I used to do CrossFit. I loved it. It was the only workout that actually challenged me to my core and truly changed the way my body looked and how I felt. I felt so strong – like I could do anything. Many of the weightlifting exercises required me to track the maximum weight I could lift. Later, I used this as a benchmark for workouts. Sometimes the goal would be to lift three reps at 75% or 80% of my maximum weight. Sometimes the goal would be to lift one rep at 100% and then try to exceed it with the next rep (that’s called a PR (Personal Record) and guaranteed you a lot of high-fives from fellow CrossFit athletes).
I haven’t written on my blog for quite a while. Life got busy and of course, like many other busy mamas out there, the things that us moms enjoy doing for ourselves are often put to the side to meet the demands of work and family schedules. I feel that women and moms specifically, are always striving to meet all commitments 100% of the time. I have come to the realization that this is nearly impossible and we set ourselves up for failure and disappointment most of the time.
Here are some inner conversations that I used to have with myself:
- Inner self: How could I forget that it was toy share at daycare today? (I am a horrible mom).
- Inner self: The kids have overlapping activities tonight and hockey registration at the same time. I need to find a way to make all activities, no matter what…(or else I am a horrible mom).
- Inner self:We ate out twice this week. I should be more prepared. (I am a horrible mom).
- Inner self: I haven’t gone to the gym in two weeks and last night I had cheesecake. (I will never get into the workout/gym routine. I am horrible….and fat).
Does any of this sound familiar?
We put so much pressure on ourselves to give 100%, 100% of the time. It’s not a realistic expectation.
Question: What the heck does this have to do with CrossFit?
Answer : We need to set family and personal performance goals.
What I recently started doing is evaluating how busy my life really is. Being busy is a choice – no one has forced me to sign the kids up for multiple activities nor to spend my spare time volunteering; however, having already made commitments, I struggle with managing expectations – especially my own.
At CrossFit, you are not expected to lift 15 reps at your maximum. The more reps required, the lower the percentage of your maximum weight you should lift. Why shouldn’t we think of our busy schedules in the same way? If I have a couple of things to get done in a day I can give it 100%. If I have so many things to get done that I start worrying when I will find the time to eat or go to the bathroom, then I have to give less of myself to each task – and be ok with it. In order to make sure I can “lift” all those tasks and commitments in a day, maybe I give 80% of myself. If I can get to 80% of the things I need to do, then I know I have given it my all – my 100%.
80% is my new 100%.
Readjusting the expectations I place on myself and my goals has changed my inner dialogue to this:
- Inner self:How could I forget that it was toy share day at daycare? (oh well, I’ll write it down on the calendar and remember for next week).
- Inner self: The kids have overlapping activities tonight and hockey registration at the same time. I need to find a way to make all activities, no matter what. (I guess someone has to miss a practice tonight).
- Inner self: We ate out twice this week. I should be more prepared. (Hey – I got 5 meals made)!
- Inner self: I haven’t gone to the gym in two weeks and last night I had cheesecake. (I need to sit down and make a plan to fit this in for myself).
So – my kids may miss a game or practice here or there, the floor might not get washed this week, I may not make a workout, and my kids might have a couple of nights where they have to entertain themselves because I am working on something to which I have committed. I am fine and my family is fine because I am giving 100%.