Have you read them? Promise. Well, alright then.
Ah, exercise. You have been both my friend and my foe ever since someone gave me a pair of dumbells, a headband, and a “Get Fit, Girl!” audio cassette for my ninth birthday. We are well acquainted, you and I.
How does a woman begin any sort of regular workout after carrying an extra 25-65 pounds for 9 months and having pushed someone the size of a watermelon out of something the size of a grape? (Deal with it, boys.) After giving birth to Seabass, I didn’t have a clue. But I knew within two weeks of having him that I’d have to start doing something to feel human again. But how?
A couple years ago, I’d seen an interview with Gwyneth Paltrow where she discussed the challenge of shedding weight after having two kiddos in quick succession. Naturally, the solution was a personal trainer, Tracy Anderson. But I was surprised to hear that when GP and her trainer couldn’t be together in person, she used Anderson’s DVDs that are available to the public. So I bought a couple.
Let’s just say that the first time I did situps after hatching Seabass was a joke. On her postpartum core DVD, when Anderson said things like “This may be a little challenging for you right now,” I nearly lost my mind. A LITTLE challenging?!?? Try FREAKING IMPOSSIBLE, LADY. And the first time I tried to follow along to her dance cardio DVD, I simultaneously feared that a) my thumping around the living room would wake the baby, and b) my slowly-recovering insides would fall out with each kick-ball-change.
There was also the “challenge” of Seabass himself. At the time, his naps were never longer than 45 minutes. What does a mommy do in 45 minutes? She showers. She makes the bed. She eats something. She sleeps. She does NOT start a situp regimen.
“It’s great to have your baby nearby while you work out,” said Anderson, tauntingly, while methodically working her glutes from an uncluttered, distraction-free studio in Southern California.
Have Seabass with me? AS IF. When that precious boy is awake, the only thing I’m doing on the floor is playing with him. He’s sort of an “undivided attention” type guy.
So I tried to work Anderson’s videos into my life, but the truth is it wasn’t often enough to effect any change. Same goes for my old yoga DVDs.
But I recently came up with a solution that is absolutely brilliant. I work a 3-hour shift once a week watching kiddos in the local gym’s childcare facility in exchange for a “free” membership. I get to bring Seabass with me to work, and he loves playing with all the toys and hanging with all the other crazy kids. And the rest of the week, I get to use the gym – machines, pool, sauna, classes, and weights – and put Seabass in the childcare for just $2 per hour. HOW COOL IS THAT?!?
We worked our shift together yesterday and I was amazed how well my little guppy did. Three hours is a long time to expect good behavior from him, but he stood up to it like a champion, watching the other babies crawl (take notes, son) and the older kids run in circles like the little maniac demons they are. And today? I think I’ll take a cycling class.
Naw, more likely I’ll just drop Seabass off and head straight to the jacuzzi. How’s that for a workout?
Key to this arrangement is that I actually use my membership. If I don’t, the three-hour shift will start to feel like a job – something I definitely don’t need right now. So if nothing else, I’m going to work out when Seabass and I need a time-out from each other. Exercise has always helped me to get perspective and clarity in the midst of confusion and despair. The weight-loss/fitness aspect is really only about 15% of the reason I’m doing this trade.
You’re right, I’m lying. It’s like 75% of the reason.
Aw, what does it matter? Getting off my (nonexistent) duff is good for everyone, in every way.