How I have Adjusted My Workouts Since Becoming a Father
Its 2:47am, I hear a wail, long pause… then another wail, this time it hits a crescendo, I toss over. Then comes the incessant yell, the protest with tiny arms and legs. Man, I was almost at the best part of the dream. The sleep wears off one blink at a time, one movement of a limb at a time. Now comes the interesting part, I have to decipher the cause of this disturbance. I choose the 3 usual suspects: Hunger, a wet diaper, or … nothing. Most likely hunger. Thank God for her mama. She is good with this shit. She has these instincts unbeknownst to me to calm a baby. She shares her reservoir of nutrients with my little Sika.
Baby smiles, on a full belly. That toothless smile, warms my heart. Its reassuring, she recognizes her parents, she approves of them. That’s the only approval I need. 10 mins into this euphoria, her mood switches, she’s bored. She yells, waits for a reaction, yells again. Nothing happens. Its tantrum time. She lets out a another stuttering yell. She is feigning discomfort. My sleep be damned. Mama looks over at me. The looks that spells: you’re on duty.
I acquiesce, plant an unceremonious kiss on my baby’s forehead and put Sika in a belly hold to ready her for a long walk. She loves the panoramic view. She feels like she’s flying, she sighs, puts her head in the crux of my arm and begins to drift asleep. Repetition has taught me that she falls asleep after I walk 1600 feet, approximately 8 hallways in my apartment complex. I return her to bed. This time I’m wide awake. It’s 3:30am and I have to be up by 5:30 to teach my 6:15am class( Thank Zeus for Lindsey, she teaches my 5am class). I summon Siri to pull up my calendar. It’s a full day, 6 classes, a workout and a meeting.
Wide awake, I watch Stephen Colbert or Trevor Noah for the latest satire on a border wall. I assume I drift asleep around 4am. 5:30am, my alarm goes off. The sound is so discombobulating that I race to shut it off. At this point I question every decision I have ever made in life. I look over to check on my daughter. She is fast asleep. Some buyers remorse creeps in. Ashamed at my thought, I jolt out of bed.
I make it to the Woodmoor Shopping Center dash up the stairs and make it to Elite Bodies. It’s beautiful. I built this place. My muscles begin to wake up, one fiber at a time. Clients begin to show up for the show. At this point, I feel amazing. I dart across the room, correct some form. I make a little conversation. My clients are awesome. Some of them endured the same plight of baby that I was moaning about. Others had long nights, had to meet deadlines but they showed up. I have to make it worth their time and money.
6 sessions later, my body begins to shut down. I get drowsy, my eyebrows are heavy. My once spry muscles feel dormant. This is the only window I have to workout today.
I decide to skip the workout, after all I’m in pretty good shape. My conscience rolls it’s eyes at me and says “the hypocrisy”. The hypocrisy of being an ambassador for fitness and skipping your own workout. In my defense, I tell Conscience that my body also needs rest to be able to grow muscles. We have a spirited debate and I’m the judge of that. I decide I will nap for an hour and slam my gavel.
I wake up to meetings, fitness assessments or networking events. The sun begins to set and I know that tomorrow promises a similar schedule.
My workout life has drastically changed since becoming a father. I commend all the parents out there who keep fit. It is difficult.
I have made some adjustments to ensure that I can stay fit and be worthy to be called your trainer.
My 3am walk still happens but I strap on my baby carrier and do a 1.5 mile inclined walk on the treadmill. The baby loves these walks. I document it as a workout.
During class I push myself. I ensure that my heart rate stays high. Sometimes I go home and I feel sore from my activity during class. Clients love the high energy. That Pump n punch class really makes me sore after doing mitt work.
When I have personal training, I workout with some of my clients.
Sika has phases where she sleeps through the night. I sleep in turn and I’m able get my afternoon workout in.
When Micah doesn’t work, we workout together. She does a set, I hold baby and then we switch. We’ve gotten really good at it
This new workout plan and my nutrition prescription has given me some cool results.
I love my baby girl, she has taught me a lot about myself. The adjustment was drastic but this is my new normal and I make it work.