Guest Blogger: Amy + how to find time to stay active!

make fitness a priorityIt’s me again.  Kat and I have many discussions about finding the time 
to stay active with a busy life.  I am often asked where I find the
time to do what I do.  It is a challenge for all of us.  I always
 enjoyed an active life but it was inconsistent and certainly was 
never at the level it is at now.  I really ramped it up over the past 
year.  I have the least amount of time I’ve ever had but am in the
 best shape I’ve ever been in and work out more than I ever have.




Ramping it up has been a process that came out of a not so great time
 in my life.
 I never had any health concerns, ever. Shortly after I had my
 daughter last year I found out what it is like not to have your 
health.  It was an unbelievably stressful time for myself and my 
family.  I was unable to get out of bed at times and saw more doctors 
in a few months than I had in my whole life.  Being sick also takes an
 emotional toll, add a little bit of postpartum anxiety to that and
 I became an emotional disaster.

Running was a way out of an
 extremely dark time for me.  I am much better today; although I
struggle daily with chronic pain and the emotional impact that comes
 with that.  I don’t take anything for granted and do everything I can 
to maintain my health.  When I was able to start up a running routine 
my mantra was: “I run becasue I can, I run because I can”, I repeat 
it over and over 
again and still do on tough runs.

Everyone that can be active should 
be active, in my opinion.

OK!  that is a bit more than I thought I would ever be sharing on
the internet!!!! Everyone has their struggles in life and mine have
 led me to be such great friends with Kat and to this blog. I have a
total new lease on life and oddly enough I am actually thankful for such a miserable time, I found out who my real friends are, I realized
 how wonderful my husband and family are and it led me to do things I never
 thought possible.

 So I am taking my take on time and exercise to the blog.  I am still 
not the best at saying what 
I need to say so it’s a little Q&A.

Kat: You’re a busy mom (and teacher) – why do you make the time to exercise?

Amy: I make the time to exercise for many reasons.  The number one reason I
 make time to exercise is because I want my kids to grow up in an
 active household with two active parents.  I also make the time to
 exercise because it makes me a much better mom, wife and teacher.  I
 am not tired or
 cranky, I feel good and I generally have lots of energy.  I do feel
 guilty if I have to leave the kids for an hour but that hour makes the
 rest of the time so much more enjoyable.  It’s worth it.

Kat: How do you make the time to fit exercise in.

Amy: This one is tricky. The only way I will ever have time to work out
 with my busy life is to make it a priority in my day.  If I cannot go 
to the gym I go for a run with the double jogger, if there is snow on 
the ground I have a number of circuits I can do at home while I busy the kids
 with activities (or include them).  I also do yoga or jump rope.
There is always
 something I can do to get a workout in.  I have a million and one 
excuses not to
 work out but I do it anyway.  In the end it’s all down to prioritizing 
and finding the 
time to do something, anything.  Once you establish an active life it 
is so much easier to keep it up.  I’ve lived life as an active person
 and a non-active person.  This life is so much better.

Kat: What do you think is the biggest challenge for you to get it in.

Amy: Hands down it’s the guilt of leaving the kids to do something for
 myself, as much as I can workout at home it is not realistic for me to
 always do it at home.  Also I really don’t want to.  I like to get
out… alone. 🙂

Kat: 

Do you have any tips for other parents out there who want to get more 
active but are struggling?

Amy: I do!  If you can get your work outs in before the kids wake up, do 
it!  Also think of things you can do with the children.  I trained for 
a 5K and a 10K with a double stroller.  Take the kids to a big field
 and just go crazy running after after them, get some cheap snowshoes,
go skiing, have a dance party, there are a million things I do with 
the kids to get a sweat on.  Also go to the gym and don’t feel badly
 about making your health and fitness a priority in your life.  It will
 make you a happier parent with much more energy to spend with the 
little ones.  As a person who grew up with an extremely active father 
I can’t tell
you how much they will look up to you (even when they are 33).

