Family Emergencies and Training

Priorities say that our training takes a backseat when family situations and emergencies arise.  Anyone who knows me knows that family comes first and if given the choice between training and family, there shouldn't even be a thought given.  You do what you have to do for family.


At the same time, every situation is different and every person is different so these situations and decisions aren't always black and white or cut-and-dry.


I had to coordinate all of our kids -- on very short notice -- to be able to make a trip back to Michigan (and us come from south florida) to spend time with family because my wife's mother has stage-4 cancer.  She is doing well but struggling as time passes and her prognosis is not good.  She is still being treated but the treatment is very aggressive and is taking its toll on her both physically and mentally.  We felt it would be better to get everyone there now vs. later if her health continues to deteriorate.


Though I contemplated not training, at all, while in Michigan for the week, I felt that I could slip away for a few workouts as the gym is just up the street (it takes about 2 minutes to get there) and I could do some shorter, more abbreviated workouts.  This would allow me to continue to stay on track while out of town and not lose any ground as I have worked very hard over this last year and I want to continue to progress and move forward.


I should also note that I am an all-or-none kind of guy.  I am either training and 100% with everything or I am not training and I am not dieting and 100% off.  I certainly didn't want to lose a week if I didn't have to and the other component here is with all of the stress, I felt it would help me to decompress and destress if I were able to get to the gym a few times during the week to blow off steam, if nothing else.


My training this week has consisted of pretty good workouts but I also wanted to be smart and not go crazy trying to set PRs and move huge weights, potentially putting myself in a vulnerable position, opening myself up to injury or something going wrong in a different gym with different equipment and making an already stressful situation, even more so.


It's funny because it is times like this when you realize just how much easier it would be to just not train, at all, but staying on track keeps you in a better frame of mind, too.  It also has kept me structured and upon returning home I won't have to deal with the added discouragement of having to "catch up" for the next week or two, either.


Again, every situation is different and every person is different so where I have a support system in place (my wife and my family) who support me to continue to stay on track, not everyone does.  It would be impossible in a situation like this to train and stay on track if my wife was not supportive of me doing so during this time.


My best advice is to not be selfish and to be honest with your situation when deciding if you continuing to stay on track is your best option.  Sometimes it is and other times it is just best to pack it in and take the time off.


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