All of our members who are also Working Parents!!
Who says you can’t have it all?
Our Featured Athletes this month disagree. They are the working parents of CrossFit Sterling who juggle modern day life, jobs, parenthood and still make time to come in for their workouts, eat healthy, and be a part of our community! I want to take a moment to shout out and recognize all of you!
For obvious reasons, this topic is near and dear to Ben and I right now. Over the past 10 years of working in the health and fitness industry, I have had thousands of conversations with people regarding their health and people often tell me they don’t have enough time, specifically the working parent. In my twenties, single and childless, I can remember so many parents saying to me “one day Amanda you’ll understand, you will see that there is no time to work out with kids”.
As Ben and I embark on this brand new parenting journey, I find so much comfort and inspiration from all of the members of our gym that are defying that statement, and instead they are totally making it work. They refuse to give in to excuses and rather choose to prioritize the benefits of focusing on their health, for both themselves, their families and even their coworkers!
So this month, we salute you, working parents, and your dedication and determination! We have no doubt that it can be tough and you get tired sometimes but you continuously push through and come in day after day, week after week to improve yourselves and to improve your health. Thank you for being inspiring role models for Ben and me, and anyone else who knows you!
Read on for some thoughts and advice from our CrossFit Sterling ‘working parent’ members!
Despite any challenges, what motivates you to prioritize getting to CrossFit Sterling for workouts?
*The community and the coaches really drive me to get to class. I could workout on my own, but I would never push myself as hard and wouldn’t feel the same sense of satisfaction after a tough workout. – Stacy J.
*It’s never easy to find the time, and admittedly sometimes I don’t. But for me that is a slippery slope. Once I start justifying why I can’t make it to the gym for a workout it becomes easier and easier for that to be my new normal. So, for me, it’s about staying consistent and keeping my workouts as part of my weekly routine. -Bret J.
*I have learned the hard way that if I don’t work out in the morning my day will get in the way and it won’t get done. With Crossfit Sterling all I have to do is get up and show up. Also I feel like I am held accountable in a positive way to the morning crew who show up. Finally, I think that I have to set the example for my kids. I want them to have lifetime commitment to fitness and see me live that in my actions. After having kids you realize you can no longer be selfish with your choices in life, and you both owe it and want to ensure you are there for them. Being healthy is important part of making sure you will be there and capable of taking care of them. -Scott K.
*The truth is… it is addicting! I love that no workout is the same. And the results are real! I look back to when I started and how far I’ve come and I don’t want to lose that progress! It makes me very motivated to come as often as I can. -Melinda V.
*The people, the stress release, the results, the energy, the community. Even if we’re not feeling up for working out, we go just because the people there give a good vibe needed to end the day on a high note. -Jax F.
*Honestly, everything we do is for our son. This is one of those things in our life that we feel benefits him the most. We have those moments where we feel guilty lugging him along to the gym for up to 12 hours a week (yes, we basically live there), but we feel it’s extremely important for him to see us have a balanced life. We are VERY fortunate to have flexible jobs that allow us to be able to make it to the gym that much, and going to workout has just become a part of our every day schedule. It also helps that a lot of other families bring their children along, and they can play together. They have become his best friends, and it’s his favorite part of the day. When he’s upset, he cries that he wants to go to the gym and see the “guys” and his friends. -Katie and Drew E.
*Joe: My wife telling me to. 🙂 Knowing you’re going to get pushed and challenged when you get there and achievement of physical goals. -Joe F.
*I have become so used to working out 4-5 days a week now, I feel out of sorts if I don’t work out. Also, the health and the fitness benefits that I have been seeing have been pretty drastic since I started here and I feel like I need to maintain that at the very least. Also, my kids are young and I do want to enjoy sports like golf and skiing with them, and I want to be able to do them well. Working out has become a self-feeding cycle, where I feel like I need to work out to get that feeling of wellness. -Anon
How do you find time to workout with work and young children?
*You just have to make time. It’s important to us to stay healthy and fit, so we have made room in our schedules to fit it in. Everybody at work knows that I have to leave by a certain time to make it to class. You just have to commit to it and make it part of the daily routine! -Stacy J.
