Showing My Kids The Warrior Side

squat

In the gym it was Eight in the morning. I got my kids in, grabbed my coffee and water and proceeded to the squat rack. A few leg swings, deep squats, hip mobility movements, bird dogs, and squat jumps and I was ready to go. Training time. Some days it’s comes good, some days it’s a fight. Most days a little built up energy and anger helps me get through the movements. Most of the time I’m training the kids are wild. They run around the gym, play with the jump ropes, grab the five pound weights and do heavy carries, mimic the burpees I do, or play with the cars I have. Sometimes my daughter puts on the boxing gloves and goes to town on the heavy bag.

Recently I started pushing a little harder during the workouts. It’s eight o’clock and I have class at nine. I need to get done before people start showing up. It’s fascinating to see how little one must truly rest. I used to see guys resting three, four, or five minutes after doing a sub maximal load movement like it was a heavy deadlift and they needed to fully recharge. My rest periods are thirty seconds. Some times less. First I do the main movement whether it’s squats or deadlifts and then I go into the accessory work. I super set everything. It helps me get done, keeps the heart pumping, and by the time I finish the last set I have enough time to wipe the sweat from my face and start class.

If I didn’t train before my nine o’clock class I would find every excuse in the book to skip it. I’ve learned to get moving when the mind doesn’t want to. The days I train I am up at four in the morning. I usually don’t roll out of bed for twenty minutes and hate getting started. The lack of sleep has caught up with me and anyone who says sleep is for pussies is an asshole. Sleep is crucial and when you don’t get enough, you miss it. I get to the gym to open up for my five o’clock class and by the time I’m done with the early morning sessions, I’m shot. I want my bed, I want to close my eyes, I want more sleep. I get home and grab a smoothie and coffee and the kids and head right back for my time.

Lifting weights is more than physical appearance or strength. It’s like a drug. The body creates “feel good” hormones and the negative thoughts fade away. There’s nothing like testing your body through physical movement and resistance. Heavy squats bring more than physical strength. They bring mental toughness and feelings of accomplishment. Heavy carries, sled drags, pull-ups, and dips build muscle, strength, and they conquer the inner bitch in the mind that tries to settle for comfort. When the training starts to feel easy, you know you’re drifting into the comfort zone and convenience. It’s time to change a thing or two.

Training with the kids in the gym is fun but at times ridiculous. When your less than two year old walks under the bar of your heavy squats when in the deep position you kind of freak out a little. What if he grabs my leg? What if the plates slide off since I don’t clip them when training alone? But when he gets close it’s a surge of Adrenaline. I love having my kids in the gym with me. They watch me test myself three times or more a week. They see me put my body through the stress of resistance training. They hear me grunt, curse, sweat, and scream. They see me breathe heavily and give it one more shot. Then they get to watch me work, like the old days when men would bring their sons to the field, the farm, the shop, the railway, or the mines. Kids used to see their fathers bust their ass and I’m grateful mine see it almost everyday. They see me crush weakness and build strength. They see me fight the inner bitch. They see me act with courage and fight fear as I add more weight. Then they see me help other people. I couldn’t ask for anything more. At times it’s crazy but looking at the big picture, it’s beautiful.

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