Plugged in

I bring my kids with me to the gym often, especially in the Summer months, when my teacher husband is home and he and I get the chance to do a workout together.  The kids are very used to this drill and part of the routine involves watching iPad videos.  There’s a great front foyer at my gym; a large, open area overlooking the workout floor but separated by a half-wall.  They set up their chairs, I set up the Netflix, and they don their headphones and lay out the snacks.  For one hour, three or four days a week, they get an hour of iPad time and my husband and I get an hour of fitness and friends.

But I wonder about the judgement.

We almost always bring the iPad to the gym.  They almost always use it for the entire hour.  I almost always wonder if we should bring books and scooters instead.

Here’s the thing: we are pretty strict about screen time.  My kids each get 20-30 minutes per day.  Usually my son chooses an iPad game and my daughter chooses a Netflix cartoon, and in the Summertime, they often use their screen time right after breakfast.  On CrossFit days, they use it at the gym.  We are an active family with a busy life and we throw in a family afternoon movie once in a while and watch nearly all Jays games in their entirety.  TV is a part of our life, but not a big part, so why do I feel so guilty about plugging them in while I work out?  Perhaps it’s because of my worry about public perception or perhaps it’s because of the contradiction between their physical inactivity during my physical activity.

Whatever the reason, I’m trying to adopt my husbands stance on this (and on many things), “we do what’s right for our family.”  Yes, we do.  And this works for us.

The truth is, I’m not a huge TV person; my screen of choice is my phone.  But I do enjoy decompressing on the couch at the end of the day, nearly every day, with my husband, the TV in the background and my iPhone in the foreground.  My blog post last week talked about my need for daily solitude and downtime, both of which my kids deserve to have as well.  And if that downtime is sometimes done in front of a screen for sixty minutes, then so be it.

My kids love coming to the gym.  They love flipping on the rings, hanging from the pullup bars, swinging the kettlebells, and having their iPad time.  And when they grow up and look back on Summer childhood memories, I know that an iPad screen will not be a major player.  “We do what’s right for our family.”  3-2-1-Go.


Because my Beloved Gym has Closed Down

Over the years, you’ve heard me write about my gym many, many times.  Okay, many, many, many times.  And that’s what I’m going to do again today, but this time there’s a twist:

Because my beloved gym has closed down. RmMbh-rZ

There was a member’s meeting last week and we were told that the gym was closing and we were being transferred to another CrossFit gym nearby.  Everyone’s making the switch; coaches, therapists, and members alike.  We are all moving over.  So the reality is, while the four walls of our gym have ceased to be, the important parts remain.

Some of you may be reading this and thinking “what’s the big deal?”  But, you see, my gym is not just a gym- it’s my safe place and my stress relief.  My friendships and my sweat, my inspiration and my accomplishments.  If you’re a member, you’ll agree.  If you’re a CrossFitter, you’ll agree.  Because that’s what makes CrossFit great….. the community.

I’ve been a member at CrossFit Altitude from its very beginnings, back when five people was a busy class and no one had yet mastered double-unders or pullups.  I joined in January 2010, anxious to feel like myself again after the birth of my first child.  After a couple weeks of ranting and raving about what an amazing thing I’d found, my husband tried it out and was also hooked from the start.

So what is it that has kept me coming back, usually in the dark, cold morning hours before 6:00am, year after year?  Well, the getting in shape and enjoying newfound strength and skills certainly help.  But that’s not it.  Not really.  It’s the people.

This is the place that rallies around battles with cancer, losses of loved ones, of families broken apart and families rebuilt.  This is the place where I have sobbed silently, mid-workout, as my worries and stresses melt away with my efforts.  This is the place where I went after my miscarriage, in the depths of my sadness, to start to heal.  This is the place that I brought my new baby girl, barbells crashing and music blaring, to get back to being me.  This is the place where I’ve met some of the most wonderful people, the most wonderful friends, the most wonderful parts of my life.  And while this place is no longer, what it stands for still is.  What it is capable of, still is.  What it does, still is.

da5bf0_c27fde6139554af0b8f68763d5575914Change is tricky and tough, but familiarity only comes with time.  And so we will give it time.  We will find our new normals, our new routines, and new ways to challenge ourselves daily, just as we always have.  And in the process, we will expand our community, grow our community, and continue to rally and support and comfort and nurture and improve.  Our community has doubled, and so too have our opportunities.

Thank you, Jen.

3-2-1 Go.


Catch your Breath

There’s something about a day of puttering around home that really makes my heart sing.  Sunday was a day of exactly that, and now I feel like my world is back to spinning on its proper axis.

Life has changed a lot for me in the past couple of weeks, mostly centered around the move that I’ve been blabbering on about.  Add to that the back-to-school chaos that we’ve all experienced, and I’ve felt very out of balance lately; I seemingly haven’t been able to catch my breath.  But there were several things that helped me catch it this weekend.  The first of those things being friends.

I competed in a CrossFit competition on Saturday afternoon.  It was an all-female event comprised of teams of three, and there were more than one hundred women involved; nearly half of that hundred were members of my gym.  The event raised money for Love the Snatch, a cervical cancer foundation started by someone gone far too soon.  I spent the afternoon cheering, chatting, laughing, and sweating.  And when I left, my heart was full and smiling.  Can hearts smile?  Yep.  They can, and they do.


And then there’s my Sunday.  Some IKEA assembly for my work-with-my-hands side, some country music for my feels-like-home side, some coffee for my I-love-coffee side, and heaps upon heaps of family time for my this-is-what-life-is-about side.

And so, my friends, the world continues to turn, doesn’t it?  Even when change is happening fast and furious. Even when we can’t catch our breath.   And when balance is restored and my breath has been caught, these guys are always there to go for a walk or read books or help me make dinner, and make me feel right back to normal.


I love these guys.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
~ Maya Angelou