it? How can I build the strength and stamina to handle such intense physical exertion and yet still maintain eating disorder recovery at the same time? Stick with me as I tease apart those questions.

It's Tough to Pursue Balance in My Fitness Goals, But I'm Working on It

At the risk of coming across as a stereotypical Millennial with an incurable case of wanderlust, I have always been fascinated by the Himalayan region. Mountain peaks that literally pierce the clouds, bisecting almost an entire subcontinent on the other side of the globe—the sheer mystique of it captures my imagination. In about seven months, I'll make this dream a reality, and it will test both my mental and physical fitness. That does not scare me, though. I find intensity exhilarating. The hardest part will be to pursue balance in my fitness goal and resist the impulse to overtrain. 

Fortunately, I'm not undertaking this alone. My support and accountability network is solid. I have a husband who intuitively honors the capabilities (and limitations) of his own body. He encourages me to aim for steadiness over punitive effort and unsustainable ferocity. I have a therapist who is also a competitive triathlete and has successfully overcome an eating disorder herself. She reminds me to prioritize recovery, wellbeing, and mental health above any fitness goal. I have an athletic coach who knows firsthand how to approach this level of training. He empowers me to create the right exercise and nutritional habits—ones that reinforce health instead of punishment or restriction.

I want this experience to be memorable and positive, so as unnatural as it feels, I've committed to pursuing balance in my fitness goals. Can I battle the eating disorder instinct, which tells me to push beyond even the point of burnout? Check with me in a few months—hopefully, the answer is "Yes."  In the meantime, though, I won't look too far ahead. I will trust the knowledge of experts. I will listen to the intuition of my own wise, resilient body. I will accept that progress is incremental. I will strive for balance in the here and now. That, in itself, is a mountain to climb. 

APA Reference
Schurrer, M. (2023, March 8). Pursuing Balance in My Fitness Goals, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 23 from

Author: Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer

Connect with Mary-Elizabeth on Facebook, Instagram and her personal blog.

Leave a reply