family · fitness

It’s the little things: Dumbells and our one bathroom family

wpid-dumbbells.jpgThis story begins with our decision to not to add a second full bathroom to our house. With three teenagers, it’s what everyone else seemed to assume we’d do. And while at times I’ve thought it would be a good thing, the truth is it seems excessive. We’re not frugal about everything. For example, we’ve got more than our fair share of bikes in this house. But when it comes to home furnishings and renovations, I find myself looking around at the world at how people live and feeling uncomfortable with how much space and stuff your typical North American family enjoys.

Whenever I see real estate ads for houses with more bathrooms than bedrooms, I’m perplexed. I’m reminded of my elderly neighbour’s comment when her daughter bought such a house, “Guess you’ll never get caught short there.”

We have one full bathroom (a second toilet and vanity downstairs)  and often we wait in the morning for a turn in the shower or bath.

What to do with that time?

I’ve been keeping dumbbells outside the bathroom door. And lately when teenagers yell over the music, “I’ll be out in a minute,” I’ve been lifting. Turns out you can lots of reps in in a teenager’s minute. At the end of that minute, I’m a bit less frazzled for waiting and I’ve had a few minutes of lifting.

I also keep a kettle bell on the back deck for when I’m waiting for the dog. Similar idea.

A friend does planks or burpees while waiting for her coffee to heat in the microwave.

When I hurt my shoulder a couple of years ago, I kept a physio band outside my office door and didn’t go in without doing some of the prescribed exercises.

Sneaking in minutes of movement in the spirit of making my day harder. I’m adding micro-changes in the direction of more movement. Thanks Dr. Mike Evans for this way of thinking about everyday movement.


7 thoughts on “It’s the little things: Dumbells and our one bathroom family

  1. It’s a good use of time but I don’t see what’s wrong with a bit of extra space. It’s not as if not having an extra bathroom somehow affords someone in a different part of the world more space. It makes me think of the thing about cleaning your plate because of people starving. Yes, I understand that gratitude matters. But that line never made a lot of sense to me. So, don’t have an extra bathroom, but two between five people would hardly be excessive. Not to say there aren’t excesses in the way we live.

    1. It’s more that there’s virtue in sharing and in making do. Not everything ought to be easy.

  2. We were a family of six with only one full bathroom. Never seemed to be an issue. And now I’m a parent in a household of 5, and we have 3 full bathrooms. But we all choose to use the same one. And again, not an issue.

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