I ALWAYS work out three times a week. I can count on one hand the weeks I didn’t manage to work out three times in the past year. I think it may only be three (and two were during vacations in very hot places).
How do I manage to never miss a workout? Well, for one, three times a week is not that much. It’s less than half of the days, which gives me flexibility. I’d love to work out four or even five days a week, but since working out takes time away from my family, this is all I can manage right now. And since it’s less than my ideal, I am very careful to make sure I always get in my three workouts.
Because working out three times a week is so important to me, it is the first thing I schedule when I’m looking at the coming week. I do have an elliptical machine in my house, which is AMAZING and allows me to workout while my kids are home (I DEFINITELY recommend having an aerobic exercise machine in your house – it makes working out so much easier to schedule). The problem is it’s in my bedroom, so I can’t wake up early and work out, lest I have a grumpy husband (and daughter – who still ends up on the futon on our floor most nights) cursing at me.
I also try to avoid working out after the kids’ bedtime, because I get so energized from the exercise that I have to take something to fall asleep before 1am (especially since I’m not out of my daughter’s bedroom most nights until (9:30pm). This basically leaves me right when I get home from work on the weekdays, and that is a tricky time to make it happen.
With my old schedule, I could sneak out at 2:55, missing the other school on our campus’s traffic (they get out at 3pm) and also the nearby high school’s traffic (they get out at 3:15pm) and be home before 4pm. Now I end at the school that isn’t out until 3:15, which means I can’t beat the traffic to the freeway. This also means I’m never home early enough to work out before I pick up my kids (I used to attempt this once a week). It also means that even if I do get them both home by 5pm, I still only have two hours to get them dinner, get them situated with dinner in front of the TV (yes, I do this horrible thing, because it allows me to work out, and working out keeps me mentally healthy), get changed, work out, stretch and shower, before we start bedtime at 7pm. Let’s just say on those days, it’s hard to execute.
School has been back in session for a month now and my weeks have been very busy. For the first time ever, I’m finding it almost impossible to get in my two M-F workouts (I always do one on the weekend). There’s just always something. Like this week, I was supposed to get my allergy shot Monday, Tuesday I have a staff meeting until 5pm, Wednesday is Back-to-School Night at my daughter’s school, Thursday is the first general PTA meeting, and Friday is a Girl Scout event (AH! I hate Girl Scouts!). I pushed the allergy shot to next Monday (which means it will barely fall inside the three week thresh hold between shots), so I could work out last night and Wednesday I’m going to try to get in a super short run before Back-to-School Night, though this is probably going to blow up in my face. Still, I’ll attempt it, because the thought of only working out Monday makes my skin crawl, I just know I need more stress-busting endorphins somewhere during the week.
Next week is a little better, but the week after that is just as bad. Between work and my daughter’s school, there is just shit all the time.
I really don’t know how I’m going to manage this moving forward, because getting in three workouts a week is non-negotiable for me. It is the number one stabilizer of my moods, the absolute best way to manage my anxiety and depression. I simply can’t give it up. Which means I’m going to have to start getting creative. Maybe instead of three longer workouts I’ll try to fit in four shorter ones. Maybe if I work out twice on the weekends, once during the week (every once in a while) will be okay.
I have to say, it’s been frustrating to feel like I can’t find the time I need to stay mentally healthy. I hadn’t considered, when I took on the responsibility of PTA president, that those thirty extra minutes at work would make such a difference. I hope I can figure out a way to get my exercise on.