Dilemma: Family vs. Fitness

Today I'm getting on an airplane to Orlando for my cousin's wedding. I'm really excited to be going home for the weekend and to spend time with my entire family, many of whom I've not seen in a few years. On top of that, Rich is coming with me - it's the first time he'll meet my extended family beyond my parents, brothers and sisters. And on Saturday we're going to spend the afternoon with my sister, nephews and brand new niece. That should be exhausting and fun at the same time. Little kids are not usually my thing, but I'm their aunt and I really want them to know and like me. So here's my dilemma - do I take time out to myself Saturday and/or Sunday morning to get in a workout or a run?

The little angel on my right shoulder is telling me to take a break for the weekend and enjoy the time with my family. On the flip side, the neurotic little training obsessed devil on my left shoulder is telling me I've got to get in a workout and burn some calories - especially since I'll probably have some cake at the wedding. Not to mention, I've been doing so well with consistency and I've lost about 6 lbs in 6 weeks. It's no wonder I'm secretly worried one weekend off of my healthy eating and workout routine will ruin my progress and put me back a few steps.

Common sense, and science tells you that our bodies need a break from exercise every few days for optimal repair and recovery. Everyone knows this. I know this. But the more is better mentality always seems to take over. Even my dentist told me I was brushing my teeth too hard. Too hard? I didn't know there was a too hard for brushing your teeth. You'd think that brushing harder would remove more plaque and debris. Apparently you can brush away your gums if you brush too hard. And those you can't grow back, unfortunately.

The same can be said for training too much or too often. Over-training and Overreaching are real. So why is it that I can't seem to take a break, even for a little extra time with my family? Deep down I know my body needs the break and my mind needs the time with my family. So what do I do?

Right now I can't really answer that because I've not made a clear decision. My plan was to play it by ear. Bring along 1 or 2 sets of workout clothes and a pair of running shoes. If I find time for a run or to visit a local CrossFit gym for a drop-in WOD then cool, but if not, there's no loss - my body will respond that much better when I do get back to my training on Monday. And any weight I may put on will most likely be water weight and will come right off once I get back to my routine. The world won't end if I miss a workout - so we'll see what happens and I'll keep you posted.

Do you ever find yourself putting fitness before your friends and family? How do you find balance?

CrossFitting For a Cause - Barbells for Boobs

CrossFit is great for many things. CrossFit is great for making friends, burning calories, building calluses on your hands, paying a lot of money to workout in a warehouse, getting in shape, and having fun. CrossFit is also great for coming together for a better cause. Every year the CrossFit box I belong to, as well as many others around the nation, come together to raise money for Breast Cancer awareness by holding and attending an event called Barbells for Boobs.

When the CrossFit community holds a charity event, we don't just hang around, drink some beer and grill some bacon wrapped steak. We get in a workout too! The workout for Barbells for Boobs is a Benchmark Girls workout aptly named Grace.  (Grace = 30 reps for time Clean and Jerks at 95 lbs for women and 135 lbs for men)

This year our gym decided to make up our own t-shirts for the event. All proceeds went to the Barbells for Boobs fund.

There was also a jar where you could throw in money for the owner of the gym, Mike. At the end of the event he'd have to do as many burpees as there were dollars in the jar. This year Mike had to do 400 burpees - way to go Mike! The money goes in the pot for the charity.

It's also a great benchmark to see if you've improved at all from the last time you did the workout. Last year I believe I used 75 lbs. and finished between 3 and 4 minutes. This year I used 85 lbs and finished at 5:01 - I'm happy with that. Take note of Rich's score - he PR'd over his time last year (2:58) at 2:30 - he's a beast - but a super cute one! (I'm Lil Sho on the white board below, in case you couldn't find me)

I'm sad I didn't get to spend more time celebrating after the workout, but life calls and we had to go home. Until next year...or the next cause which I think isn't until next year anyway - Memorial Day Murph - that's always a rough fun one!

Update: Note from Mike (gym owner/trainer/awesome guy):"I want to thank everyone who came down yesterday in support of the Barbell for Boobs fund raiser.  Between what was raised online through the Barbells for Boobs Website, proceeds from the t-shirt sales, the burpee jar and other cash people donated we raised over $3,500.  Great Job everyone!!!!"

Another awesome guy who CrossFits to give back to the community is Chris Donnelly. I wanna give Chris a huge shout - I love his message that people of all ages and sizes can get involved in physical fitness. To find out more about what Chris is doing and to join in on his journey, check out his YouTube channel. It's packed with loads of funny and informative videos all about the CrossFit lifestyle. Don't forget to follow Chris at the hashtag #TheJourneyTV.

Do you find joy in giving to others? If so, what are your favorite ways to give back?