After putting Bubs to sleep in his crib last night after a great long weekend here in Brisbane, I did what I always do before the beginning of a new week: make lists for dinners, required groceries, weekly to-dos, and a workout schedule. I went to sleep an hour later feeling motivated and looking forward to a productive week ahead.
Fast forward maaaaybe an hour, and the circus began. After a weekend of playing with other babies (and sticking their toys in his month, as any 7 month old will do), Thomas caught his first official cold, which kept me going back and forth to his room all night. When he finally settled into a deep sleep around 7am, I figured I would try to catch a few ZZZs myself, as I was feeling slightly delirious after the night-long escapade. Cue relentless drilling and hammering: my neighbour decided to start his renovations bright and early.
Let’s just say the week that seemed so promising last evening was not off to the best start.
I am sure you’ve seen motivational photos like this floating around on social media outlets or Pinterest. Typically they give me a little reality check and the nudge I need to get my butt in gear. However, sometimes I just want to say to whoever created that little piece of inspiration, “You have NO idea how I feel right now. Take your motivational slogan and shove it.” Today was one of those days. Actually, it was also one of those days that I wish I had my parents or in-laws nearby to help out. I couldn’t take Thomas and his leaky nose to the gym day care; he was hacking like crazy. I really, reeeeally wanted to workout today. I wasn’t making excuses. I simply couldn’t. Yeah, I was disappointed, but such is life.
There are certainly times when your excuses don’t cut it…
I’m too tired.
I’m too sore.
I don’t have enough time.
I’m not in the mood.
I’m too busy with my kids.
I don’t ‘fit in’ at the gym.
I don’t feel well.
I can’t afford it.
I’ll gladly argue any of these excuses with anyone!!! When I miss a planned workout due to “being too tired” or “not having enough time”, I usually feel guilty. This is because I know those excuses really aren’t acceptable (to me). Whenever I find myself making these kinds of excuses to skip a workout, that’s when I know I just need to suck it up and remember that sometimes the hardest part of a is actually getting there.
However, I want to acknowledge that although many unwarranted excuses exist, there are also times when missing a planned workout is totally acceptable- in my opinion, that is.
1. Your child is legitimately sick. Bonus marks if you have no one to call to babysit. Babies and children need you, particularly when they are unwell, and sometimes this means cancelling any/all previous plans.
2.You are legitimately sick. I know that some people workout even when they are ill. I say whatever makes you feel better, do it, as long as you aren’t making others sick around you. Personally, when I am actually sick with a bad head cold, flu, or stomach ache, the last thing I want to do is exercise. I’m not training for the Olympics. I exercise to maintain my fitness level and be physically and mentally healthy. So if I’m sick, I don’t hesitate to trade my running shoes for PJs.
3. Injuries. After years of playing competitive soccer, I have first hand experience in pushing myself and playing through injuries. Knee, ankle, achilles, hamstring…the list goes on. Never once did I feel better afterwards. It was dumb, and I know I would have recovered much more quickly had I sat out for a week. Instead, I pushed my luck, and usually ended up battling through a specific injury for the rest of the season. I know better now. But remember: Being “very sore” is not the same thing as being injured. I feel like I am always sore, mostly due to mixing up workouts, lifting heavier weights, doing more repetitions, etc. Or maybe I’m just getting old
4. Rest Is Required. I haven’t faced this one in quite awhile, probably before becoming pregnant with Thomas. However, the year before I had him, I went to the gym every morning before work, ran on the weekends and some evenings, played recreational volleyball, and squeezed in hot yoga whenever I could. Sometimes it was overkill, and my fatigue was truly legitimate. Your muscles can’t grow and recover properly when you workout too often. Sometimes rest is the optimal choice.
5. When Exercise Becomes Solely About Body Image. I remember a time a few years ago when I would feel guilty about not working out because if I didn’t, I might “get fat.” I knew that this was a problem, and I started cutting back on my workouts. I didn’t want exercise to become a negative entity in my life; something that causes you anxiety over your body image is clearly destructive. I found when I became less structured about my workouts, I started to (a) enjoy them more and (b) see them for the psychological benefits instead. Surely anyone who exercises cares about their body image and looking fit. I think a little vanity is completely normal in this sense. However, when missing a workout makes you worry you’re not going to fit into your pants tomorrow, then it’s probably time to reassess things.
6. I’ve Been ‘Actively’ Busy. Being too busy for exercise is the best excuse out there. Yet, sometimes when I’ve been moving/lifting things/cleaning/walking all day or night, I feel it is enough to negate a previously planned workout. No sense in overdoing it.
And on that note, I am off to slumberland. Or at least, a broken version of 30 minute catnaps while checking on my little buddy. I have a planned bootcamp in the morning, and luckily Thomas can join me in his stroller and watch from arm’s length. No excuses tomorrow. I already know I’m going to be tired, but it’s nothing a little fresh air, sunshine, and awesome music can’t fix.
What are your biggest reasons for skipping a workout?