We aren't just building our fitness—we are building a life. Don't forget that." — THEDADLIFT
I've heard the battle cry, "no excuses!!" The saying is sprayed across social media in many a motivational meme. After a while you just think "okay okay…. I'll do it, geesh". In reality, I find it hard to believe anyone would change their tune after a few "no excuses" posts; however, it is true, we have to stop coming up with excuses to pursue our goals. But, we also have to know the difference between an excuse and a reason.
You're a father now. And there isn't much about time that belongs to you. Rightfully so, you've dived head first into parenting. Hopefully you're crushing it. If you're reading this blog, I think you might at least be on the right track. So when it comes to your fitness goals, a lot has changed in your world. It is crucial to understand that in no way does this mean you should refrain from fitness, but there are reasons now, which make it far more difficult to drop everything and train.
With these reasons, we can't forever stay away from our fitness goals; sometimes there is just a very good reason to take the day off.
Reason #1: Kids Won't Stay Cute Forever
Your kid won't be little and cute forever. Before you know it, you'll have a screechy-voiced acne-faced teenager asking to borrow your Honda Odyssey. Time flies and kids change before your very eyes. Sometimes we need to skip that day in the gym to spend with our kids. That, my friends, is a reason—not an excuse. Building your relationship with those rug rats is more than good enough reason to skip out on the workout.
Reason #2: Happy Wife, Happy Life
The same goes for your wife. She may be supporting you in your fitness madness (I know my wife is a saint), but don't push the envelope. You're committed to her at some point—whenever and where ever, remind her of that. Which may very well mean, you spend those extra moments with her and not a barbell. You won't go wrong.
Reason #3: Sleep and Recovery
Well, it's not a surprise: you are not getting the amount of sleep you once had. New fathers in particular are sleep deprived to the level of a CIA sleep deprivation torture session. You may only get a few hours here and there. With this comes the performance of your gym sessions suffering greatly. It makes no sense to shred yourself at the gym only to go sleepless. Skipping the gym to sleep is often a great reason for the new father. No matter how good a program you are on, if you're not getting good sleep, you won't get stronger.
Reason #4: Shit Happens
Throughout your fathering career, stuff will come up, requiring you to reschedule your training. Kids get sick. Stuffy noses will appear and injuries will happen. I've spent many days taking care of sick babies and canceling on my fitness plans. I wouldn't have it any other way.
Fitness is a Life-Long Journey
The key to remember is this: although you may take some time away from your training, it doesn't mean you've given up. It doesn't mean you've fallen into the"excuses" section of your life goals. It just means certain reasons have come up. These are important reasons.
It's all about balance. You can't claim to be a "fit dad" and not hold true to your fatherly obligations. A six pack is great, but if it comes at the expense of shattered relationships and poor health, is it worth it?
Your fitness journey is a life-long one. Taking a day off here and there, for good reasons, is not coming up with "excuses". You're not giving up, but fulfilling your commitments and being a great father and husband. We can't make excuses to stop building our fitness. We also can't make excuses to stop building a life.