Guilt-free gaming and children's day

Some of my favorite childhood memories are spending time with family. Yeah, yeah, I know… they can annoy the heck out of me at times. But, they were always there, and I knew that my parents really loved my brother and myself.

My family is extremely important to me. When it comes to down time, I really enjoy including my daughter in many of our activities. She’s a great kid; I love hanging out with her. So yes, at times what I enjoy is tweaked a bit to ensure she’s having a great time too. Now that I think about it, I imagine that’s one of the reasons why I simply cannot get too wrapped up in gaming, especially MMORPG’s, as much as I enjoy playing them. Gaming is one of my guilty pleasures, and it’s something you’ll occasionally see me doing when my daughter is sleeping or preoccupied.

That’s why I enjoy the shorter video games, like First Person Shooters. The story lines don’t last too long. MMORPG’s, can be a huge time sink (if you let it) and they have that social aspect going along with it. I’ve met so many great folks in the few games I’ve played, but it can get time-consuming. When I was playing World of Warcraft, I could have easily spent hours kicking some night elf or human butt in a Battleground, but I didn’t.

Now that I think about it, even if I were truly single, I wouldn’t be spending too much time in the gaming fantasy world, because I still would feel guilty. Crazy, I know. Why is that? As much as I hate to admit it, if I linger in a game too long, I feel guilty wasting my time in the gaming world.

At times I gently reprimand myself, thinking of the other ways I could better use my time to do something ‘constructive’.

  • I could be working out
  • I could be writing an article
  • I could be working on some designs
  • I could social networking for my business
  • I could be reading

Well, you get the idea, and if you have a guilty pleasure, perhaps you’ve done something similar? After a few hours you’ll find me (regretfully at times) looking to do something creative. Besides, when my daughter is awake and not occupied the last thing I want to be doing is escaping into some magical fantasy world. I want to be ‘here’ if she needs me.

I know a lot of the guilt has to do with how my brother and I were raised. My parents, when not working, spent a lot of time with us and that has left a major impact on the way I interact with my daughter. I really enjoyed knowing that my parents were ‘there’ whenever I needed them. They included us in there interests and actively encouraged our own.

This week, my daughter is bursting with excitement! I told her I’m bringing her to my gym. My daughter knows how important fitness is. It makes you feel good, it’s good for you, and it increases your energy level. She knows that exercise can be a lot of fun too. Our exercise usually involves games. It doesn’t feel like exercise to her, and it’s a lot of fun! There are some games we play inside; others are done outside. Regardless of the weather, we got our physical activities covered

Anyway, childrens’ day at my gym is set aside for Tuesday, Thursday, Saturdays. Although it isn’t all day, the hours are enough to play in the pool. Although she was at my gym when she was three, she really doesn’t remember too much about it, and so I’m sure our first trip will be a tour of some of the equipment mommy uses. My daughter is excited and has already changed her swimming outfit a few times. You want to know something, I’m sure it will change again before we head to the gym this Tuesday.

Finding a happy medium can be challenging; Work, family, personal time. etc., Sometimes it seems impossible to make it all fit, right? However, I think I’ve finally stumbled upon what works for my daughter and myself. A few hours a week you can find me escaping into the gaming world, it’s simply one of the ways I spend my personal time.

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Family, Fitness, Moondancer

Workout Wednesday – 07/07/10; Legs

barbell.07.08.10.gifIt’s a great feeling to do something you enjoy, right? Yesterday I managed to squeeze a workout session at Bally’s Total Fitness. The workout wasn’t too long but, I still managed to have an excellent workout. Since I managed to workout some muscles in a different way, I’m slightly sore this morning.

When it comes to motivation, I guess I’ve always been fairly motivated/disciplined. I’ve always been a dreamer and as a child, I discovered how powerful our minds can be. I would set goals for myself, visualize what I wanted to achieve and continally work at acquring them. It wasn’t always easy, many times it was hard, but realizing how powerful the mind can be I pursued my goals. at times, it still isn’t easy, I still have to push myself to accomplish a variety of goals and yes making the time to go back into Ballys Total fitness was one of them…

I’ve always been an active child; my brother, and I helped my parents in their almost two-acre garden when we were young. When other kids were out playing we had chores (gardening) after those were over, then we were allowed to play, and play we did. Biking, tag, kickball, softball, running, etc., We had an arsenal of physical activities on our plate.

Moving onto college, I joined a weight lifting program. The reason was simple, I knew I might be as active physically as I was in the past, and I didn’t want to lose my edge. Sure, I had a high metabolism, but I wanted to stay physically active too. Besides, myself and another girl that class was all males. I remember the teacher told the girl and me that the assistant teacher didn’t think we’d make it because we were girls. Pfft, please I’ve been active my entire life. This was nothing. You want to know something; I’m never one to back down from a challenge. I was determined to prove him wrong, and I did. So yeah, I guess my body has always been active. I honestly feel guilty if I don’t do some type of physical activity. I simply enjoy the natural high I felt after doing physical activity, so there was no way I’m shelving that feeling regardless of how difficult it could be to incorporate a workout into my routine.

Anyway, back to the motivation thing… I kept putting off going back to Bally’s Total Fitness; I’d been working out at home after all. The past year most of my workouts have been done at home; I did some form of exercise daily. At times that entailed working out in the garden, which can be fairly intense, cutting grass, or doing the traditional workouts. The only difference my exercises were at home. You don’t need to go to a gym to workout, you really don’t need the tapes either, however, they can be motivational, and so if you don’t want to work out at a gym but need some type of motivation, I’d recommending purchasing a workout DvD.

Although I mainly worked out at home, I was able to stay in great shape. Something always came along that made it easier for me to keep putting off, stepping back into an actual gym. Isn’t that how it works? However, when we arrived back from vacation, I packed my gym bag determined to make the time to get into the gym on Tuesday. I placed the typical images in my mind of me spending time with my daughter, completing work for my clients, doing my usual exercise at home, and oh yeah… squeezing in some gym time too.

Why am I going back to the gym, if I’m already working out at home?

Well, I cannot squeeze out those extra reps on my own. I tend to do five sets of an exercise, 15 reps per set. On my own I can only do so much, however with a partner I can push out even more, or have them add more weight. Yep, in those instances it’s great to have a buddy to assist you with that.

Figure competition is another reason I’m back in the gym… Although I would love to compete this year, I realistically know I don’t have that type of time, and so I need to stop fooling myself. It’s nice to have a workout buddy to serve as an additional motivator. Although disappointed that I cannot realistically compete this year, I can work on a long term goal and compete next year. The good news is that one of my friends/workout partners works out there too. Now, it’s simply a matter of coordinating our schedules so we’re able to get a few workouts in together weekly. His schedule is just as busy as mine.

I’ve included yesterdays workout routine below. I did five sets of each exercise, 15 reps per set. I don’t take breaks between each exercise; I simply move onto the next station.

Wednesdays’s Workout: Legs

Cross trainer – highest incline, running at top speed (forwards and backwards for 10 minutes)
Front Squats
Stiff Legged Deadlifts
Leg Curls
Incline Dumbbell Press
Wide Grip Pulldowns
Calf Raises (worked out until muscle failure)
Bent leg donkey kicks

Dry Sauna w/sauna rounds – 45 minutes (I did some abdominal exercises while in there)

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Bally’s Total Fitness, Fitness