In Balance The Grind’s ongoing interview series, we’re learning about how different individuals achieve balance in their life while juggling multiple priorities – whether it’s work, training, hobbies or in this case, an 11-month old baby.
For this interview, Balance The Grind is talking to Theresa Prasad, a busy working mum who’s juggling her family, Crossfit training schedule and everything in between. Theresa discusses the start of her fitness journey, Crossfit training, how her routine has changed since her son Zane and plenty more!
1) What sort of training are you doing at the moment?
I’ve been doing Crossfit since May 2011. It’s a great mix of metabolic movement, gymnastics and power lifting.
2) How did you get started on your fitness journey?
I had a complete lifestyle overhaul in 2003 when I started to get into a regular exercise routine for the first time. I joined a gym and began weight training and my journey into healthier eating also began at this time. After about 5 years, I heard about Crossfit and was exposed to the concept but didn’t think it was for me.
I then had a client who kept raving about it and encouraged me to go along for a session so I took him up on the offer. Within a week of doing a few more sessions, I cancelled my Fitness First membership and joined Crossfit Inner West.
3) What was it about Crossfit that attracted you to that type of training?
I love the constant challenging mix of powerlifting, metabolic movement and gymnastics as well as the constantly varied programming. There are coaches who are constantly overseeing your performance and progress as well as ensuring you are adhering to the right technique.
On top of that, Crossfit isn’t just a “work out”; it’s a community and being surrounded by driven people who challenge you and drive you to work harder and achieve your goals.
4) If you had to choose one exercise to do for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
Jumping air squats – it’s a great movement you can do anywhere without special equipment. It targets core and lower body and you can make it as challenging as you want to test explosive power and strength conditioning.
5) How has your routine changed ever since your son Zane came into your life?
Every day is totally different!
Exercising has been a priority in my life for a long time even while I was pregnant – having trained up until 12 hours before I gave birth to Zane. Before, I could choose whenever I wanted to go train and whatever suited me and my schedule.
Now I’m in a new chapter of my life with an 11 month old baby so my training routine is very different to how it was before he came along because I have to take him into account and be a lot more organised!
With the way Crossfit is structured, there are allocated class times and “open gym” sessions which dictates when I can bring Zane along with me while I train and when I can’t.
6) What’s a typical daily schedule like for you on a training day?
I strive to do 3-4 sessions per week at Inner West Crossfit and the best time to train is 6am class (wake up at 4:30am) as I don’t need to take Zane with me and can go before Zane wakes up and my husband, Mohnish, is home to look after him.
I can then get home by 7:30am before Mohnish gets ready to go to work by 7:50am. I prefer to be able to do this as it’s done and I have the rest of the day free.
If I don’t do the 6am session, I try to do the 3-4pm open gym session which I can take Zane along with me. There’s a bit more prep involved, as I need to make food for Zane, have toys to keep him occupied and now that he is mobile and no longer sitting still, I have to set up the play pen each time (which he some how manages to break free of now).
And when I can’t get to Crossfit at all? Because the reality is, the stars don’t always align and I can’t always physically get to the gym. Shit happens and babies don’t always want to follow your schedule.
So I improvise and get creative and do a quick work out that doesn’t require equipment and do intervals between feeding Zane breakfast or lunch. Or finding a 5 or 10 minute gap somewhere in the day while I’m at home to do a quick AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of a series of body weight movements.
Or sometimes once he goes down to sleep for the night, I’ve got a barbell and mix of weight plates that allows me to do some lifting outside on the balcony
7) With so many things in your life pulling you in different directions, how do you try to achieve balance?
Life gets really busy and I believe one of the key things to balance is consciously making time for what is important to you and makes you feel good.
For me, this includes meal prepping in advance to ensure I’m nourishing myself and my family with the right foods and also save time so we can spend more time together.
It could also even be something as simple as putting the laundry on hold for the morning and instead, going out to the park to soak up some vitamin D while Zane plays and I do a mini body weight work out.
8) What do you think is the most important thing to do to make sure you achieve that balance?
Eating good food is a non-negotiable for me and I know when I eat well, I feel good. Being organised and planning ahead makes sure that amongst the “have to do” tasks like chores and errands, I make time for things that make life worth living.
And of course I couldn’t do it without Mohnish’s support – we are a team and share in the responsibilities of our home and we both strive to encourage each other to do what is important us such as exercise so that we feel good which then has a positive ripple effect to each other and Zane.
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