The past twelve months have been an absolute roller coaster. My wife Lianna and I took in our first foster care placement back in April 2017 — a six month old little dude with crazy hair and a killer smile who we called Baby J. Now one year later, Baby J is now Toddler J. We’ve learned a lot about prioritizing, life balance, and how to function on 50% less sleep.
Sometimes we take on life changes willingly, like in our case. Other times these big changes get dumped on our heads with no warning. Any way you slice it, big life changes force us to re-prioritize. Trying to fit in all the pieces of our old life is often impossible. For Lianna and I, figuring out how to stay fit was (and still is!) one of the hardest parts of our transition to parenthood.
Prior to parenthood, Lianna and I both worked out at Sabertooth 5-6 days a week. I was often working out two sessions a day, sometimes putting in 2-3 hours of training, and having a blast doing it. I was finally turning the corner on my overall strength. I had finally gotten above 170lbs body weight for the first time. Lianna absolutely crushed the Open last year, and was crossing goals off her list left and right. We were both in a great routine, and our fitness was a high priority. We were able to support this lifestyle with a great diet, and plenty of sleep.
Then Baby J came into our lives, and everything changed!
Our top priority became loving this boy. Sleep became a precious commodity. For the first 3 months, J didn’t sleep through the night a single time. We considered it a huge victory to get 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep during the night. Cooking healthy meals at night felt like an impossible task. Working out seemed almost laughable at first. I remember my first couple of workouts the week after we took in J…I felt like I got hit by a truck. I lost about 12lbs in the first six weeks. Our routine was turned on it’s head, and it’s taken us most of this year to re-establish some semblance of regularity in training again.
When it comes to our fitness, the line we’ve continually been telling ourselves is: Something is better than Nothing.
Maybe you got a new job with a crazy schedule. Maybe you got hit with a nasty illness or injury. Maybe you’re just in a hard season of your life, and taking care of your physical well-being got knocked down your priority list. Regardless of the reason why this is happening, remind yourself: Something is better than nothing.
Back in the day, my training session might have been working on snatches, then back squats, and two conditioning pieces, plus mobility and cool down.
Now, sometimes my training sessions look more like active recovery. Not for time: 1000m row, 1000m ski erg, 1000m bike. Just get in and move for 15 minutes. It’s better than nothing — even though I’m not in there crushing a metcon, I get a little sweaty and feel better afterwards.
On Tuesdays I take J to the Mall of America, throw him in the stroller and we walk laps around. As a somewhat competitive CrossFit athlete, would I have even considered this exercise a year ago? Probably not. Now, it’s something.
Got a busy day full of drop offs & pick ups, work, cooking, play time? Do 50 burpees right when you wake up. Or 100 air squats. Or find an at-home video you can follow.
It’s vitally important that we keep our fitness “pilot light” going, even in hard times. You will feel better, physically and mentally if you get even a few minutes of exercise in. If we let that light completely go out, it always feels way harder to get back into it at all, even when we do eventually get the time back again. Moving slowly is better than not moving at all — like we always say in the gym, Progress over Perfection.
You don’t need to compare yourself now, to your past self.
Something is better than nothing. Just because it may not be your ideal workout, doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing!
— Coach Chris
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