Overthinking: Kid-Friendly Alternatives to the Porch Gym

Now that my health is getting back on track, and my hormone cycles are regulating, I’m starting to notice some patterns. I’ve been feeling down the past couple days, and noticing that I felt down almost exactly one month ago as well.  Right around this particular time in my cycle, my body image is low, and the weights feel heavy.  A friend shared this article with me a few months ago, and I’ve been noticing this trend in myself too (hello luteal phase!). Things in my life also seem to weigh heavier on my mind. It’s good that I am noticing these patterns, so I can recognize when things are weighing heavier than they normally would.

What have I been allowing to take over my mind this month?  Finding a kid-friendly, Olympic weightlifting friendly alternative to the porch gym for the winter months when it will be too cold to train on my porch.

I love the CrossFit gym where I currently train on Saturdays, and they are super welcoming of my kiddo, which I appreciate. However, they don’t have open hours in the mornings, so the gym would likely be pretty crowded when I would bring him, and I’d be concerned for his safety. I am very diligent at home with barbell safety. My kiddo knows that if the barbell is in my hands, he is to stand clear. If the barbell is on the floor or on the rack, it’s okay to pass. But…it’s one thing to train a kid not to run under ONE barbell. It’s another thing to expect him to keep track of several or many barbells.  And a mistake in this area could cause serious injury. So I would rather not bring him during hours when the gym is likely to be crowded…..in the late afternoon/early evening….which is a time of day when toddlers and preschoolers are notoriously bad at following instructions. I’m hoping they add some open hours between 9 and noon, but in the meantime, I’m looking around at other options.

Today I drove to another gym about 40 minutes away that specializes in Olympic weightlifting as well as CrossFit.  A friend trains there and recommended it to me. They have open hours in the morning, and weightlifting coaches who have been training from a young age and competing at a high level in their home countries. I met one of the coaches today and he worked with me a lot on technique and positioning, which was excellent for me. I think if I were to train there, I would definitely improve my weightlifting a lot. However….he didn’t realize I would be bringing my kiddo. My friend who trains there had messaged him and told him I was coming and bringing a toddler….and English is not his first language and so he didn’t know what that meant. Hehehe. He seemed pretty uneasy with the idea of my kiddo around (for safety reasons), even though I was the only person in the gym other than the coaches. He is going to think over whether they can accommodate that. Thankfully, kiddo was pretty well behaved and didn’t get us kicked out…..today, at least. I packed his lunch, his toy barbell, and a coloring book and crayons.

Even if they do allow me to bring my kiddo there, I question whether I will want to drive 40 minutes each way, three times per week in the winter time.  If it weren’t for the excellent coaching and individualized programming, I would probably not consider it.

Other options I am going to check out:

  • Option A – probably also about 35-40 minutes away, but has a supervised childcare area Monday-Friday, 9-11am. They also have classes going on during that time, so I’ll have to ask them if they will let me train there in a corner by myself.  Already sent them a message; we’ll see what they say. They have CrossFit coaches who I hear good things about, but I’m not sure how much they specialize in Olympic weightlifting.
  • Option B – a gym about 10 minutes from me supposedly has a kids area. Not sure whether it is supervised. From the website, it doesn’t appear that the coaches have specific training in Olympic weightlifting….just the CrossFit Level 1 certification.

So…..stay local and have a more dedicated set up for the kiddo? Or drive a farther and have very hands-on coaching by successful Olympic weightlifters, and cross my fingers that my kid doesn’t get us kicked out or get hurt?

None of these choices seem as ideal as training on my porch during the summer, but I live in New England so we take what we can get. I thought about continuing to train at home, but my basement doesn’t have high enough ceilings, and it’s kind of gross down there. My living room has super high ceilings, but I’m afraid of damaging the structural integrity of the place by dropping weights.

Jeez, making decisions as a parent interested in pursuing a sport isn’t easy. Right about now I think “how great would it be if I could be a lady of leisure and put kiddo in preschool while I go train?” But I’m trying not to go down that path.  Attitude of gratitude and all….

And then, aside from the issue of finding a kid-friendly place to train, there’s the issue of whether I want such hands on attention from a coach. I know my technique NEEDS it…..and my introverted self enjoys training by myself.  Hmmm.

And then my hormonal self starts thinking “Maybe I should just powerlift in the winter so I can put my kid in any gym daycare and not have to deal with any of this. But then I’d lose my technique in the Olympic lifts and be sad. Maybe I shouldn’t have chosen such a technical sport. Why was I thinking I could do this?” And I realize that my pattern of impatience is kicking in. Just because I am not good at something YET doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t practice it. That’s what practice is FOR.

Anyway, I know that the overthinking will probably be done in a few days.

I’ll end by sharing some good news. My follow up lab work came back, and all the numbers are either improved or holding steady. Cortisol is back in the normal range (though on the low end), Vitamin D is now in the normal range (also on the low end), everything else is holding steady. So, things are improving! And today’s workout makes 120 workouts this year….80% of the way to my goal of 150 strength workouts in 2015!



2 thoughts on “Overthinking: Kid-Friendly Alternatives to the Porch Gym

  1. Pingback: Balancing Priorities (Weightlifting, parenting, and enjoying the process) | Power, Peace, and the Porch Gym

  2. Pingback: Changing Weather, Changing Options, Changing Strategies | Power, Peace, and the Porch Gym

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