When it comes to your training schedule, what price do you pay? I’m not talking about paying for race entry, shoes, suits, flip belts, nutrition, bikes, helmets and all those little extra bits that go with our ‘cheap’ sport (who even said that? Obvs not a triathlete!) that just gave you a seriously tingle in your right butt cheek at the mere mention of them (Did someone say Brooks?? EEEEKKKKK!). I’m talking about the Mum guilt we all get when we’re out ‘showing them the best example’ but really feeling like crap because they were sobbing at the door as you literally ran away from them. I’m talking about the price you pay in your relationships; what’s the cost of your beloved sport when it comes to your family? Or do you just not 'pay' attention?
Before being engaged to the most supportive, ridiculously hot man on the planet (I’m serious, talk about specimen. Like lick his face yummy. Anyway, carrying on…..), I was married to someone who had no time for my sport. He hated watching the kids while I trained, paid the minimal mandatory required amount of attention to my achievements and accomplishments and judged me harshly for spending my time at the gym and running around in a sweaty mess. I had changed over time to become a little selfish in needing some time for myself (I had four kids – it was running or Prozac!) and because it wasn’t generating an income and the dishes were occasionally left undone in favour of getting to a Pump class, it caused issues. I was made to feel ‘bad’ for training; for taking time away from being mum and wife and I’ve since found out that it’s an incredibly common occurrence.
It might interest you to know that the most complained about issue amongst women’s only sporting groups (including running, triathlon, swimming, horse riding, body building, cycling, boxing, dancing and even yoga/pilates!) is the perceived lack of support from husbands/partners and other family members when it comes to training or attending events for their sports. Whilst most men could just be excused for being a little too, um, STUPID, to notice how much the sport means to us, how much it benefits our mental health, how much more confident it makes us, how nice our arse looks because of it (yep it’s thanks to all that training that you’re punching WAY above your weight mate), there is a small percentage of narcissistic pricks that don’t enjoy seeing people, even ones they love, better themselves in something they enjoy. Those arseholes you can’t do much about, whether they be your spouse, sibling or your very own mother.
60% of the complaints are about the kids. That hubby bitches about the ‘babysitting’. I’m not even responding to that – it’s called parenting, for fucks sake. If you’re other half falls into this category, just suck it up and get on your bike/hit the footpath/drive to the gym. Just do it. The training is worth the carry on. Maybe not so much the shitstorm that greets you when you get back though….
The other 40% combined that issue with ‘Mum guilt’, that they were taking away from family time, from a child’s ‘desperately needed’ attention, that they SHOULD be doing something else. This, my friends, will pass. Speaking from experience, my kids never missed out because I went for a run, competed in a race or taught a group fitness class, and now they are older, they regularly talk about my achievements when I manage to get more than a monosyllable out of them when they emerge from their pubescent caves. You’re doing good Mama, just keep going.
I’m yet to find a fellow training mum who doesn’t struggle with SOMEONE having a problem with their exercise routine. Whether it be your other half, your kids, your bestie, your parents; if you carve out designated time to exercise/train/workout, everyone’s got a fkn opinion. And heaven forbid you be doing it with a friend or two! That's a girlie catch-up dude! Talk about a luxury!
Personally, I’ve learnt that it’s my life and I balance it all the best I can. I train because I love it for so many different reasons, but most of all because I’d be a chubby, psychotic, mega-bitch if I didn’t.
Sometimes it pays to find the pessimistic their own hobby to counteract your own. I have a friend whose husband incessantly complained about her marathon training schedule until she arranged for him to join a local veterans footy team, that is more a men’s drinking club than a physical activity group! Another one waits until hubby has had a massive night out on the piss to register for her expensive races , capitalising on the shame and hangover the next day 😊 I won’t pretend I haven’t pimped myself in the form of semi-enthusiastic jiggy-jig in a bid for new sneakers or an early morning free pass to the gym. Girls gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!
How do you deal with ‘them’? Who is it? Do you power through or give in? We’d love to know!