*My wife and I alternate days that we go. That’s something we tried when we first joined the gym and it has been working for us so we have stuck with it. If there is a day we both need to go one of us will go to the 5:30pm class and then we swap out for the 6:30pm class. Those days can be a bit hectic, but it works when it needs to. When it comes to working out you really don’t find the time, you make it. Our nights would be a lot more calm if we just came home and chilled out on the couch. But we are both the strongest we’ve ever been and that means something to me so it’s worth working for. -Bret J.
*It isn’t easy but it has to be a priority. Between work, family, and traffic I have very little control over my days and evenings, however I do have control over when I wake up. Since mornings belong to me, that works best as the rest of the family is home sleeping. I also think it is important to set that example for my kids for healthy habits for their lifetime and they can avoid some of the fitness mistakes I have made. -Scott K.
*I’m so fortunate to work so close and can make the lunchtime workouts. With 3 active kids, my evenings and weekends are packed with kids activities so lunchtime is perfect! -Melinda V.
*I’m not even sure that we find time to workout, we just make time. We only have 1 little guy right now who is almost 3 years old, but he has been coming to the gym since he was 6 weeks old when I was cleared to workout postpartum. So far it’s been pretty manageable. We did have to let go of any sort of inclination that we would always have a perfect workout without any distractions but once we figured that out, we just learned to enjoy the time that we did have. Times, PRs, and accomplishments take a backseat to just getting it in. -Katie and Drew E.
*It’s all about planning ahead, having the gym bag and diaper bag packed in the car, ready to go. We go right after work, without stopping home. -Jax F.
*I take my child to Crossfit with me. Thankfully, Crossfit Sterling understands the work/family life/workout life balance. -Joe F.
*All about priorities. I had to make working out regularly a priority like anything else, and ensure that I communicated it as a priority to my family as well, something that is important to my mind as well. -Anon
Do you have any time management or energy “hacks” you can share with the rest of us?
*On days that I workout, I make crockpot meals. That way dinner is done for everyone and it is one less thing on my plate for the day. I also get all of my clothes and my gym bag packed the night before. … grab and go the next day. For energy… sleep… hah! But, really… I’ve cut out a lot of night time TV in favor of sleep and I don’t really miss it! – Stacy J.
*Nope. Sorry. I always feel like I should have prepped more and I wouldn’t feel so rushed. If I’m lucky I picked out my gym clothes the night before so I don’t have to hunt for them minutes before leaving for the gym. -Bret J.
*Have an amazing wife whose organization skills help us get it all done as a family! I wish I had better cheats but I think it’s important to remember when you have a young family, you will be tired and stressed. The kids won’t sleep, people get sick, etc. all you get to do is choose the attitude you approach those times with, and realize you will get through it. When you believe you can choose your attitude you can deal with what life throws your ways. You can’t underestimate the value of working out both in terms of fitness, health, and stress management. It makes a great reset and allows me to start the day off with a feeling of being productive. It also makes me feel less guilty on this days when a I need a beer…or five. -Scott K. (Well said, Scott! The attitude makes all the difference!)
*I schedule my work around my workouts (doesn’t always work but I try). I avoid scheduling meetings and conference calls around my workouts, and think of my workouts as a meeting that can’t be moved! -Melinda V.
*We try very hard to meal prep for the week on the weekends so that we can come straight home from the gym to eat dinner. If we don’t do that, we are a little behind in getting our son to bed which isn’t good for anyone. We also trade off workout times. My husband works out with “the guys” at 3:30/4, so that when I get there with our son, I can workout at 5:30pm and he can take over with the little guy. Our schedules obviously don’t allow this every day, so there are days where we have him by ourselves and we have to be a little more flexible. Our communication with each other has improved majorly also. -Katie and Drew E.
*Plan your week’s schedule ahead of time, as much as you can. Be flexible. Pack your gym stuff the night before or on Sunday night (lay it out and have it ready to grab). Keep a packed bag in the car so you’re ready to go straight to the gym from work/daycare – don’t forget the sneakers! Keep the diaper bag/to-go bottles, toys, etc. that you need to keep baby/child busy for an hour. Energy hack: lots of coffee and don’t stop anywhere, especially home (unless it’s to pick up the sneakers you forgot to pre-pack) on the way to the gym! -Jax F.
*Hydration and pre-workout snack. Get into a good sleep schedule. -Joe F.
