Why it’s Easier for You Than Me to Stay Fit

This is the second part of a two part series. Last post was all about why I have an easier time of it then average, no kids, I’m a higher energy person and the like this week it’s all about the things that keep kicking my A$$ over and over again. These are the things that try to sneak into my life and keep me on the couch (or sitting at least) and not out having a fabulous, fit, fun time. I know a lot of us say we’re too busy to workout and that’s usually true but I encourage you to think a little deeper about it. If you identify the things that keep you from doing it and get past the ‘too busy’ alone label you might find the solutions to those particular problems. Plus it’s a way to be kinder to yourself and stop giving yourself such a hard time about not getting it done. On that note here are the places where I have a harder time than most getting a workout in.

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You work 9-5 in one place, 5 days a week

As usual I put the most important thing first. We work for ourselves and I have at least 1.5 jobs. There is literally no hour of the following day that I can count on my schedule even a day out. A week out forget it! If you’ve been reading along lately you’ll know that we’ve been behind lately and trying to catch up but we haven’t been working crazy long days for two reasons one we’re working in the city so we come out at 4:30 to beat traffic but I come home re-dress and head right back in to tutor until about 9 plus we’ve been leaving early in the morning to get in before traffic, seven days a week. We took the weekend off this weekend and worked 6 hours on Saturday and 2 hours on Father’s Day Sunday. Even when we have a plan someone or something comes up. For example this weekend we’re squeezing in a leaky roof re-do before the rain on Sunday. As it turns out during my half marathon this spring honey was getting texts that a loose crib we’d been chasing for a week had retuned. At brunch we were whispering about it and after a quick bath we were chasing it before celebration dinner and right back after to secure it and make a plan. That however didn’t make it into the race recap.

About the only time I can count on is before 7 am and after 10 pm and so that’s when a lot of my workouts happen. Or bigger races mean hard choices. Deciding to do more than a 10k at Bluenose this year (spring) meant limiting the tutoring clients I took on this semester and therefore my income. And those post 10 workouts, that’s when I’m supposed to be blogging. If you’ve ever romanticized the idea of working for yourself you need to read this post. Stuff comes up LITERALLY all of the time, leaks when we’re at dinner, adjustments have to be checked after a 24 km long run and broken moorings on race day mean plans have to change.

If you work a regular job, with regular hours even if they’re long you’re way ahead. You might even have a lunch break and be able to schedule vacation days ahead of time or even call in sick. Try to remember that all of that makes you pretty lucky since you really can schedule your workouts. For me I say I’m doing it on Monday, when on Monday who knows, maybe 6 am, maybe waiting for a delivery back and forth in front of the site or maybe until 11 pm with no time for a bath after, ewwww!

You might have more help than me at home

I do all of the chores at home as a default setting and I have to put it out there that if I asked for help I probably would get it. Sometimes I suspect honey does things ‘wrong’ to get out of helping. He’ll do the dishes so poorly they have to be re-done, forget the wet laundry in the washer for 4 days or say I was just getting up to do that as I start after retuning home hours later. I know right! I think that’s just part of being in a domestic couple plus I do it my way and that’s clearly better! But I do all of the grocery shopping, errand running, laundry, recycling, kitty litter changes, organizing, deep cleaning, bed making, middle of the night kitty minding, gardening and all the metal work that comes with it. I also do 95% + of the cooking, other cleaning, tidying and at least 50% of the garbage and about 20% of the fixing and maintenance. Honey will cook a meal twice a month and do the kitchen floor or empty the dishwasher about quarterly. His jobs are mowing the lawn, fixing and garbage. And yes, Honey has his evening free every night I teach.

Is that fair, well what is fair really? Does it make me feel put upon from time to time, sure. But I know I’m not the only lady out there that feels that way. In fact StatsCan reports that women do about 70% of the unpaid work in the home. Of course some of that is single parent households. I think I do more than that around here but it could always be worse, though not by a whole lot. It (mostly) works for us and we rarely if ever fight about housework. I’m the higher energy person and I literally go until dark time at 11:30. Sitting down for an hour in the evening is a form of self care for me. You might have a partner that does their 30% share of the work or even more. If you do remember that that make you pretty darn lucky compared to some and sneaking in a run while the floors are getting done and drying must be nice.

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You live close to stuff

I live past the outskirts and the suburbs way out there in one of those, “that’s a long way to drive to get into the city” places. A grocery store and pharmacy about 7 minutes away is a godsend but it’s a 20 minute drive, each way, to a bigger one and any services like a station without water in the gas. Plus those closer places have quaint country hours like 10 am to 5 pm. To get to the city it’s a 45 minute drive and that’s where clubs, pools, services and my evening work is. Needless to say I spend a lot of time in my car. One day this week it was three freaking trips back and forth. Ugggg! Going for groceries, to walmart, a movie or a real restaurant is an hour and a half of driving. So I try extra hard not to fall in love with fitness things that require 3+ hours to get them done like a hot yoga class, this was the demise of pole dancing for me too. If you can pop out and accomplish something in under an hour, you’re lucky!

The weather doesn’t run your life

Since we work in the field we do every day, construction, the weather runs our life. In the winter that means the only day’s were home is snow storms. In the summer it gets even more complex, rain can mean inside work if we have a little job on the go since we mostly work outside in the summer or just working in the rain if it’s not too bad or we’re behind. But a string of good weather can mean dawn to dusk days on a roof. For the last two winter’s we’ve been lucky to have steady winter work but the nature of the job means we have to make hay while the sun is shinning in the summer, well the spring and the fall too. It’s not that big a deal but we end up doing some strange things because of it. I generally hang my laundry out late at night one day and take it off the line as it’s getting dewy again the next or I just hang it inside. I garden in the rain and the mud and almost never get to wash and wax the car. Big grocery orders, oil changes and catching up on housework almost always happen during a storm. I often end up not being able to get my workouts in on my days off because the weather is truly terrible.

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storm clouds were brewing on this run!

You have fitness buddies

So this is changing for me which is a great thing. But not having buddies in the past hasn’t really held me back that much. For all of the above reasons it’s almost impossible for me to commit to workout dates and truthfully exercise is a great form of solitary self care for me. My fitness routine isn’t really something anyone got me into for the most part or that part of my life has passed. Jessica introduced me to yoga in the eight grade but that was a good while ago now, remind me to creep her profiles later on that note. A high school boyfriend got me into mountain biking but stopped pretty much right after I got my bike. I don’t know how running started originally but it was my idea, wait does that mean I invented it?

I literally did my first triathlon because I saw a no parking here next weekend sign and my love of racing was discovered as a barefoot bridesmaid who bandied part of a race to make it to the ceremony on time. It’s not that desperate though. When I make it to yoga I’m friendly with the three other regulars, I spent most weekdays in college walking with a friend and I occasionally run with a yoga lady when I meet her out there but we’re planning runs together this summer now. Honey’s daughter goes for a run with me a few times a year plus the trainee’s still seem pretty dedicated so that’s a new option. But if you have fitness friends that you schedule gym time, long runs or fit dates with those meet ups go a long way to actually getting out there!

Have you figured out how to work with you’re disadvantages to still be fit or have you figured out how to exploit those advantages or both? For most of us it’s probably both of those things. I hope you enjoyed this rather tongue in cheek series.

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