Today I went back to the gym after growing a baby, birthing a beautiful son, helping him learn to eat and sleep, and generally keeping a family and home running (somewhat) smoothly for almost a year. And I know you were wondering so yes, those are my legs in the photo.
Last year at this time I had a great rhythm going. I was beginning to love to run (me?! LOVE to run?? Surely you are kidding…) and that in itself was a surprise and a gift. But once the baby-growing took over my body, and the deep weariness set in, I let that part of my life take a back seat. With no regrets or hang ups, I put it down for a season.
Only, I would find myself actually *missing* the workout. Yes, the time alone to listen to podcasts and rap music, but mostly the exercise itself. The burn and sweat and freedom of movement. I was expending calories and always tired from said baby-growing, but I wasn’t getting that endorphin high from half an hour on the treadmill. I craved the release of kinetic energy. Who was I? This was new.
And you must know, dear reader, that my daily life is MUCH more physical than I ever imagined it would be. Chasing boys, cleaning up messes, kissing faces, holding hands, climbing stairs, carrying a baby (plus a diaper bag and almost certainly a third item), doing laundry, brushing a dog, cooking…the list is endless. I was exhausted, and yet, I missed the workout.
Maybe it’s the focused exertion? The pushing a little bit harder, a little bit further this time? I don’t know. It’s a little silly to wax poetic about missing the gym, but it’s also a nice feeling to have this part of my life back. It’s nice to lace up my running shoes and feel capable, confident.
Exercise, for me, has to have meaning. Not necessarily a clear goal (I’m not trying to get to a certain number on the scale or anything) but I must be motivated by the why.
So here I am, starting over again. Pounding the proverbial pavement. Doing the dang thing. Not focusing so much on any particular result, but zeroing in on the real reason I’m turning up– I’m doing it for them. I want to be strong for the years to come of mothering my boys.