Kat: How is crossfit going?

Amy: Unbelievable!!  I had a terrible chest cold so was out of commission
 for almost 2 weeks but I am back at it!!!  I put weight on the
 bar now and am so much faster!  I truly cannot believe the things I am
 achieving.  I recommend it to everyone!  It is an amazing sport.

Do you need a buddy to keep you on track with your New Years goals?

If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.

Okay. So thank you Facebook for prompting this blog post (and sorry if it ends in some ranting). I’ve seen a few status’s from some people who are annoyed with the influx of new bodies at the gym because of New Years fitness and health goal/resolutions. Sadly, most of the comments are: “well, give it a few days/weeks and they’ll quit anyway.” Look, I ain’t naive. I know that it’s no secret that people make New Years resolutions that are next to impossible to keep (eg: six pack abs in four weeks). I know that sometimes we get so excited trying to make positive changes in our lives, that goals get out of hand. And don’t kid yourselves, we’ve all been there: too many changes too fast – trust me, I know. I also know first-hand that some people are just jerks. Period. They take more pleasure in seeing somebody else fail, than succeed (God only knows why).

Let me tell you a little story.

Last year I decided (after several attempts) that I was going to start going to the gym early in the morning. I had made grandiose new years resolutions that I would finally get back into shape; I would go to the gym every day; work out – yadda yadda yadda. It took a while, but I finally got the nerve to go. I arrived super EARLY that morning. I was so proud of myself. I signed up for the machine I preferred (you know the one I mean; the one that has absolutely NO ONE directly behind – no one needs to see that). I started doing my thing. Then, out of nowhere, I got accosted by a regular (who, I came to find out from the fitness center monitor, regularly humiliated people and also favoured the machine I was on). He accused me of not following protocol. (Seriously guy, it’s 6:30 a.m… protocol?)

I looked at the board and realized someone erased my name off of the sign ups – obviously an honest mistake. But this guy was just a dick (side-note: thank goodness none of my resolutions were to stop swearing; some year I will but this ain’t it). Anyway, I told him that I had signed up and it must have been erased. He rolled his eyes, hopped onto the machine beside me and turned to the woman there and started bitching about me within earshot. SERIOUSLY? I was already self-conscious as it was, the last thing I needed was some gym-freak making it more uncomfortable. And he did. It took me a few days and maybe even a week or so to comfortably get back at it. But I eventually I did. I even managed to say “Hi!” to him one morning (mostly just to get a rise out of him).

So here’s a thought for all you people out there who have no patience for the “newbies” at the gym: why don’t you just try to encourage them? It’s not easy to go, especially if you haven’t been active. It takes a while and some confidence to get into a new routine. And for some people, it literally is a struggle every day. And seriously, what the hell do you gain by taking pleasure in someone else’s failure especially when you can share in helping them succeed?

Mumbai Personal Training

You all know that yesterday I needed motivation to get out and run and within a few minutes of asking for help, one of my online pals gave me the encouragement I needed to get going. It’s that easy. It’s that support and encouragement that helps people achieve their goals – no matter how big or small. And I believe we’d all be better off if we just learned how to support each other more.

And with that, I’m asking that if anyone out there needs a running or workout buddy, whether in person or online – I’m your gal! Call on me! 

Truly. I need it as much as anyone else!

And for goodness sakes you old gym rats: OK. So you find it severely annoying when your routine is messed up because a “newbie” is using YOUR machine at the gym. Cut them some damn slack. Instead of being a jerk. Just talk to them. Give them a pat on the back. Or shut the hell up and carry-on with another piece of equipment. It’s that simple.

Okay. That’s it. Really. I hope that if you made a resolution, that you will stick to it. I’m only three days into not eating stuff that comes in a package and I’m thinking, “oh no, a whole year of this?!”

But I have faith. I know I can do it and so can you!