*Put working out on your calendar. Much like any other meeting, I schedule my day to make my workout as important as the rest of my work day. I ensure that I communicate to my co-workers that I have to get out of a meeting or the office at a given time that gives me enough time to get to the gym, to change and stretch before the class. I try to eat a light snack before class. I usually have lunch at least a couple of hours before class, and I have usually a banana and a spoon of peanut butter before class. -Anon
Describe any successes you’ve experienced since starting CrossFit?
*CrossFit has made such a profound impact on my life. I’ve had successes inside of the gym… lifting heavier, running faster, moving quicker, but I feel like all of those are expected. What I wasn’t expecting was the impact on me as a person and life in general. I’ve found more confidence, pride in myself and my accomplishments, abilities I never knew I had, a community who supports me both in and out of the gym, amazing friends, coaches who care about your strengths and weaknesses and work with you every step of the way, a whole family! -Stacy J.
*The phrase I use a lot when describing my results from doing CrossFit is “work capacity.” I feel like my capacity to do work is higher than ever. When you do CrossFit you will push yourself harder than you ever have and you will discover that your limits were self-imposed. Outside of the fitness aspect I think it’s a success to find a community that you are happy to be a part of. The community at CrossFit Sterling is top-notch. You won’t find a better group of coaches and athletes anywhere. -Bret J.
*After my first couple months, I woke one morning (read 2am) when our little guy decided he no longer wanted to be in the crib, I fumbled out of bed to take him downstairs to keep him from waking everyone else. What was different this morning than hundreds of others I have experienced? There were none of those morning aches, pains, creaks, and pops. It took me halfway down the stairs that realized how different that was from before. I realized then the difference in strength and health I was getting from those workouts. Also there has been more than once that my wife has gives a double take when she catches me without a shirt on. 😉 -Scott K.
*So many! I never thought I’d figure out how to do a double under and now I can do them! Never thought I’d be able to climb a rope and I can do that consistently too! But the biggest successes are on the bar for me and the amount of increased weights I can lift. -Melinda V.
*I always say I have had different seasons of my CrossFit career. I started when I was 26, had no kids, and came from a regular gym that I would go to sporadically. Crossfit was the first thing that ever stuck past 6 months. I got pregnant 4 months after starting, and I continued to workout until the day I delivered. Rick loves to tell everyone I tried to have my baby on the floor of the gym since my water broke during a workout, but I credit my healthy and easy pregnancy to Crossfit. Before I started, I was skinny and stressed and often didn’t remember to eat. I was a small business owner that rarely found time for myself. That changed within a few months, and I started seeing how I needed to find time to eat more, eat better, and to move more. I gained 10 pounds of muscle when I started, and I never looked better. Getting back to the gym after the baby was obviously pretty difficult. I had to have an unexpected c-section, so I didn’t really get back to what I thought was “normal” until about 6 months postpartum. Then I had a year where my husband and I worked out in our garage (we found crossfit workouts online and did those), and when I joined Sterling again, my workouts really kicked it up a notch. I PRed every lift within 2 months of joining because I had coaches that knew me, knew my abilities, knew when I just needed to take a slow day, and knew when I needed that extra push. I got faster, I got better, and I got happier. I also found my tribe there (I always swore I would never say that, as nerdy as it sounds), and I don’t know what I would do without them. -Katie E.
*I’ve learned the limits of my body and its true capability. I’ve been able to lift more weight than ever imagined, properly and without injury. I have become stronger, not only physically, but mentally: the existence of this supportive and non-judgmental environment leaves no room for my self-deprecating comments or trying to justify why I can’t do something. I have measurable results – dropping 27lbs in 7 months since being allowed to workout out post-partum, doing it with a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. In addition, I have been able to participate in other activities and community building events that Crossfit Sterling provides, like yoga, occasional nutrition and mobility workshops, organized entries in local running or Spartan Race events, volunteer events, and group outings to local establishments. -Jax F
*Learning better technique. I’ve worked out in Crossfit gym environments throughout my life. In the past, I tended to shy away from barbell-type workouts because of my lack of knowledge of proper technique. In the 9 months since I’ve been a member, I’ve had my mind put at ease with the instruction received, and can focus on lifting. -Joe F.
