Triple Threat

Triple Threat

If I could describe it quantitatively, I would say that I feel like I have about 270 units of me to give and a total of 300 units expected by others. What do I mean? I mean that if I divided my life into three sections (professional, personal, and physical) and awarded each section 100 units to represent operating at 100% in that area, I estimate that on average I operate at about 90% of my full potential. Don’t get me wrong, I would give 100% to everything if I could. But I believe that everyone is limited to some degree. Whether it is money, time, knowledge, or other factors, rarely do we have everything available to produce perfect results. The challenge is to see how we can efficiently use what we have available to us. Finding the best balance is unique and personal to each individual.


In this post, I want to focus on the physical, because for me it is often the section that I tend to shortchange. Because it is my personality to please others, I am inclined to prioritize high expectations of me from my boss, teachers, peers, family, and friends (professional and personal). Examples would include pulling an all-nighter to finish homework, going out with friends, traveling home to see my family, staying at work late or arriving early to accomplish more. Although these are all good things to do, if not done properly, it can take away from my physical being. Being in D.C. for the summer has presented unique limitations and opportunities for me in the area.




In my home state of Illinois, most businesses operate from about 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. On the east coast, many businesses including my internship site, Marzulla Law, operate from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Although this better allows East Coast businesses to overlap business hours with counterparts in other times zones, it limits the time I have available in the evening. Additionally, it takes me much longer to commute to/from work here in the city. With the academic course I take with The Washington Center each Tuesday evening and the other events I attend throughout the week, it is challenging to get enough sleep and find time to make it to the gym.



One of the only things that could make my experience in D.C. better is if my internship was paid. Although I saved enough money to get by before arriving to D.C., sometimes I have to make decisions based on budgetary needs - like buying generic brands over organic food. And paying for a gym membership… forget it!




The Washington Center provides a holistic internship program for us 550 interns this summer. In addition to the internship itself, an academic course, civic engagement projects, and professional development workshops, they have a workout center in the lower level of the Residential and Academic Facility at NoMa. Over the past week and a half I have been taking advantage of the gym.


Me taking a goofy selfie at The Washington Center's fitness Center



Although in the past I did most things in the evening after work or school, recently I have been waking up early so that I can go to the gym before work since my internship doesn’t start till 9 a.m. Furthermore, I utilize my time by running to the gym so that I get cardio exercise out of the way before arriving. Once there, I do quick high intensity workouts so that I can limit my workout time to about 30 minutes.


D.C.’s Beauty

One motivating factor that can only be had in D.C. is the magnitude of historic sites and monuments. There is no other city where I can go on a 5 mile run and run right past the Capitol Building, the National Mall, the Washington Monument, the reflecting pool, the Lincoln Memorial, and so much more.  This also makes my commute to work by bike much more enjoyable.


Me concluding a run to the Martin Luther King Memorial


Coupons, Coupons, Coupons!

It is a well-known and discussed fact that D.C. is one of the most expensive places to live. If you are savvy though, D.C. is a great place to take advantage of free events. Additionally, I believe very strongly in coupons and bargain shopping. With the money I save, I make every attempt to buy organic and healthy food. Eastern Market, which is less than a mile from my place, is one way I try to get fresh and local food.


One of my most proud purchases since arriving in D.C. (Notice the clearance sticker)


Although not easy, focusing on my physical health and fitness while in D.C. is feasible. Keeping a good balance between the professional, personal, and physical aspects of me as a person is key. Although it has taken me a few weeks to find that new balance that works for me while being in D.C., I finally feel like I am there.  Every morning I wake up feeling rested and ready to face a new day.

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