Fit Father Needn’t Be an Oxymoron

Workout Videos Jillian MichaelsI have every excuse required to be in the worst shape in my life.

For starters, I’ve never been in good shape. At 44, biology isn’t exactly on my side. And there are days when I barely have time to check my Facebook account in between work, diaper changes and refereeing my young sons’ latest battle royale.

Yet I truly am in the best shape I’ve ever been in, although I’m nowhere near ready to pose for any “after” photographs. And I can credit Jackie Warner and her video workout cousins for my current state.

I know, a grown man should be pumping iron at an old-school gym with peeling paint and ex-weightlifters swiping your membership card. Tried that, never went.

Hated it, in fact.

Now, with two children at home, the notion of having enough time to visit the local gym is ludicrous. That forced me to consider those home workout videos that squeeze an entire routine in under 30 minutes. I tried several Jillian Michaels’ videos first and saw modest progress. She’s an appropriate combination of perky and punishing, and the movements didn’t send me careening out of my comfort zone – no girly girl dancing or Jazzercise-style routines. Plus, it fit perfectly into my schedule. Wake up before the little monsters stir. Tug on workout shorts. Stumble down to my movie room. Grunt and groan for 20 minutes under the tutelage of women fit enough to wear very little.

By 6:45 a.m. I had a solid workout under my belt, and I could start the day on a positive note.

Now, I bounce between Jackie Warner videos and an hour-long workout run by “The Biggest Loser” taskmaster Bob Harper. The latter is brutal, but I can handle it once a week. Sometimes.

I never would have had the discipline needed to get this all done without being a father. Before having kids my time management skills were mediocre at best. Now, I know how to use every last second to my advantage out of sheer necessity.

My workout routine is far from foolproof. Some mornings my children wake before I do, and the workout is scuttled. Other times, I simply cannot stir at the appropriate time. And if I miss 2-3 days in a row, that first workout back feels like I’m starting a new habit all over again.

But it can be done. And every time I hoist lil’ Benjamin up or play “Cowboy and Horsey” (guess which one I am?) with Elijah I’m grateful to be rid of my old, lumpy self.


  1. says

    Hi! This is Patty. My son and I met you all Sunday on our walk back to our cars from jazz in the park. Eli is a hoot! I enjoyed talking with him:)

    This post was great! I am proud of you to try to set time aside or get up early to get your workout in.

    I started a in-home personal training business to help parents get their workouts in with their children home! As a mom I know that it requires a lot of discipline to get a workout in. I come and train even if kids are home running around or napping. I help entertain them while giving a workout so you can have limited distractions.

    Anyway, I was really happy to meet your family!


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