by Brady McElhaney
For those of us who raise children, in addition to our strength and conditioning goals, balance is a luxury. In my experience, balance does not exist. The only balance I worry about is my checking account. Being a father of three, ages 10, 6, and 5, each day is a whirlwind of activity. Ballet, basketball camp, family commitments, homework and just keeping a house together is enough to make somebody scream. Then throw in a 3 or 4 workout per week schedule and the straw just broke the camel's back.
So how does it all work you ask? YOU MAKE IT WORK. That's right. Everyone has to be a bit selfish and say "I have to do this today." Now, you may not get your usual hour or hour and a half in the gym but you can get it done. Only 30-45 minutes? Do your main lift and go home. Go to work, grocery shopping, run errands, doctor appointments. Whatever is on the list. If the kids are with you and you've got to get some sprints done, take them to a park or an open field and make it a race. Just think of the fun you can share together and it won't seem like work.
To those out there with babies, put them in a stroller and do some long walks. I was able to lose a 100lbs about 4 years ago and the biggest portion of that time, my youngest was a baby. I pushed a stroller along the river greenway, while my daughter was in preschool. I saw a picture of Jim Wendler pushing the prowler in front of his house, with his new baby in a stroller parked in the driveway. He's doing what he needs to do. So what's your excuse?
Just a couple days ago, my daughter had to go to the doctor for her cough that kept getting worse. This was on Monday. Squat Monday. I always squat on Monday, nothing else can happen but priorities prevail. The doctor said she's ok to go to school. So I dropped her off, ran home for my workout bag, packed my meals for work and went to the gym. Completing one of my fastest workouts ever. Just squats and gone. Had to eat on the way to work. My point is get your most "bang for your buck" and get the hell out. The assistance work can be another time.
I feel like Ray from Rain Man on some days. If my routine doesn't fall into place, I'm all screwed up. Remember, Ray couldn't eat breakfast without maple syrup on the table. That's me exactly. Not able to see past one small detail. Over time I'm learning to settle on what I've got done, instead of what I've got left over. Don't just let the day go by because you're too busy or have to work overtime. Take the initiative to make yourself better within limited time. That is my challenge to you.