When my son was a toddler, I was made a single mom for some months due to a deployment. As a military brat and member, I’ve been on many sides of the deployment coin. While, no two people have the same experience, I do know those of us holding down the fort should be considering how the stress of the situation factors into our health and ability to workout. The effects of stress can creep into your sleep habits or even wreck hormone balance.
Being a lover of CrossFit, I knew I couldn’t sustain my workout schedule when my husband deployed. I cut my workout frequency and I kept my workouts short. I put a time limit on the gym regardless of what style of workout I was doing. I realized that spending endless hours at the gym wouldn’t benefit my health, emotionally of physically. It would stretch out my schedule, break into time with my son who is already down one parent, and damage my sleep. I went from beast mode to survival mode in the blink of an eye. And I ended up being ok with that. It took a lot of thought and convincing, but was worth it.
You’ve heard me talk about priorities before, at this time my priorities were family, work, and sanity. Having those established allowed me to see the reason for changing my workout plan. I had to balance the benefits of fitness with my deployment situation. I wasn’t in any shape to win a physique competition, but I didn’t do a total flip off the bandwagon. I worked out enough to maintain a decent level of fitness. I was able to spend time on my priorities. Just so you know, beast mode is not the only mode out there and at times it is not the most fitting mode.
You’re down a family member after relying on that help to function. Of course, life loves to throw you the curve balls at this time too. Be prepared to protect your priorities Maybe you have a good support system and nothing changes. Maybe you’re in the middle of nowhere with multiple toddlers, have a three jobs and can’t handle any workouts. Be honest with yourself and know that staying at the appropriate level of fitness will help your resilience. You need to be open and flexible to see what works for you and your priorities.
Sunny Norwood Buck
Fitmark Ambassador 2013