When I started to work out regularly in January of 2010, I didn't expect it to have the benefits it proved capable of. I mean, I had exercised regularly in the past - though usually in a fleeting frenzy - and had never derived any real pleasure from it. The past 16 months were different, though. Exercise became a HUGE part of my life. A huge part of how I defined myself. I figured nothing could ever get in the way of that.
And then I went back to work.
Prior to my return to work, I had the sweet life. I could wake up at 6 and get my workout in, but if I had had a rough night with the babies, I could do it during nap time. Failing that - I still had the early evening after they were tucked into bed. Very little could get in the way of fitting a good, long workout in. Last summer, if I didn't run at 6, I could strap the babies into the stroller and head out at 9.
Now, I need to wake up at 4:30, just to get showered, made up and dressed and that leaves me barely enough time to get two babies up, dressed and ready to go. We are usually rushing out the door by 6:20 and then it is a rush hour race to the dayhome and a mad rush to catch the bus so I can get to work by 7:45. I grab a coffee to keep my hunger at bay for the morning and at noon, I try to run errands and shove a quick bite down my throat. After work, hubby and I need to coordinate our departures so we arrive at the dayhome at the same time. Then it's a haze of rushing to get home to Langdon, cook dinner, feed everyone and baths and bed for the babies. At that point, I fall onto the sofa - completely exhausted. As much as my brain says "Go get on the bike - you'll get to watch Gossip Girl and you'll feel really good after" my body says "Sofa. Comfortable. Bum.happy. Momma. Lazy."
My temper on Monday was on a hair trigger. I spent the precious hour I have at home with my girlies screaming and ranting (it didn't help that I had to make them 3 different dinners that they refused to eat). I had reached the tipping point...and promptly tipped over! If I didn't work out - I was going to need to be committed.
That night, at 8, I dragged that lazy bum momma down to our home gym and turned on the TV..when the first strains of Gossip Girl kicked in, I knew I was on the right track and I put in a hard 40 mins on the bike. It felt amazing. I felt invincible. I knew it was late to work out, but I also knew that it was important to me and therefore important to do. After the bike, I decided to put in some dedicated stretching time to see if I can't get my knee issue under control. In went the bastardized yoga DVD and I hit the mat to work out the tight muscles in my legs that have been bothering me since my last half.
Boy, did I ever need that.
The amazing thing about my pseudo-yoga time was that even through my tight legs, I was able to stretch much further than I have ever been able to before. My feet remained flat on the floor during downward dog, where I would have been precariously balanced on my tippytoes months ago.
At the end of that little 20 minute routine, my legs felt like they had been completley refurbished. I climbed the stairs without being aware of my right knee for the first time in weeks. It was after 9pm by this point so I pretty much had to head straight to bed.
And I slept like a baby until the alarm started it all over again at 4:30. The difference, when I awoke on Tuesday, was that my new hydration pack, was packed with running clothes and ready for my first foray into run-commuting. If I was going to keep up my commitment to my health and mental wellness, I had to adjust my workouts to fit this new life. Tying my runners on over my dress socks felt super weird, but it was all good. I was committing to getting my Tuesday run in. Feeling the cushy goodness of those runners started to get me excited about what the afternoon was going to hold for me.
Promptly at 4, I grabbed my running clothes and headed to the washroom to change. Strapping on my garmin and hoisting my pack - I was ready to run! For the next 40 minutes, I slogged up the three hills between my office and the dayhome. My knee felt good. I felt good. It was pretty warm outside, but I didn't care. I was running. I was working out. I was sweating and I was exhilarated!
Over dinner - I had my super patience back. No screaming. No crying. No pulling my hair out. Amazing the difference a couple of workouts could have on my overall mood and well-being.
So, if I can just do the bike 2-3 evenings a week and run to the dayhome twice a week - I might just be able to keep my workouts on track and my sanity in place. I knew being a working mom was going to be challenging, but with a little planning and some creative time management - I think I will be able to be a worked out and much less bitchy momma!