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October 4, 2016

Balancing Act: Fitness, Work and Family

As parents, and especially as moms balancing family and work is often exhausting, then add in fitness and it feels like the scale will just tip right over and dump everything off. Luckily for me, the balancing act is slightly easier when you’re an athlete in your 50’s. I’m no longer in the weeds of child rearing, my girls are young adults, and for me carving out time for fitness comes easier in this stage of life. My biggest obstacle is balancing work and fitness, but fitness is a hedge against injury, illness and disease, so even if I weren’t competing, I would be working on my fitness. I would not be able to do my job without being fit.

People often invest in their financial future, but not in their health future. You’re either going to pay now or pay later. Picture what kind of health you want when you retire and work towards that, no matter what it takes. It’s truly an investment in you. Set specific goals, even if they’re very simple and make them happen.

For me personally, my biggest balancing act these days comes between fitness and work. bAdmittedly I put more emphasis on fitness being a competitive athlete than most people would, but I also work a lot.

I’m a Corporate Trainer and Fitness Advocate for Covermymeds, a CrossFit Level 1 Coach, and I run my own fitness company for kids called Tumblin4Kids. My CrossFit training, goes in cycles. vAugust to November is my downtime and I train about six to seven hours a week. It increases from there and by May to July I’m putting in a good 10 to 12 hours of fitness training a week. That’s a lot when you consider I often work over 40 hours a week.

To make room for my fitness I’ve learned to let go of the reigns a little bit, especially with my own business Tumblin4Kids. I’ve worked hard to hire instructors I trust to teach in my place so that I have more time for fitness. I also work my personal training and coaching sessions around my workouts and I’m organized. Organization keeps me going! I pack my gym bag the night before; I plan out my meals and do a lot of food prep ahead of time.

As my training ramps up, I make sure my work lessens. I cut back where I need too. I’m very lucky that my employers and the parents I work with understand how important this is to me and they work hard to accommodate my schedule.

Once I actually get to the CrossFit Games, it’s all about being in competition mode. At that point I can’t wear the mom hat, the sister hat, the aunt hat, the boss hat and the athlete hat. I just can’t be that to all those people and still focus to compete. Luckily my family that travels with me to the competition understands and allows me to pull into myself, and just be the athlete while they take care of themselves and the details of travel.

At home on a normal basis, balancing all that I do with my family also takes work. I stay in constant contact with my girls and my husband. Two of my daughters are local so I see them almost daily and we really work to stay connected. We try to travel to visit my daughter in Chicago at least five times a year. Having CrossFit gyms all over the country helps me get my training in whenever we go to visit or any time I travel. As an added bonus, my husband often works out with me and fully supports me.

In the end, it takes work to make it all work. Like anyone else I have times where it feels like everything is piling up and nothing is getting done, while other times things just work. It’s a constant cycle of balancing and readjusting, and the most important thing I can recommend is to set goals, make them a priority and get organized to make them happen.

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