A few weeks ago I was at lunch with a group of people and someone told me, “one way to meet people here is to find people who do the same sports you do.” I do not do any sports or workout currently, but I like to do all sorts of sports – golf, cycling, hiking, go to the gym, and so on. Of course this was all before the little guy was born, and it will come back again when the time is right. The lack of sport in my life is one of the reasons I am on the go a lot – if I cannot work out, then I want to be as active as possible (it would be so much easier, but less healthy, to sit at home all day).
So, is there time for the gym? Yes, I think there probably is time for stay at home parents to go to the gym if they live and the partner works in a traditional environment – for example when the partner works a 8:00-17:00 job, then it could work to go to the gym a few evenings a week. But in Hong Kong, where my wife gets back from work at 18:30-19:00, and then there’s cooking dinner, cleaning up, and so on, it is often 21:00 before you get a chance to sit. So, then it’s up to you: workout or not. To me it then depends on if I was active during the day – if I was, then I do not feel like I need to do anything. If I had just sat at home all day (which I have not yet done), then I might feel the need to go work out.
If I were in organized sports, that might actually push me and my wife to create some schedules that would allow for those sports to happen, but as it is, that is not an issue.
The whole concept of “I don’t have time” reminds me of when I was working to put myself thru college to earn my undergraduate degree (I talked a little about it on this post). I worked no less than 40 hours a week, and was enrolled in full-time classes. I would literally get up and drive 1 hour to the university, study and go to class, then drive back and work a full day, then read and do homework in the evening. I would always have my school work done, earned top marks, and still had time to have a social life. And then I would sit there and listen to my classmates who had no job and only took the minimum amount of classes whine about not having time to do XYZ. To me it is never about not having the time, it is about not prioritizing your time. If something is important, you will make it work.
So I guess I do not think there is a lack of time for sports, as much as there is a lack of need in my current situation, since I usually push a 15 kg (32 lb) stroller up and down the hills in the heat for hours at a time, or carry the little guy around the city. If this were not the lifestyle I had, I would make the time to get the release from the stresses that come with the “job” of stay at home parent, and stay fit. Make a plan, prioritize it, and get the activity that is needed to stay healthy. Gotta take care of yourself, in mind and body, if you expect to be a good parent, right?