Box Baby 101

Joes Barbell
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I have a ton to be thankful for.  Near the top is having been fortunate enough to continue coaching, being able to continually pursue excllence regarding my own training, and having my kiddos wih me all along the way.  Bringing my kiddos up in boxes has had its challenges, but it’s also yielded some rewards.  I’m not the only one hitting PR’s.  Just last week Charli took a foam roller overhead.  Here are some tips and tricks that have helped me acclimate my kiddos to life at the box. 

1.      Know your place.  First and foremost your gym, box, training facility, whatever term is popular, is a place to train.  If your babies are in the way of that it probably won’t work out.  If rules regarding children aren’t clearly posted or there isn’t an established kid corner, you have to be proactive and figure it out.

2.       Pack your gear and remember to bring it.  Nothing screws with a training schedule like having to back track because you forgot baby’s special milk.  When you set your gym bag up for the following day’s training session you know what to bring.  So… how does your heavy squat session go when you forget your knee sleeves.  With that in mind pack a separate bag for your kiddos the night before and don’t forget what they need.  Reload their diapers, have the extra wipes, a cooler to keep their snacks fresh… etc.  Be efficient, take what you need, and keep in mind that when it comes to kiddos you’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

3.       Use what’s available. Your best bet here are things like pack and plays, jumpers, and folding structures but in a pinch you may need to get resourceful.  If you have permission things like benches, boxes, and plates make great dividers.  Keeping your kiddos safe is about keeping them separate from the action.  If there isn’t a defined area you need to make one.  If making one isn’t an option you may need to find a better place to start building babies total.  

4.       Throw them in the frey.  When I first started hauling Mason to 808 I tried hard to get him to fall asleep in a quiet area upstairs away from the gym floor.  The issue was once the action started the quiet place became a very loud place.  Often times I’d get him asleep and at the first drop of a barbell he’d pop up and chaos would ensue.  Now, I’m running up and down the steps between sets, reps, and rounds.  Once I decided to place him close to the action, in a safe place, he started to acclimate.  There were growing pains and things got worse before they got better but eventually Mason adapted.  I have seen Mason sleep through Diane, Max effort snatches, and Grace.  For better or worse kiddos are adaptable and incredibly resilient.  Is it the best situation for your little one to have to nap through 15 people ripping though Isabell?  Of course not.  But, if you’re going to have your babies in the box they need to be ready to handle life in the box.

5.       You can’t do it alone.  I won’t say I have been lucky, there is no luck in where you train, I have however been incredibly fortunate to find great work/training facilities for me and the kiddos.  When I tell people I take my kiddos to work with me they are always surprised.  When I tell them I coach crossfit and the Olympic lifts they are even more surprised.  Facts are I have found environments that are kid friendly and filled with staff and members that seem to like my babies.  More than just liking them they also help me with them.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on the platform at Carolina, heard Charli scream, raced (probably strolled) to the playroom and found Charli in the arms of a helpful patron.  At 808 I regularly played pass the baby with Elyse, Kyla and a host of helpful athletes.  Currently that tradition is being carried on by Murph at CCF.  I make it a point for the members and coaches in the gym to know me, to know my kiddos, and to know when I need a hand. 

I found out pretty quickly that I wasn’t going to be happy sitting around the house with the kiddos.  I knew I wanted to train, I knew I wanted to coach, and I knew I wanted to raise my kiddos; rather than place them in a kennel.  Its possible, not easy, but well worth it.  Below are some pics proving it.   
Here’s to making building a better a total a family affair!   
the maniacs with two crossfit maniacs auntie kyla and auntie elyse

charli sleeping at carolina crossfit while daddy hits the platform

mason in the structure while coach powell bonds with charli at KORE Wellness

charli shows us another use for a jerk box


team szymanek working a heavy dead at 808

charli, at Warrior Fitness, doing what we all wanna do… going heavy

mason at CCF with a 2 kilo warm up

daddy’s rack, charli in the jumper, and mason passed out in the cage… life was good that day.