I recall the exact moment I decided I needed reap the benefits of regular exercise. Isaac (my second child) was 8 months old. I was out on a hike, just me, my dog and a head full of thoughts. I was consumed by the idea of figuring out a way to regain control of my life. Being a Mom to multiple children (okay, two) was kicking my butt, I felt like the kid count had gone from 1 to 10. I was pretty overwhelmed.
Then all the sudden, right there on the trail, it hit me. I called Olivia immediately. I recall my exact words: “Olivia! I just decided what I want to be when I grow-up, I want to be the Mom who get’s up every morning and exercises before my kids are awake.” Of course Olivia kindly reminded me that, with an eight month old, my kids were awake at 8 pm, 11 pm, 2 am, 5 am, 6 am, and 8 am.
Normal sleep schedule Schmormal sleep schedule, I had something to look forward to.
It was a slow process. Eight months to be exact. No matter how much I wanted to get up early and exercise, actually doing it was a whole new ball game. Why it is so hard to do something you want to do, something that makes you feel so good is beyond me.
I can’t exactly say I get up “before” my kids all the time, (hard to beat kids who are up by 6am) but ever since January 8th 2011 I’ve gotten out for exercise at least 4-5 days a week, and usually early in the morning. Depending on the day, I hike up the hill behind my house (photo at top, mouse over for caption), speed walk with weights (just like my Mom did in the 90’s), mountain bike, or paddle around at the kayak park. Everything is no further than 10 minutes from my house. I know. I lucked out.
I’ve always been an active person. I’ve always hiked or biked at least once a week, but never consistently and never as much as I should have. I can’t believe I’ve lived my life thus far without regular exercise. I know I’m going to sound like an infomercial here, but it seriously changed my life for the better. How? I’ll tell you–and let me point out before I start, this is my personal experience–not what I read in Good Housekeeping, not what my doctor told me. This is really what exercise does for me. (more…)