I’ve been going to the gym during lunch hour since December 2010. It’s getting more frequent now, sometimes twice a week. I also noticed a few gym-goers who came at around 12.30 and left at 1.30pm. It seems like I’m not the only one having to resort to this arrangement. Most of these gym-goers are working women and I bet they are also mothers. People like us have to sacrifice lunch hours just to sweat.
Although I workout during lunch hour, I still managed to get lunch, usually before my gym session. Thank god there’s a small cafeteria in the office, I can easily get toast and half boiled eggs at 11.30a.m. Usually I’d bring packed lunch from home. After workout, two bananas would be enough to supply the much needed energy until 6pm.
I know it’s not really advisable to spend longer lunch hour to go to the gym, but what other choices do I have now? It’s almost impossible to workout after office hours when most of my afternoon meetings end at 6.30 or 7pm. Going to the gym in the morning is also out of the question. My mornings started quite late as I need to prepare Zarif’s things and drive him to the day care. He is not a morning person as everytime I wake him up to wash his face and get changed, he’s always cranky. Usually it’ll take me 15 minutes or so just to calm him down, feed him and get him into a fresh pair of pajamas. I don’t bathe him early in the morning because of his asthma problem.
Before my work became this hectic and demanding, I only had 5.30 – 7pm to workout. Everyone at home expects to see me back before Maghrib. I was envious seeing my single friends who could work out from 8-10pm. They had ample time for proper warm up, doing all their planned exercises and then cool down. They even had the luxury of time to wind down in the steam room and took long, rejuvenating bath afterwards.
While I, had to cramp everything into 50 minutes. Warm up, cardio, weight, stretch, cool down. All those within 50 minutes and I had to do them with greater difficulty levels to ensure more calories are burnt. It’s quite accurate to describe my life (not only my gym session) as 18 rushing hours (only 6 hours spared for sleep).
Juggling career, family and personal things is not easy. You might have read it in the other few thousand blogs or magazine articles. Some women had to sacrifice some things just to make sure they don’t lose their family. Some women even decided to choose career over family. The two scenarios happened in our life and I know a few women who had to make those decisions.
Society will point fingers to the women if anything should happen to the families, regardless of the decisions they made now. To be a stay at home mom or a working one is not an easy choice. I was contemplating staying at home and give 100% focus to the family many times in the last few years, especially since my kids started schooling. However, an advice from a dear friend from my old workplace always rang in my ears.
She said, whatever happens in the life of a woman, never lose the financial independence. Because you’ll never know what will happen to your husband or who he will become in the future.
Well, my friend gave me that advice a few months after her divorce. She was not bitter, but she was talking from her own experience. I followed her advice then and I still remember it today. So far, I have very few regrets.