Initially, this was planned to be one post. But after I began writing, I realized that I was rambling far too much to fit everything in. So, this is part one of a two part post. Enjoy this first piece, called Mommy Hobbies and stay tuned for part two, Why Moms Don’t Need Gym Memberships.
Before having a baby, I had a life. I had hobbies that didn’t include playing with toys. After seeing some of the shit that I can build with Legos and Play-Doh, I know that’s pretty shocking. You’d think I’d been perfecting these skills my entire life. But surprisingly, in my childless days, I spent my free time doing adult things like shopping, reading, drinking wine, and running.
One of the things I miss most about the freedom of pre-parenthood life is my gym membership. After work, my husband and I would meet at the gym and spend an hour and a half working off all of the cocktails and fancy dinners that we enjoyed indulging in on the weekends (and sometimes, on the week days, too). Exercising is something that has always been important to me. I enjoy living an active lifestyle and I love the feeling after a really kick ass session in the gym. I’ve always played sports and working out is a great way to relieve stress and stay healthy.
In 2011, my husband got me a new membership to the gym for my birthday. I know, some women might take that offensively, but I loved the gym and they offered some awesome classes that I wanted to check out. When you join, typically you meet with a trainer during your first visit. I spoke with this guy, James, who talked to me about my fitness goals. My husband and I had run a half-marathon in 2010 and I wanted to keep up with running. Then, about two weeks later, I found out I was pregnant. I totally wanted to be one of those pregnant ladies who worked out consistently and stayed in shape, within reasonable guidelines, of course. I quickly learned that during the first three month of pregnancy, the only thing that I was able to focus on was staying awake. The thought of going to the gym after a nine hour work day was laughable.
A few months later, when I started to feel a little less tired and a little more motivated, I went back to the gym. I took some Yoga classes and walked on the treadmill. I ran into James one day and he commented that he hadn’t seen me in a while and asked how my running was going. Well, James, I’ve been busy creating a human life, so running has taken a back-seat for a little while.
A month before Grey was born, I went to the store to buy a new pair of running shoes. Now granted, I was wearing a large winter coat, but I’d say that I was pretty visibly pregnant at this point. I asked an employee for some help picking out a comfortable, light weight pair of running sneakers. Apparently, this guy was either just completely oblivious or stoned because he asked me about how far I was running and if I was training for anything specific. I laughed, and told him at the moment, I wasn’t running at all considering I was eight months pregnant. But very soon, I’d be training for motherhood. For running around my house all day on no sleep. For eventually chasing a very mobile toddler. And for hopefully, eventually returning to one of my own hobbies, running.
For someone who considers themselves an athlete, there is nothing worse than feeling out of breath after climbing the stairs. At 40 weeks pregnant, I could hardly walk around at work without needing a break. After Greyson was born, I was never more excited to work out. I couldn’t wait for the doctor to clear me so that I could finally get back on my feet again. I had three months left on that gym membership and I was determined to use it. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to the gym. I realized that my time was extremely limited. I realized that physically recovering from child birth was taking longer than I expected. I realized that my hobbies weren’t important anymore.
As the months passed, I came to one further realization. Even though I wasn’t going to the gym, I was slowly getting stronger and losing weight. I was very slowly returning to my pre-baby weight and getting back into shape. How, you ask??? Stay tuned for Part II: Why Moms Don’t Need a Gym Membership.
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