Elisabeth Akinwale: “Muscle Up Orphans”

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by ELISABETH AKINWALE

Parenting is a part of our normal life
I’m fortunate because through ongoing efforts and a commitment, what I do as a mother and training for the CrossFit Games has become pretty integrated.  It’s a normal part of our life. If I were a surgeon, a student, a baker, or a person who cleaned toilets for a living, I wouldn’t suddenly become a less effective parent. In fact, I think my choice to train and my life as mother are symbiotic: my son helps my training and my training helps me be a better mother to him.

[M]y choice to train and my life as mother are symbiotic: my son helps my training and my training helps me be a better mother to him.
Right around the time I saw that quote, I had just had one of the most awesome days ever at the gym with my son. It was a snowy day in Chicago, so we might have otherwise been cooped up. I actually didn’t feel much like training, but my son wanted to go to the gym, so off we went. Win/win: he gets to have a place to run and play and I get my workout in. We put on Disney radio and went to it. I did some sled drag intervals, and he recorded my times for me and used a baseball bat and ball to play a sort of mini-golf between my legs and the sled as I pulled it. He sat perched on a yoke having a snack and cheering me on through my muscle-ups. Out of the blue he asked me, “Mommy, are you doing what you want to do or what you have to do?” What better way to teach your kids about the process of working to achieve a goal than through example? Frankly, his question was a huge benefit to me by starting a reflection on what I’m doing on a day-to-day basis and why. This child keeps me grounded in what really matters and also inspires me to create the best life for us. You know, like Oprah-style “Live Your Best Life.”

The search for life balance as a parent, just like scales, is never static but a constant adjustment. I look at other parents whom I respect for reassurance that it can be done, but not how to do it — because that’s unique to each family.

*Mommy-guilt: Constant or easily triggered sense of unease based in the desire to always do what’s right for your children, and having infinite possibilities for what that is.  Fathers may also be afflicted.

 Re-published with permission from her blog, Elisabeth Akinwale: Athletics, Motherhood, and Other SuperFantastic Subjects. Originally posted on February 16, 2014.

Find Elisabeth Akinwale on Facebook and follow her on Twitter at @eakinwale.

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