2015 saw some monumental changes for me mainly thanks to the arrival of our triplet girls in June to compliment our two and a half year old son.
What I wanted to share with you today was something I’ve never experienced in my training life that I now have a new found appreciation for in terms of what clients or other people might be going through when they come from a similar space as what I have.
Training while tired or stressed is something I thought I had come to terms with when I had my first boy. Sure I lacked that little extra zing or push at the end of a heavy set but hey I would still find myself in the training arena each day and happy to punish myself time and time again.
Fast forward two years, one new business, a business mentoring course, a written book and of course triplet girls and I found myself in a completely new head space! Sure the broken sleep hurts but again I was used to that with my boy, it hurts but you pick yourself up and get your ass moving.
What no one can ever prepare you for with multiples is the unrelenting pressure that comes with multiples especially triplets. Cleaning bottles, washing nappies, patting to sleep it doesn’t stop....ever! You get through the honeymoon period well enough (sleepy baby stage) but over time and the persistent nature of what it is you do just slowly weighs you down, and I like to use the words ‘weigh you down’ as it’s this exact feeling that I’ll talk about in a second. Anyway, couple all that with the new business and everything that goes with it and you have one completely different mind to work with.
I love everything there is about a training environment, from the sweat and bad body odder right through to the pain that goes with hard yakka nothing gets me up quicker in the morning (except the ear piercing sound of three screaming babies). It’s the sole reason why I do what I do. I got my first formal training program when I was 14 years of age, was coaching by the age of 18 and haven’t looked back since.
What this past year’s experiences in particular the triplets has done to my training however is unparalleled in my world, while at the same time both frustrating and intriguing all at the same time.
Where I used to bounce off the walls in excitement at the thought of putting a weighted bar on my back and pumping out 5x5 squats I now feel nothing but exhaustion. My wife would say my mind is now normalising, and although I’ll never agree with her at the same time I do now have a greater appreciation for individuals who don’t naturally ‘get-off’ on training like us fitness professionals do. I can see now how throwing weights around as a concept can be more exhausting than liberating.
The difference here is that instead of doing nothing we as ‘fitness freaks’ will find different outlets to get our fix. So of course this means I haven’t stopped training, that thought will never enter my mind as long as I’m breathing, I however rarely pick up a heavy dumbbell these days and although I’m sure that will change in time, for now I have just found different outlets. I find myself doing far more calisthenics (which at 105kg is plenty of weight) while at the same time sprinting which I’ve always enjoyed from my track and field days, has brought a whole new dimension to it. Like most people who do any form of running they will tell you they feel ‘free’ (albeit for a short while) while running, this is most definitely the case for me and I have a new found love for it again.
There’s no doubting how much children enrich your life, however at the same time they certainly do teach you to appreciate the little things you took for granted before they were here. Time to train is certainly one thing but having the energy to train like a beast is another thing again.
Tristan Hill, Masters of Sports Coaching, author of Lifting the Bar and mentor to Personal Trainers.