If You Make the Effort, It Counts…Right?

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Ever feel like there’s a buffalo road block preventing you from working out? Credit: D Sharon Pruitt

The world is conspiring against my workouts, I swear. (And actually, my work, too, because both kids are napping right now and what does the dog do? Barfs right at my feet in the office.)

It’s no small effort to get the kids and myself out the door to hit the gym. It takes planning. And working around naps. And rescheduling my infant daycare reservation when it’s clear that my youngest will be napping during the scheduled time. It also takes bundling up in coats and changing diapers and outfits when someone inevitably poops right when we’re about to walk out the door. It’s exhausting just getting there. Which is why it’s so disappointing when things don’t go as planned once I get to the gym.

For once, I’m not even talking about getting called back to daycare because one of my kids is inconsolable. My oldest is now a gym daycare rockstar, after much, much practice. So I expect my son to get upset every now and then. It happens. It’s my job to go back and be happy with a 10-minute workout.

But the other day I showed up for my scheduled afternoon daycare session, checked the kids in, and then checked them right back out. I was there five minutes, tops. At my gym, the infants have a separate room adjoining the toddler room. No one was staffing the infant room, so a staff member told me to just leave my (barely crawling) son in the toddler room. I’m fine with that. Only there wasn’t anybody in the toddler room either. A child had hurt himself, so there was blood to be cleaned up and the two staff members just weren’t enough to deal with the chaos at hand. Bad timing all around. No one’s fault really, but I wasn’t about to leave my 10-month-old somewhere no one was keeping an eye on him, even if it was a kid-friendly room. I can’t even trust my 2-year-old not to poke him in the eye for fun; I certainly wasn’t going to leave him to fend for himself with her and several other kids running around.

So I left, mad. And headed to the gymnasium instead. My daughter loves to run around with basketballs and volleyballs, so I shot some hoops, getting some activity in chasing my ball down while the kids played. We were having a grand old time when my daughter spit on the floor. Feeling like I’d lost all control and needing to teach her a lesson that it’s not okay to spit, I gathered them to go. Or tried to. Owen started screaming when I tried to get his coat on, Avery was on the court where two guys were trying to shoot hoops, and she wouldn’t listen to me to move out of their way. Owen’s shoe came off during his fit and no sooner had I gotten it back on that his other one popped right off.

It was one of those days where I’m shaking my fits, shouting “Why do I even TRY?!” Once I got us all the way back out to the car, I was exhausted. And feeling defeated. But I keep trying. Because, judging by my burning arms from carrying my youngest, even doing that much was a workout. And for every day there is mass chaos and a terrible daycare experience, maybe there is a time down the road when I’ll be able to fit in a 30-minute workout. Or an entire class. Dare I ever hope to take a gym shower?

Ever have those days when the world is ganging up on you and your workouts? —Erin


Comments

  1. Julie@MotivatePT says

    Don’t sweat it..I think we all have days like these! What do they say about the best laid plans? As you rightly point out though, exercise is not something that always needs to be scheduled at the gym for us to experience the benefits. Fine when you don’t have kids and family to look after but in fact, carrying kids, lifting the shopping out of the car, doing the housework or even weeding those flower beds – it all gets us moving and burning calories, so we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves if life conspires against us known and again. I simply take days like that and channel all that stress into making my next workout really count. Staying focused on your fitness goals is what really matters.

  2. Emily says

    This post was very timely for me, except the person interfering with my workouts was a coworker with last-minute demands. I don’t know if it’s worse if a child is the cause or an adult :) Just remember there’s always a chance to get that workout in the next day.

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