Friday, December 2, 2011

Exercising (no pictures, please)

When I found out that we were expecting Caleb, I was running at least 12 miles each week. outside.  Sometimes in the snow.  And I had abdominal muscles.  It was amazing!  Only a couple months into the pregnancy, my sciatic nerve started acting up, and I wouldn't be able to walk the day after I had run.  So I walked and walked and walked to make up for the fact that I wasn't running.  Someone told me that walking would help labor come so I walked some more.  Caleb arrived 11 days after his due date.  I'm convinced that people say things to give pregnant women false hope.  Not that I'm bitter or anything.

Caleb and I exercised together after he was born.  I did Pilates with him, ran with him, and started feeling healthy again.  Then came Ben.  During the pregnancy, I had serious circulation issues that forced me into compression hose (a.k.a. incredibly tight torture hose).  There was no way I was exercising in those.  They don't breathe.  It's like wearing plastic pants.  To this day, I have no idea how I got them on when I was 9 months pregnant.  That said, during that pregnancy, I did couch exercises.  Lifting maple cream cookies to my mouth, bench-pressing a remote, and watching about 367 episodes of West Wing.  

So after Ben was born, it came as no surprise to me that I was not quite as healthy.  With two littles to chase after during the day, I had no motivation to exercise.  And evenings were NOT an option.  I was in a coma by 8:30 p.m.  Sometime during the summer I just got tired.  Tired of being tired.  Tired of being lazy.  Tired of not feeling healthy.  So I started to run.

Do you know how hard it is for a mom with young children to motivate herself to run after the kiddos are in bed?  It's really hard.  It's incredibly hard.  It is unbelievably hard.  So I put the word out on good ol' Facebook that I was looking for a running buddy.  I needed some accountability.  Lo and behold, a couple moms that live in my neighborhood answered.  At this point, it's just one other mama and myself who run 3 miles twice a week after our kids are in bed, but I'm amazed by the results.  Now that I'm exercising I have more energy during the day, the clothes are fitting better, and I'm happier just knowing that I'm doing something.  As we run our miles, we talk about our crazy kids, our successes, our moments of stupidity, and at the end of every run we can look at each other and say that we're one step closer to being healthy wives and mamas.  While it's a gift to ourselves, it's also an enormous gift to our families.  Health (this one's obvious).  Perspective (this comes from talking about our less that glorious moments).  Energy (I really have more motivation than I've had in months).

And every Tuesday and Thursday, I know I'm going to make or get a phone call that goes something like this.

Runner Mom 1: Hey!
Runner Mom 2: Hello!
Runner Mom 1: You up for running tonight?
Runner Mom 2: Sure.  8:00, okay?
Runner Mom 1: Sounds good.
Runner Mom 2: Okay, I'll pick you up.
Runner Mom 1: Great!
Runner Mom 2:  See you later.
Runner Mom 1: Bye.

That's all it takes to get us out the door and doing something better for ourselves rather than sitting on the couch catching up on our blog reading and eating enormous amounts of kettle corn.  Cause that stuff is amazing.  Maybe when spring comes I'll be inspired again to exercise with kids, running with the ol' jogging stroller.  But until then, I'm incredibly grateful for accountability.  Because I know that without it, I'd be on the couch following the West Wing exercise plan, which is not famous for its fantastic results.  Man, I miss those maple cream cookies.

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