*The biggest success that I have had are the changes that I have seen in my body. I have never been obese or grossly overweight, but within a few months of starting crossfit, I noticed that all my suits were really looking loose on me; my shirts were fitting me like balloons; and all my pants were fitting me pretty poorly. So I have got all my clothes (all my suits, shirts, pants, and even winter coats) taken in. This while resulting in clothes that fit well, also is a motivation to stay in shape. If I put on more than an inch on my waist, none of my pants will fit me! -Anon
What would you tell to anyone on the fence or intimidated by CrossFit?
*I get it. I was there. I was terrified of my first class. How could I possibly keep up with these people? The workouts are designed to challenge you, but its totally worth it. Everyone is so supportive no matter your skill level or experience. Just step into a class, you’ll see. You’ll be greeted by smiling faces, tons of introductions, coaches who love what they do and people cheering you on. You are immediately part of the family! -Stacy J.
*When I started doing CrossFit I was probably in the worst shape of my life. I had an idea in my head of what a CrossFit athlete looked like and I was not it. I wanted to work out for a while and get in good enough shape to even join. That never happened and I knew I needed to do something so I just gave it a shot and have loved it since day one. Don’t wait. Join. Push yourself to be better. Even on a bad day if I show up, I get better. CrossFit is for everyone that wants to be a healthier, fitter version of themselves. But you have to start, and you have to show up and put in the work. -Bret J.
*Come give it a try. You will find a great group of people who support each other in their fitness goals. In 45 mins you are going to have a fun time working hard, maximizing your time, and will probably laugh more than you think. And the end of most work outs you won’t believe what you accomplished and that you had fun doing it. Also I think it’s important that everyone in class has different goals and there is enough room in class to accommodate what you want. Most folks in class are not trying to win the crossfit games (but if you want to I bet you can get there). Instead the focus is using proper form and effort levels to get you where you want to go. It is totally positive experience that will get you the results you want! -Scott K.
*Just try it! Most think they can’t do it because they aren’t “weight lifters” but Crossfit Sterling scales everything and is so supportive! It is like a second family! -Melinda V.
*Just try it. We all have the first day that we walk in with a major fear of being embarrassed by our lack of fitness, strength, etc., but you couldn’t walk into a more welcoming gym. You will think it is one of the best things you’ve ever done for yourself, and you will have so many successes along with the people working out around you. -Katie E.
*Don’t be. Crossfit can get a bad rap but it’s gym-specific. I showed up at CFS and didn’t bother looking at any of the other local gyms; I knew at that moment, it was the place for me. It’s intense, challenging, and fun. A good gym reinforces proper technique to ensure success and healthy bodies. At Crossfit Sterling, you’ll learn proper technique/form, you won’t get bored day to day, and you’ll get measurable results. Sterling has great coaches who will lead you to great results and will do it correctly, without injury. They really are more than a gym/box; they are a community and a family. I’ve never felt more welcomed at a facility than I do here. The investment return is more than worth the cost. The only way to understand it is to give it a try. -Jax F.
*Knowledgeable and experienced coaches make all the difference. Give it a whirl. -Joe F.
*Having been working out for a better part of my adult life I have to say that CrossFit really is a game-changer. While I could work out at a regular gym by myself, I would be working out by myself, and on days when I was less motivated, I would have only myself to push me / motivate me. What you get at CrossFit is nearly a personal coach in every workout/class, who is helping you with the exercise, watching you to make sure that your form is good, and you are realizing the benefits of that particular exercise. Also in working out with a group larger than just another workout partner, when you are struggling to finish a harder set of exercises, the encouragement that you get from the coaches and others in your class is invaluable. For me it has been the difference between finishing a workout, or just giving up on that day. The other thing I would say is to pick a crossfit gym like CrossFit Sterling, where the coaches and other members are supportive of all members, of all ages, and fitness levels. One of the things that all the coaches do at the beginning of each class is to find out what kind of injuries people have in the class, and they types of modifications that will need to be made to the exercises to accommodate for the injuries. Finally the coaches at CrossFit Sterling watch/monitor all the members in each class to make sure that they are doing the exercises properly with the right form. If they feel that someone’s form is compromised by injury or fatigue, they ensure that they do it right or just have them stop the exercise. -Anon
Coaches Note: WOW thank you all for the super kind words about our gym, community, coaching, etc. We are so happy, blessed and grateful to have you all on this journey with us!!