So here’s what I have to say after my first two weeks of being a gym member: Why didn’t I do this sooner? Because it always seemed impossible. For many reasons.
- I get intimidated by other people at the gym. (So far I’ve only almost cried once.)
- I was afraid to make a (financial) commitment when I can’t predict if I will continue to love it and/or manage to carve out the time to go.
- My kids. My attached, lovely boys, who are spoiled by my presence and sometimes sad to be without me.
- The pressure due to No. 3.
- The guilt due to No. 3.
But so, I did it. I talked the gym into letting me do a three month trial rather than committing for a year. And I just went for it.
We’ve been having a rough couple of weeks, sleep-wise and also temperament-wise (“Hold me, mama! At all times, and if my hand isn’t touching you anywhere on your body all the time every second I am awake, I miss you and I am sad.”), because Arthur has a man-cold and suffers tremendously. Sadly, he also fell on his face on Saturday and hit a metal bucket with full force – which left him with a banged up nose and a black/blue/greenish right side of his face.
So I’ve been going to the gym, a lot. As Jeff will confirm, I never do anything half-way, and for now going makes me feel so much better than not going. I go to early morning classes at least three times a week, and (sadly?) I have not once had to set my alarm. I sweat for an hour and am home by 7am when the kids get out of bed. One time Julian came out of his room right at 7am just as I was coming in, heavy winter coat on and all, and he asked me in a surprised tone, “Mama, what are you doing?” I think he thought I was running away. My favorite part (other than feeling good that I went) is walking to the gym in the dark and coming home just as the sun is rising, and it feels beautiful and peaceful and probably everything that I could want from my early morning before my family awakes.
My favorite has been a martial arts class I’ve taken a couple of times. I get to put on big gloves and punch a bag. Pretty much everything about that is amazing. Although today I almost cried one time because it was really difficult to keep up with all the different movements.
I brought both boys to the childcare place at the gym once. They were happy to go and fine when I left, although I later learned that they both (!) cried off and on for quite a bit. I went to yoga and ran on a treadmill for half an hour. I felt amazing. And guess what? They were fine when I picked them up. The caregiver was reading Star Wars to them, they weren’t upset, and I felt so energized and happy that there was no room for guilt (I still made them peanut butter chocolate chip pancakes for lunch). Of course I’m not happy to hear that they cried, but it also didn’t get to me the way it has in the past. I kind of didn’t take them seriously (especially Julian!). (That’s probably bad, right?) They’re going back tomorrow, bam.
And best of all, my patience levels have been so much higher. Like night and day. I was a better, nicer, kinder person this week. Much less yelling.
And then there was that time when I bought us all chocolate donuts (with sprinkles!) and triumphantly carried them past the gym.