Dadsrise.com would like to Welcome Brad from the Frat House, a Facebook group dedicated to Fatherhood and who also blogs though the Fatherhood Fraternity as the first Guest poster. Brad has written a thorough article on Fatherhood and Fitness.
Keeping fit as we age may take a little more work but it’s certainly an attainable goal. There are discussions around slower metabolism and an increased risk of injury but as more responsibilities compete for my time, my greatest fitness challenge is prioritizing time. Life just seems to get so busy. Between work, kids activities, and other suburban life obligations it can be difficult to find the time to train as much as I would like.
I know, I know there’s always time available if you’re willing to make the time. But what happens when life starts to get so busy that you’re not as interested in carving out the time for working out as much as you used to? Often times I have more things on my To Do list that I have time to complete them and while I’m working out I can’t help but be thinking of the other things that I need to be doing. Or, just as likely, I have such little free time that there are other leisure activities that I would rather be doing other than working out. I’m talking motivation (or lack thereof) more than priorities.
Fitness becomes more difficult as we age because it is more difficult to stay in shape AND we become more “busy” with life responsibilities. But age has given me a little more perspective on life. It’s not that I’m just making excuses for not going as hard as I used to, I honestly don’t care as much as I used to. My fitness goals are changing from washboard abs and greatest CrossFit total to just trying to keep my belly fat to a minimum.
The only thing that helps my sanity is to remind myself that everything is cyclical. This helps me be ok with my busy schedule, because I know (for the most part) every season of my life is temporary. I can have several months where I’m working out 4 times a week while other times I might be doing good to make it 1-2 times per week. I just have to let myself be ok with that. And the best way that I have found to do that is to understand that it is just the cycle that I am in at the time and when things get better, I will be able to get back to working out as often as I would like. But what this means is that I am constantly fluctuating between 70-80% peak fitness potential rather than a constant state of 90-95% like I did in years’ past.
For the sake of my own sanity, I have developed a system for understanding how my various obligations fight for my attention how I can assess whether my time allocation aligns with my personal goals.
Take a look at the roles and responsibilities that you have that wrestle for your time. For me it includes Christian, husband, father, athlete, career, among others.
List these roles based on how you want to prioritize them in your life.
Now spend some time tracking your actual time spent on these roles and see if it aligns with #2.
Where are the gaps in your priorities vs how you spend your time? Is this time allocation temporary? If not, what changes in your life would you have to make to align your time management with your goals and priorities?
Like I said earlier, this analysis actually resulted in me working out less than I had before. It is an interesting exercise (so to speak) to determine if your goals in your current life stage align with your priorities. Right now I want to spend more time with my boys while they are young. That doesn’t mean I neglect my fitness altogether, but it probably means I’m going to miss that Saturday morning WOD for a baseball game.
So what do you think? Am I justified in taking a step back in how I prioritize my fitness as I age or is this just an excuse that I have crafted for myself? There are no right or wrong answers. I am honestly curious if anyone else feels this way.
How do you contend with the ever-growing list of life responsibilities that can get in the way of maintaining your fitness?
We will continue the discussion in the FREE Facebook Group The Frat House.
Brad is a Christian author, blogger, and author writing about stuff related to suburban dads; work/life balance, reducing stress & connecting with your kids.
Kids are expensive. I created DadsRise.com as a means to invest in my Children’s future as well as share the knowledge I have gained with my readers. If you have gained any benefit from the article, consider donating, 100% of the proceeds will be invested in my Children’s future. Every $2 Helps!