Prior to the birth of my little girl, I spoke to a work colleague how I would fit my gym routine around my soon to be changing life.
“Oh you won’t have time for all that anymore,” they said in an almost self-satisfied manner.
The gym has been part of my life for over 15 years and to say its something I wouldn’t be doing anymore was like saying I wouldn’t be doing any breathing anymore – it just was not an option – I wasn’t going to sit back with TV, comfort eating and a dadbod (vomit..)
In the scheme of things, if there is something that you really want to do, you will find a way to get it done.
And that is precisely what happened to me. At first, it was a struggle, which as having a baby, should be a radical change to anyone’s life, goes without saying. After the first month I did wonder if my colleague was right – as I held my unconsolable screaming daughter in my arms as a one-month-old, I wondering whether normality or routine would return.
Fortunately, it did as baby got to know us better and my wife managed to start figuring out better what the hell we were doing. Soon I worked out a routine so I could maintain a four time a week gym schedule.
I decided that the best time to hit the gym was when everyone else was still in bed, so before I went to work I got up early and hit the gym for an hour or so. That way upon returning to work I could be there for family time.
Since fatherhood, I have found comfort in the advice of other good fathers, who almost seem like supermen balancing this duty with other commitments.
They have been role models and people that I aspire to be like. One father is the embodiment of no excuses – he can’t get to the gym due to his kids schedule, but with the aid of some weights and a body weight workout app never misses a workout when the kids are in bed. Like I say, if you want it enough you will always find a way.
I am glad I can still keep the gym in the life, it has been my sanctuary where I can switch off and focus on the task at hand of lifting a load of heavy objects.
It’s all good as I don’t just go through the motions and tell myself how good I am for showing up. Each time I go I make effort to challenge myself and set goals for what I want to achieve. After each session, my body is exhausted – but this doesn’t stop me being a father, just like being a father doesn’t stop me having a workout.
There are probably men who use fatherhood as an excuse why they have the dadbod, but I imagine that they were a bit lazy in the first place and use this as the excuse not to train.
I want my daughter to grow up knowing what she can achieve with effort, dormant dad is not the way to go.
Just because some life-changing event happens this shouldn’t stop you doing it completely. If its something you love whether its the gym, running, cycling, climbing, writing, whatever – keep doing what you love.