Posts Tagged ‘exercise’
I’m not sporty. At all. The girl who never got picked for a team? That was me. My husband refers to me as “indoorsy” and he is spot on. I enjoy getting cosy under a blanket with a good book or TV show. I enjoy treating myself to cups of tea, or hot chocolate…actually, chocolate in any form. Lots of chocolate. I have a feeling that I’ll make the most content old person ever, having practiced for it all my life. As long as my home has plenty of chocolate. On a Saturday evening we’ll put the kids to bed, eat take out followed by treats and watch TV, just lazing around. It does me good, but it isn’t good for me.
I don’t enjoy exercise in the way that I feel about my more passive pastimes. But I need it.
Last year was tough. For the first half of the year, I felt like I added an extra worry every day. There were big things like additional diagnoses, assessments for the other child, moving to another country…and other big things like a supportive friend moving away and trying to coordinate therapies for two children. That is the thing about life- there are never any little things, and before long I was suffocating under the weight of so many big things. After more than a decade symptom-free, I was back on two different kinds of medication for asthma. Just so I could breathe.
Once we moved, I knew I had to make changes if I was going to stay healthy for my family. We found a babysitter. Once the kids were in their respective preschools, I started going to the gym. And though there were still stressors, they didn’t seem to weigh me down so heavily. I no longer need the asthma medication- I’m breathing freely again.
Now I can’t get enough pure oxygen. Last weekend we took the kids outside to play sports. Pudding refused to join in, preferring to draw with chalk. Cubby soon tired too. We couldn’t compete with the allure of the other kids in our housing complex, who are impressively accepting of our kids, quirks and all. Instead of sinking in a chair to keep an eye on them, I suggested to Spectrummy Daddy that we had a game of tennis instead. We only have plastic Swingball rackets, and the balls didn’t have half the bounce our kids do, but we managed quite the game!
We used the driveway for a court, and both of us were running around for the ball, unable to convince the kids to collect the strays. Before long we were both a little out of breath, but this time in a good way. We had a good time, and it doesn’t hurt our kids to see us play. Maybe next time Pudding will join in too. Spectrummy Daddy even said he’d pick indoorsy me for his team. Maybe we were all winners that day, but the score was love-all.
Yesterday, I went to the gym. Wait, that shouldn’t be a blog post. That kind of inane comment is just what Facebook was made for! But going to the gym is no ordinary matter for me, because this was the first time I went to the gym in 5 years. With Cubby in preschool until noon, I’m now at liberty in the morning hours. My mind was full with the overflow from a particularly hard week and I needed to work it out. To the gym I went!
Although I was pregnant the last time I went to the gym, I was in much better condition back then. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks limping around with a herniated disc, but even before then I was out of shape. Epic inter-continental moves with special needs children is not a lifestyle which lends itself well to regular workouts. You know that wall that runners hit during their marathon? I was hitting mine just getting started.
You know though, if you have spent the last few years of your life tending to little people round the clock, it gets a bit weird being without them. Like having nobody holding my hand. My arms were all dangling free. I felt a little strange being by myself, which is odd considering most of the people there were alone too. I decided to start on the indoor running track.
Ooh yes, my swanky gym has a climate controlled indoor running track with panoramic views of the city. It is divided into three lanes: walk, run, pass. Nothing to do but start walking, and I did. The first lap went surprisingly well, so I set myself a challenge, I’d do 10 of them and I’d alternate walking and jogging. I’m only talking 10 laps, this was no marathon.
It was a marathon.
After a couple of laps, I was ready to pass. And I don’t mean run in the pass lane to overtake the other joggers. There were no others on the track. I mean take a pass on this whole exercise malarkey. I was competing against myself, and losing fast. Or slowly. Losing anyway. I hadn’t brought my inhaler. My thighs used to have a lot more space between them. I really could have used a drink of water. I came up with a dozen excuses to stop.
But I didn’t.
I kept going. My marathon. At around lap 7 or 8, I noticed that there was a distinct temperature change as I moved around the track. I hadn’t noticed at first, but as I passed through the sections with windows, the African sun burned through. In the areas with no windows, the air conditioning was icy, way too much of a contrast for my stressed out body. Just like how certain things don’t bother Pudding at all when she is feeling good, but when she gets upset, she is overwhelmed by the intensity of input she normally tolerates. I didn’t feel like carrying on.
But I did.
I made my 10 laps. I crossed the finishing line. Nobody was there waving me on. There won’t be a medal in it for me. And I certainly didn’t break any records. But this is my marathon, and I kept going. I even moved on to the rest of the gym, spending over 2 hours there in the end. I know that next time I try that track, I’ll find it easier. The next time easier still. In no time I’ll welcome the heat of the sun that reminds me how cool the a/c is. I’ll find it easy, and wonder what I ever found so hard about putting one foot in front of the other.
I’m not who I was the last time I went to the gym. My body has changed, but so have I. I’m stronger now, at least on the inside. With time and effort, that will reveal itself on the outside. I’m aching, but I went back to the gym. This time I was gentler with myself. No track for me today, but I’ll be back. Now that I’ve started my marathon, there is nothing to do but keep going.
I’m joining in the Special Needs Blog Hop, and this week we’re talking about goals for the year. The very word “resolution” brings out my rebellious side, so I’m hoping that I can stick to goals instead.
1. The biggest thing is that in the summer we will move to a different continent. Things still aren’t official yet, but hopefully they will be soon. It will definitely be a change for us. It will also be the first time we global nomads have braved this since Pudding’s diagnosis. I’ve got a few months to research schools and therapists and put together a program we’re happy with. No mean feat from thousands of miles away. Ensuring that everybody is happy with that move is going to be the real challenge!
2. Take care of myself. I’ve been very run down this winter. Every other week I’ve had a bad cold, and when I feel unwell, I comfort myself with things that don’t help me out. On days when I exercise, I do much better, so I’m going to try to do a work out every day, which is easier said than done with two little ones. I need to be on top of my game for all the other things to come together this year.
3. Work on Cubby’s separation anxiety. It would be nice to go to the bathroom alone, and to go one night where he doesn’t end up in our bed. We did it with his sister, so I’ve just got to get him to the same point. If I’m successful, it will lead me to my next goal….
4. Return to work. We’re a family who desperately needs a second income. I’ve really enjoyed the last few years being at home with the kids, so this last one will be hard for me. We’ll see what happens after we move.
5. Blogging! I’ve really enjoyed the last six months, and I know it is going to be a challenge to keep it going when things get crazy this year. There are also a couple of other fellow bloggers I plan to meet up with before we leave. That all should keep me pretty busy, I think!
How about you? What are your goals for the coming year?