Ah, summer. Warm weather, sunny skies, crickets chirping, the barbeque grill calling my name. Oh, and my workout and practice schedules get completely screwed up! Kids; we love 'em. We also love having a consistent schedule while they are at school. So, what now? For me, summer means the ice rink schedule changes. My coveted morning public skate, where I practically have the ice to myself, is gone in favor of hockey camps. Gym workouts are tough to make, especially since my kids are too young to stay home by themselves and, according to them, "too old for the little kids" care center at the gym. So do I just "take the summer off? No way, that would be way too tough for me mentally. If you're like me, your brain needs the boost of regular activity as much as your body does.
So what do we do now? Well, we start with reframing and setting some new goals for ourselves. Reframing is a fancy word for figuring out what we were doing and why, what we were getting out of it, and seeing it in a slightly different way. Then we can find a way to keep our activity (albeit in slightly different form) this summer.
Take your current workout or activity schedule and write it out on a piece of paper. For me, it would be:
Skating: Mon., Tues., Wed. mornings
Strength training at the gym: Tues. and Thurs. midday
Yoga: Thursday midday
The first obvious step is to see if the locations where I have these activities provide opportunities at alternate times. Skating was the most problematic because while there are other public skate times offered (evenings), the chances of having the empty rink I "need" are slim. Gym strength training is the easiest--this can be done at any time, including weekends or evenings when my dear husband can be home with the kids. Luckily summer also means the kids' afternoon, evening and weekend activities have taken a little break, so that's helpful. Yoga is a little more difficult since the particular variety I enjoy is only offered that one time each week.
I looked at skating and yoga and what I need or get from them. Skating gives me cardio training and the opportunity to develop and practices my skills. Yoga provides relaxation, strength and balance development and meditation. When I think about it, the elements of my yoga practice are actually things I can do at home with my mat and maybe even a yoga DVD. Not ideal, but its not forever, either. I have some equipment at home that can also help me with my core/balance work. Check.
For skating, I need to look at my goals. Mainly skill development and practice. Ideally I would have all the space I need to perform each skill. So I reframe--are there skills which I can practice that require smaller space? Actually, yes, many. My focus for the summer, then, will be to work on these basics. If I really think about it, many of those skills are ones I had considered a little "boring" in relation to later elements I acquired, but they are vital to master if I really want to move on in my figure skating. Setting this new goal for myself actually brings a bit of excitement, rather than lament and yearning for the lost ice time and space.
The cardio training I may be missing from being unable to skate full-out can be made up in a big way--go outside! Here's where the aforementioned kids come in really handy (I knew they would). They are always up for some outdoor fun, as is my trusty golden retriever. I think I'll have more than enough opportunites to get active.
So I think I'm all set. How about you? If it seems that all is lost, take it one step at a time. And, to paraphrase an old adage, remember "This summer, too, shall pass." Probably too quickly. Before we know it we'll be back to the old schedule. We might even miss the summer changes.
"Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there."
Personal Best Sports
The sports world is filled with stories of perseverance, failure and success, personal struggles and public triumph. Each story provides insight into the mental side of sport and activity.