What people don’t tell you is how challenging and funny it can be (as long as you choose to laugh). When I first learned I was pregnant last September I knew I wanted this pregnancy to be different. My first was so easy, but I was so busy it was hard to hold working out as a priority. The first steps into running again were excruciatingly awful and painful as I struggled to make it 1/4 mile. I recovered and bounced back eventually, but was determined to workout for as long as I could while carrying Teagan – I was hoping for the entire pregnancy. My body told me at 16 weeks that working out was too much of a risk. I listened and don’t regret it at all, but have been eager to getting my stride back and feeling the exhilaration of a hard workout.
The day finally came after giving myself 12 weeks to heal. I rejoined the YMCA this past Monday and completed my third workout today. This is where it gets funny. The trainers are hilarious – they keep asking how I’m doing during a workout. Hello! I’m clearly out of breath while doing the modified version (or my own modified version) of every exercise – except walking, I can handle that as I walk over to get water every five minutes. “Do you feel that?” Yes and no. I feel my muscles trying to come alive again, but they are screaming like my three-month-old who just wants to be cuddled. Right now I can feel my arms and legs again, but they were screaming at me the past two days and I couldn’t really feel them. Which is why misjudging the hutch behind me in my dining room while wearing Teagan last night is funny. The bruise reminds me that the pain from working out again isn’t the worst possible pain I can experience. Working out with a bruise while having extra fluff so said bruise moves – ahem, we’ll call it wiggles – while I jog gives me another reason to laugh.
My thoughts as I make it through each workout:
“That hurt – I hope I can pick up Teagan later.”
“Do I feel the burn? Only every time I think about moving. Thanks for asking.”
“I wonder if anyone noticed I wore this same shirt yesterday? I swear I have more workout clothes, but they make me look like I’ve hit up the cupcake shop more than the gym.”
“It’s only been 15 minutes? Is the clock broken? No?”
“I’m starving! What do I have to eat when I get home? I wonder if they have gluten free snacks at the food counter…”
I learned long ago that working out is 90% mental. This is why I choose laughter. It’s hard not to compare my post-baby self to my pre-baby self, but I see how far I’ve come from being exhausted walking up and down the stairs at week two. I will keep going to the gym and fighting through each workout – if you see me smiling it’s because I’m laughing at myself. I’ll get back to where I want to be as I bring my family along with me. This means balance. It means we’ll take the extra time at the Y to go swimming together. It means having to adjust from day one when I made three trips to the Y in the same day after forgetting everything. Working out with two kids is not the same as working out by myself. It’s harder and less convenient, but this is what raising them to take care of themselves requires and I’m blessed with the time to do it. We’re getting there and the bumps and laughter will keep coming. Come laugh with me and we can fight for what really matters together.