Want to make god laugh? tell him your plan
Hello and welcome to my first written blog post! Hopefully there will be more to come.
When my son Calvin was born in November 2017, it was a joyous time. I had my son! He was going to pass on the Taylor name, and my life felt complete. My first child was easy. When Calvin came, we were prepared.
OR SO WE THOUGHT!
Calvin was not a sickly baby, or a fussy baby. He's an incredibly cute babe!
However Calvin was about to teach our family that as much as you can plan, sometimes plans don't turn out the way you expect.
Calvin was a nap baby, and didn't sleep very well through the night. That started when he was born and continued until he was 2 years old. For 2 years sleep became a luxury. I have been lucky to take care of him from newborn to today. It was pretty luxurious during the day. Long naps every 2 hours when he needed to sleep on my chest. So sometimes I got to get in a nap, other times I worked on developing my website. However as he got older and the naps became less frequent, suddenly new challenges arose. By 9 months Calvin had 6 teeth growing in at once. Suddenly there was no more napping and no more sleeping at night either. He was becoming very gassy, and until all his teeth came in we were in a literal hell. Imagine going to bed at 9pm, waking up every 2 hours for an hour, and then getting ready for the day at 6am. I couldn't let my wife do it alone, so we did it together. Thankfully my oldest child is a VERY deep sleeper, and she slept right through his late night scream a thons.
Up until Calvin was born, I was lifting hard and heavy. Getting very strong, building muscle and getting lean. But once Calvin came, it became very clear I would have to abandon that plan. Why? Because I couldn't sustain the intensity, and I couldn't recover well enough. When you're only getting a few 2 hour chunks of sleep a night, you can't recover. As I tried to fight against the situation, I could feel the situation wearing me down. Workout intensity dropped, weights and total work dropped, willpower to eat well was dwindling by the day. And here I am a fitness professional trying my best to hold onto what I had, but slowly realizing if I kept this up I would get sick or get hurt. That has happened to me in the past, this idea that I can outwork my problem. The arrogance to think I could keep everything despite the writing on the wall.
Once my old injuries started flaring up, I knew something had to change or I was going to face a serious setback soon. So I backed WAY off. I started focusing on aerobic exercise that wasn't as hard on my body that I could recover from. My focus shifted to my weak points, and I started training differently. I took the time to study nutrition and truly understand the impact food has on your body.
And guess what?
It all worked out fine. I lost a bunch of fat, a BUNCH of fat. Fat I had been carrying for most of my adult life. Since I could no longer outwork my diet, I had to start getting that under control. It was tough, but I adapted. There were some old injury areas that were interfering with proper movement patterns, so I focused on correcting those areas. It was super boring, but it was all I had. I didn't like watching all my hard work in the strength department slowly fade, but I did enjoy looking and feeling healthier.
Fast forward to today. Calvin is 2 and half, all his teeth are in and he is an AMAZING sleeper. We get a great nap during the day and he's a great sleeper at night. He's a very well adjusted toddler and he makes me very proud everyday.
And all my fitness goals? Well I am happy to say that I am currently stronger than I have ever been. I've been able to stay lean this whole time, and my old injuries are not as sensitive as they used to be. It has been great as a fitness professional because when I work with clients and we see stressful life situations, we can adapt and still make progress. It doesn't always come down to how much work did you perform. Sometimes it comes down to how many disasters were you able to avoid. Sometimes it's more about what you need to focus on, and less about what you want to focus on.
So remember it's not the hand you are dealt, it's how you play your cards.