Exercise can kill you. Really, I looked it up. Thirty-eight people died playing baseball from 1975 to 1996. Okay, okay, an average of 90 people got hit by lightening each year between 1975 and 1996, but I’m figuring if you stay inside on the couch then you’ve avoided two very real dangers.
I used to be a runner. I know if someone who knew me back then is reading this they’re choking up their cereal, but I DID run at least three days a week for 24 years. That’s being a runner, right? I was just a REAL, BAD runner. While most folks were zipping past me with their consistent eight minute mile pace, talking about their “hill training” and their “speed training” I was working on ten minute miles at best and that was just for two. Hill training to me was going up a curb and speed training was getting out of the way of faster runners.
I vowed when I no longer had to run, that I would put my sneakers on the shelf and say goodbye to that particular form of self torture. So, here I am four years later and 50 pounds heavier thinking maybe I was a bit hasty. Of course four children in five years adds a bit of a justification, but I have to say in a hate them sort of way, I do admire those new moms who leave their children in daycare and then go running or exercising. To me children provided THE PERFECT reason to sit on my butt, relatively speaking. I crack up at the segments for new moms on the morning shows that talk about fitting in exercise. One perky little blond with a two month old baby said she worked her way back into shape by keeping a jump rope by the couch. After nursing and setting the baby down:
“I’d just get up and start jumping rope until I worked up a sweat and the baby needed me again.”
ARE YOU KIDDING ME? After I got done nursing the baby, I’d take my swollen, bleeding nipples to the cupboard and pour a large water glass of wine so it could work its way through my body before the next time I was due to nurse. How do you think I got pregnant that many times in succession?
Then there are the moms with the little baby joggers. They make it all look so effortless, pushing the newborn in the three wheeled extension of the womb and running past me with a smile. I tried it, I did. I bought the 150 dollar stroller and after the first quarter of a mile I could barely see the dang thing I was sweating so badly. THEN, the baby would start screaming. I’d start fussing with him, trying to run two steps, put the binky back in, run two steps, find the binky on the street and put it back in. Pretty soon I was walking down the street with a baby latched to my breast trying to figure out if I could get in the jogger and just aim for trees to stop me as I cruised back home. Not pretty people.
So then the boys started school. I gave money to the local gym and took my fat butt over there. There’s something about the image of exercising and actually exercising that is so disconnected. You either look like you’ve been at the gym FOREVER, or like you’ve never been to the gym in your life and just rolled in by accident when you missed the entrance to the McDonald’s drive thru. These cute little ladies come in with their ponytails hanging out through their hats, their little pink female “wife beater” shirts and tiny little shorts.
“Hi Chuck, ready to get to work?” They ask their handsome little personal trainers.
Give me a break. Shorts like that would be butt floss for me after 5 minutes on the stepper, not to mention the catastrophic view from the front I’d be imposing on folks. As long as I’ve been out of the gym the only thing I can fit into are my old maternity pants; my pre-baby exercise pants get runners when I try to pull them up!
But once again, in the spirit of the New Year’s resolution, I’m moving forward with exercise and healthy eating. I just watched a segment on Rachael Ray where they interviewed Cindy Crawford. She said that she doesn’t diet. She just tries to eat 80 percent healthy, 80 percent of the time. That was incredibly inspiring. I immediately thought to myself:
Parenting Tip of the Day:
I’ve been able to get three of the four boys to eat salads. They’ve decided they only like the “dark green” salad so when they were little, I started using spinach. They didn’t know the different and I felt like I was giving them a bit better flavor and nutrient than iceberg lettuce.