As I sit here at the kitchen table looking down at the piece of cheese my baby dropped on the floor, I thought now might be a good time to write about my fitness journey. (Both Maria and Sophie have already shared a little about theirs.)
You see, my “journey” looks more like the DC beltway at 6pm on a weekday. If you’re not familiar with that circle of hell, count yourself lucky. My baby is approaching 11 months, and I think I’ve worked out a total of let’s see, ummmm let me count. Oh! Yes. A total of three times. Yesterday would’ve been number three, and I decided to try the Fitness Blender video Sophie shared with the label: “When you want to jumpstart getting back into a workout routine.” She really meant jumpstart! Because I was crying halfway through the video, and now I can’t move. I’m just looking at a cube of cheese. On the floor.
I’ve had a hate-hate relationship with working out for as long as I can remember. When I played on the high school soccer team, I recall wheezing my way through attempts to run over the summer so I’d be fit as a fiddle when practice picked up in the fall. I love playing soccer - still do - and I cling desperately to my position as sweeper because I find I can saunter back and forth across the field, sprinting only when absolutely necessary to knock a couple of people over, kick that ball as far away as possible, and saunter back with plenty of time to regain my breath.
Basically every run of my life has ended with me sitting on a curb hunched over ready to hurl.
About ten years ago, I clipped this out of a magazine. I think I'll keep it forever.
Actually, this reminds me of a conversation I had with Maria last October, when I explained that, when I have a spare minute, I would prioritize 100 other things over working out. She was surprised, and couldn't quite understand. And, in turn, I couldn't quite understand how working out every day could be a priority.
Maria is one of those incredible women who thinks working out is important -- and then she makes time for it. Every day. It’s amazing! She’s amazing! I’m a bit in awe of her discipline, strength, and determination.
Sophie is another one of those amazing women. You should’ve seen her when she was on the crew team in college...that woman was built of steel. We would all be standing around in the kitchen, and Sophie couldn’t just sit still. She’d be planking on some stools, or hanging off a counter doing dips. Both Maria and Sophie continue working out through pregnancy, and they are good about picking up again as soon as their bodies are ready. For me, not so much. It’s been 10 months and I’ve yet to get back on track. I count a walk to the coffee shop a quarter mile away as my exercise for the day.
After Sister Weekend 2016, when my firstborn was about 6 months old, I came home inspired by my sisters to begin working out. I didn’t know when I was going to have a second baby, but I knew that I wanted to put my body back together before then. I wanted to be strong, like my sisters. That’s when I first started using Fitness Blender (which Sophie wrote her post about). I began by going to their YouTube channel, and searching for videos that were “beginner” and “low impact.” I wouldn’t do anything that was longer than 20 minutes, because my stamina just wouldn’t last. I’ll never forget the sense of accomplishment I felt when I finished my first workout video, all the way to the end. After that, I kept going. Three times a week, I would do a video. On other days, I would try to go on walks. Soon, I had worked my way up to their “fat burning cardio” routines, and after that, HIIT (high intensity interval training). I was so proud!
About four months in, I discovered I was pregnant with little Frances. Slowly, I moved away from the intense workouts and went back down to the low-impact modifications. And then just walks.
I’ve been on that DC beltway at 6pm for over a year now. Maria and Sophie continue to inspire me -- they are the reason I even attempted to pull myself up and do a workout video yesterday. Yeah, I’m back at square one. Yeah, I did the low impact modifications the entire way through, and I took extended water breaks a couple times. Yeah, my muscles are screaming in agony! Yet, if I am willing to admit that what my sisters do is good and admirable, then there is no excuse for me. I should make time for it. I’ll probably never love working out, it may always be something of a battle, but very often the best things in life require hard work to achieve.
And it’s good to keep in mind that, if I stick at it, progress will be made. I can become strong, one baby step at a time!