I used to be a personal trainer. I should adore gyms. Unfortunately, I have little love for them. It’s not that I don’t like group classes or enjoy all of the equipment that a gym provides that my house simple does not. A good TRX band workout starts my day off right. I just simply can’t engage in regular physical activity if there are any barriers between getting that activity done. I already have two small kids under 5, two dogs, two jobs (why must everything be in pairs?) and I am the primary parent in our household. Unless a gym were to move next door to me, then any gym is too far away. I don’t have the luxury of driving anywhere while having to allot time to: 1) park 2) Change into my gym clothes 3) Stuff my belongings into a grimy communal locker 4) Walk around the gym looking for all the equipment that I want to use while hoping some meat head hasn’t decided that he is owning that piece for the next 45 minutes
5) Do my workout. Then I need to make sure I have time to either: awkwardly take a shower in the public bathroom in my flip flops only to have to come out and share a bench with some stranger while I dress OR commute back to my house and get my car sweaty so that at least I can shower in peace.
Also, having to be anywhere on time is a major struggle with two small kids. I am a type A personality that was always the person arriving to an event with 5-10 minutes to spare. Now I am constantly arriving places late, with unbrushed hair that I have pulled into a sloppy top knot, with one child who has had two meltdowns in the last 10 minutes and one child that has already peed through two pants and undies even though she has only been awake for an hour. How the heck am I supposed to make it in time to do a popular yoga class at a gym? The whole workout would barely undo the stress of getting there.
Yet, I am still a huge fan of doing something physical every day. Monday through Friday I set my alarm to ring an hour before my kids wake up so I can do 30 minutes of some type of workout (it takes me about 25 minutes to get out of my sleep stupor in the mornings). Some days I can only squeeze in a good 15-20 minutes because one of my demanding children (or both) can sense that I am trying to get something productive done for myself and starts screaming that they need to get up. On the weekends, I try to get an hour of something done in one day and I make sure that I have a rest day. I am flexible with myself on the weekends, though, since I am pretty strict with myself during the week. It has taken me a long time to figure out a routine that works for me, but I have managed to find it with some patience and self-forgiveness. I am sure that all of us have our perfect routine out there somewhere. On your journey to find yours, ditch the gym (unless it is already working for you), and you will likely figure out your particular recipe of weekly physical activity.
Stay healthy my friends,