by Flex Luthor
Well guys, 2015 has come and gone, and we're still using roads like a bunch of suckers. I guess this goes to show that things don't always turn out the way we imagine. I certainly learned this lesson over the past year. Some fitness and general health facts were also validated the hard way during 2015. At the end of 2014, I became a father and everything changed.
I have a hard time imagining many other things as disruptive and life changing as becoming a parent. Yes, you do give up a lot (a lot!) for the sake of that brand new person. Sometimes you look back at your life only a few short months ago and cannot believe how free you were. And yes, it is absolutely, 100% worth it. Everything your child does is beyond awesome, and you feel bad for every other parent in the world because they have to settle for their own children while you have the best, cutest little baby in the world. But as far as going to the gym and staying fit are concerned, becoming a parent is like a nuclear bomb.
To say that parenthood cramps your style is an understatement, to say the least. You are attacked on several fronts.Firstly, if you are not lucky enough to have a baby who sleeps through the night, you will end up waking up several times every night. And if you're like me, once you're up, it takes a long time to fall asleep again. Secondly, the lack of sleep drains your energy, on top of the fact that you not only don't get a break from your usual responsibilities, like work, but you also have new, baby related ones. When you run on fumes, good luck getting a decent workout at the gym, if any at all. The lack of sleep has another, horrible effect. You see, all other things being equal, if you don't get proper sleep, you will gain weight. Finally, for me, not getting regular and frequent workouts pushes me to eat all the wrong things at all the wrong times. The opposite is also true: after a good workout, the last thing I feel like having is junk food. That is just one of the wonderful byproducts of lifting, along with increased overall energy, which would help tremendously in this context!
But once the baby starts sleeping through the night, everything goes back to normal, right?
There's another person I haven't mentioned so far: your significant other. In my particular case, I have no idea how my wife does it. She is amazing at taking care of our child, and has the patience of a saint. At least I get to go to work, see other people and do my own thing. My wife has been on mat leave the entire time and spends all of her time with the baby. Having taken care of our little bundle of joy on my own once in a while, for entire days, I can tell you it's no vacation!
So it would be very harsh and unfair for me to just take off for an hour and a half to hit the gym while she's at home, exhausted and unable to get any time to herself, let alone get in a workout of her own. She used to be a yoga instructor and absolutely loved practicing, so I can imagine her level of frustration is on par with mine relative to the lack of lifting in my life as of late.
You know what, though? All the stuff I've outlined above, as insurmountable as it may seem, is ultimately just a bunch of excuses. Up until a couple of months ago, I still managed to lift 2 to 4 times a week. They weren't the best workouts by any stretch, but damn it, I still managed to go. I stopped simply because both my wife and child got sick, one after the other. With a sick wife, my son relied on me more than usual, which meant having to spend more time at home. With a sick baby, we went back to getting up several times a night, with all the above described consequences.
But this is a brand new year, and things are already looking up. Our little one is starting daycare next week, which will give my wife a chance to catch her breath. Also, I've been coming home for lunch over the past couple of months in order to give my wife a small break in the middle of each day. Now, I will be able to hit the gym during lunch hour. How sweet is that?!
Yes, 2016 definitely feels like the beginning of a new chapter: lifting and fatherhood, balanced and harmonious. This is how I see the coming year, and I will definitely keep you all posted.
How about you guys? What is the biggest obstacle you've ever come across in your quest for gains?