Back a few years ago I wrote a post entitled Gym is MY therapist . It talked about my journey of finding the beauty of the barbell. This is a continuation of where I have been since then. Lets sum up the past year: Quit the gym. Bought a squat rack. Heart stopped working quite right. Surgery in June. Recovery for 2 months. Afraid to start lifting again. Stress, stress and stress. Hubby got me a online personal trainer for a Christmas present. Cousins at Christmas insisted I go lift with them! (Thank you Nick and Derrek, you guys are the best!) And now we are in May of 2016 and I have been lifting again for 4 months or so.
Let me introduce myself: I am a mom. I homeschool. I teach at the local co-op (i.e. classes for homeschool children). I am a youth minister. My girls play the violin and harp. And we all fence (swordfighting sort of)! I love to crochet, quilt and garden. And I love to cook. To say the least, I have a full schedule most weeks. And I also volunteer where I can.
I have a squat rack with 310 lbs of weights, a barbell and a bench. It lives in my living room. Nothing fancy at all. I got a super great deal on it due to a store going out of business. I found some boards in the garage that I rubber banded together so that I can board press and I invested in some bands. I use what I have to get the work done. And for now 310 lbs will do me nicely.
So how do I fit lifting into this wild world I live in?
Well, here it is: I lift after I get my kids to bed! I don’t like lifting before Dave goes to work, because I don’t want to lift on an empty stomach. I am not a morning person. And I am grouchy if that wasn’t implied before I get my cup of coffee. Once my day starts, I really don’t have time to carve an hour out to lift. So I end my day with lifting. I can all hear the moaning: but I am so tired at the end of the day. Well so am I, but this is important to me and my well-being. And I know that sweet spot of pure bliss is about to come!
We started with a four day a week lift schedule.
Monday – Bench
Tuesday -> fencing and then coming home to Squat
Wednesday -> REST
Thursday -> fencing and then coming home to OHP
Friday — Deadlift
Saturday -> Fencing
Sunday -> REST ….
After a few months, we figured out that wasn’t going to work. I was getting overwhelmed with trying to get everything done. So we have modified it down to a 3 day lift schedule. Monday -> Bench
Tuesday -> Fence
Wednesday -> Squat
Thursday -> Fence
Friday -> OHP/Deadlifts
Sunday -> Rest
So the kids are normally in bed by 8:30. Then, I get dressed into workout clothing. I don’t have too, but it makes me feel better and besides I sweat ALOT! No reason to ruin my every day clothing! So I am at my “gym” by 9pm. It usually takes me an hour to finish my programming. And like last night, it got interrupted by a little girl who couldn’t sleep. Their are days when I am overwhelmed with preparing lesson plans, church ministry, sick children, myself getting sick, whatever lift decides to through at me: All I can get accomplished is my main lift. And I leave without any guilt and I go to bed.
But to be honest, it was easier to lift when I went to the gym. It was on my calendar. I was meeting someone at the gym (physical trainer). He was there to make me do one more set or to say that is enough stop. Everyone, well most everyone, was also lifting. The kids went to the gym day care. There was no distractions.
Now, I don’t have to drive to the gym. I just walk to the living room. I don’t have anyone that makes me go. I have to pass all the things that need my attention. I step over Shopkins that my daughter left out. Or a puzzle we have been working on. Move my other daughter’s paintings from the bench because it was the perfect place to allow them to dry. Its a living room. We live there. And I lift there. Sometimes, when the girls stay up late I lift while listening to Jesse play in the background, or whatever kids show they are watching at the time.
Is it all worth it? Definitely. Even when my schedule is over-filled. And lifting is just one more thing I have to get done. Lifting helps me be a better Wife, a better Mom, a better person. Lifting is my therapist. My stress relief. It is hard to explain. But when I place the bar on my back. It settles onto that sweet spot. Everything feels tight. I look up. Everything fades away. I don’t see the weights on the bar. I don’t see the messy room. I don’t hear all the nagging crap going on in my head. It all goes away. I see the lift. I believe the lift. I do the lift! Those few moments are pure bliss for me.
How do I make it work?. I have a huge support system. 1) From my husband! I cannot say he understands my need to lift. He doesn’t understand how it clears my head. But he sees the results of my lifting. 2) My coach: He understands that life, not being healthy (several issues going on.. heart is only the tip of that iceberg), sucks at times. And there is only so much you can do. And truly listening to your body is important. There is a time for everything. A time to push hard and a time to rest hard. However, when it is time to work, we work! 3) My children: They understand that I want to be strong. They understand I want to be healthy. They encourage me to be better! Lifting is a priority in my life because of what it does for me. So at 8:45, when I am tired and I have a list of things a mile long, I am usually getting ready to go find that moment of bliss where that list doesn’t live.