The time has come. I have to just do it. No more excuses. I have to get back on the exercise wagon. Have to. Not because I still haven’t lost a few pounds of baby weight (although I haven’t) and not because my clothes aren’t fitting quite like they used to pre-pregnancy (although they don’t). I have to get back to an exercise routine because I need it. I need to feel healthy. I need to feel strong. I need to feel like I’m doing something for myself. And if you had told me a few years ago that I was going to make this statement I would have looked at you like you had three heads, but I need to do it because I actually miss running. I miss how it clears my mind. I miss how it makes me focus on how my body is working. I miss how it gives me time to think, to make mental lists, to size up where I am and what I’m doing.
|See, I used to do this thing.|
|And David and I would sometimes train and run together.|
Photo: Just before the Columbus Half-Marathon/Marathon, October 2009
I actually hesitated to write about this in a blog post. Writing about it somehow makes me feel accountable to actually do something about this, to actually lace up the old running shoes and get out there again. It makes me feel like I have to pack the gym bag and hit the treadmill on my lunch hour because someone who read this might ask me if I have done that. But maybe that’s what I need – accountability. Lord knows not feeling accountable to anyone hasn’t helped my motivation thus far.
But now that Annie is here there is a whole other complication to exercise. Getting up in the morning to run isn’t hard just because I’m tired or it’s cold outside or I’d just plain old rather stay in bed. It’s hard now because (confession time) I love to be the one to see Annie’s smile when she wakes up in the morning and the thought of not being there for that makes me sad. It’s hard because I already only see her for about an hour in the morning before one of us has to take her to daycare and the thought of having that time cut in half by an outdoor run or trip to the gym is kind of difficult to handle. There is mommy guilty, yes. But more than that, there is just the desire to spend as much time with her as possible since I can’t be with her most of the day.
A friend of mine told me early in Annie’s life something that I think of often in times like this. Something I have kind of made my mantra. Something that I need to internalize in this specific situation. Happy mama equals happy baby. I know that the happier I am, the more “normal” I feel, the better equipped I am to be a good mom to Annie. I know that she needs me to be my own person apart from who I am to her because that’s the only way I will have the energy, inspiration, and motivation to be the best mama I can be for her. And if being my own person means going for a run three days a week, the small amount of time I sacrifice to do that will be well worth it in the end. I know that intellectually. I believe that philosophically. But I haven’t been able to make myself actually do it…yet.
So here I am, publicly vowing to TRY to make this whole exercise thing happen in the coming days. (I just forced myself not to hit the backspace key several times and change that “days” into “weeks.”) Hold me accountable, blog-reading friends! Remind me that I am right when I say that having my own interests will benefit my daughter in the end, even if it means Daddy is the one who picks her up out of her crib some mornings. Remind me that it is good for Daddy and Annie that I stop being sort of selfish about those kinds of things, because Daddy really wants to see that smile all by himself sometimes. Remind me that all we are really talking about here is about 45 minutes of “me” time…because sometimes perspective is something I am lacking when it comes to my baby girl. And in return, I will consider myself accountable.