Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Do You Dare Me?

During most all of my kids sports activities this summer, I rarely sit idly as a spectator. As a general rule I watch the first five minutes and the last 10 minutes and everything in between is open for movement: walking the dog, playing catch or hitting tennis balls with other kids, etc. At softball games, however, I'm often sitting or standing glued to the game. Sometimes this is fine, as by that time of night I haven't sat down once and I welcome the chance. But other times, well, my butt gets bored on those metal bleachers.

It was during one of those moments when I wished I had a hula hoop.

And then I realized that would be weird.

Would it be weird?

Or, would it be smart?

I'd love nothing more than to hula hoop as I watch the game, but I have to say, even for me, that would be brave. Could I get past the looks, the comments? Of course I shouldn't care. Why is that any different from hitting tennis balls with my daughter or walking on the path for an inning or two?

I'm going to work up the nerve. Meanwhile I'm practicing cheering while hooping. I imagine a future where all sports fans bring their hula hoop to the game.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

This Is Still Hard For Me

You'd think after all these blog posts, getting in a workout would come easy for me. Not so. Not even when I confidently proclaim I will, at a minimum, go to yoga and tennis once a week. This week I can't make either happen. So I'm left to figure it all out again. When? How? Then my own advice boomeranged back to me in a text from a friend.

Three book signings for the Go! Go! Sports Girls will keep me busy this week. Here's the line up:

Wednesday, June 24 
1:30-3:30 pm 
ABC & Toy Zone
(860 W. 78th Street)
Chanhassen, Minnesota

Friday, June 26 
5:30-7:30 pm
Diverse Marketing Showroom
Dallas Gift Market
Dallas, Texas

Saturday, June 27
12:00-2:00 pm
Barnes & Noble
Preston Royal Shopping Center
Dallas, Texas

If you're in the area I'd love to see you. If you do, make me do 10 push ups, will you?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Summer Has Hit the Fan

Despite the crazy summer schedule I am taking time to stop and smell the peonies.
I have blogged before about adapting to a new summer schedule. There has been a blog about planning for summer and a blog about what I learned in hindsight. All these blog posts and here I am trying to figure it out all over again.

I remember trying to set a routine around the moving target that was the baby and/or toddler nap schedule. You might be able to have a routine for two weeks, then developmental milestones, illness, teething, etc. would throw everything off again. Now working around a nap schedule seems a glorious alternative to juggling gymnastics carpool, softball games, tennis lessons and the like.

Alas, I am finding fitness in the chaos of motherhood. (Dammit!)

1) I finished (and had a ton of fun) at my first sprint triathlon in three years.

2) I have signed up for tennis lessons on Tuesday nights.

3) I will go to yoga once a week. That may be the only class I get to and I will probably be late or need to leave early due to the summer taxi service, but I will go.

4) Daily walks. If not for the dog, I might easily let this slide. She is good for me like that.

5) Playing with the kids. This is what makes summer fun, after all.

Has summer thrown off your fitness game? What are you doing to fit fitness in?

Monday, June 1, 2015

About the Life as a Fit Mom eBook Series

I don't think I've ever shared the whole photo that's been part of my blog for the last seven years (maybe because my eyes are closed? This was taken at the start of my slowest 5K ever.

Those eBooks I keep alluding to are creeping closer to becoming finished. What a process! However, that process was made less daunting because I hooked up with a soon-to-launch eBook publishing company called Pronoun, which needed authors to test their new publishing platform. Once my book covers are ready, I will have this eBook series out in the world. Meanwhile, I thought I'd share selections from the eBooks, starting with the introduction. Please enjoy (and email me if you find any typos!). If you'd like to be notified when the eBooks (finally!) go on sale, send me your email.

Life as a Fit Mom: About the eBook Series

What does it mean to live life as a fit mom? Before I had kids I had visions of a woman with an exposed six-pack, legs cut like a body builder, buff arms; a lean mean athletic machine pushing a double baby jogger in training for her next fitness competition...

What I know now, after more than a decade as a parent making fitness a priority, is that a fit mom isnt some unattainable ideal. It is you. You moving. You being active throughout the day. You taking steps to stay healthy. You making fitness a family value. You including your kids in this active life. Thats all.

Life as a Fit Mom is an eBook series written by me, Kara Douglass Thom. I am a former
group fitness instructor turned endurance athlete, turned fit mom of four. I am also the author of several books, including Hot (Sweaty) Mamas: Five Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom (Andrews McMeel 2011) and the Go! Go! Sports Girls Book Series for children. I based this eBook series on my blog, Mama Sweat, which I started writing in 2008.

From my blogs beginning I stated my mission and never changed it:

This blog isn't about weight loss or acquiring the perfect body, it's about the absurdities we moms face when we're trying to be mom, wife, employee (or employer), daughter, sister, friend, and the many other roles we take on while making fitness fit into our lives. As a former endurance athlete, I'm trying to stay in shape while I raise my three young daughters and son. Finding the time and the means to exercise isn't just about me, though. I also want to be a good role model and help my children grow up active and healthy.

What can you learn from my experience during the pregnancy of my last child to having kids on the brink of puberty? That fitness can happen in the most chaotic circumstances; that what you might not think of as exercise probably counts; that fitness plays a role in parenting; and yes, even that fitness inspires poetry, which youll find interspersed in these pages.

The Life as a Fit Mom eBook Series includes this book, Finding Fitness in the Chaos of Motherhood, and five others:
   Pregnancy and Postpartum Speed Bumps
   Toddlers to Tweens and Injury in Between
   Raising a Fit Family
   Feeding the Fit Family
   Winning as a Fit Mom

While you might find some guidance or support within these pages, most of all, I hope you enjoy reading about my journey as much as you find joy in your own.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

About That Triathlon I'm Training For...

OK, OK, OK...

About that triathlon I'm training for. It's an experiment. As long-time readers know I have not finished a triathlon in three years. What gives?

Sometimes a triathlon isn't a triathlon. Sometimes a triathlon is an excuse to go on bike rides with friends. Sometimes a triathlon is your ticket to a family vacation. Sometimes a triathlon is that thing you do to see if it's still that thing you do.

And let's face it people, it's been a long time since I've had any exercise dessert.

This is a sprint triathlon mind you: 400-meter swim, 12-mile bike, 5K run. I have not let my training get out of hand. I don't ever run, bike or swim more than once a week. At that, I rarely go longer than my race distances. What, then, am I doing to be ready for this race? I'm still walking daily. I'm aiming to get to yoga class two or three times a week (certainly after those days I run or ride). What I'm doing is making sure I keep doing those things that keep my back and hip feeling stable.

That's not the order of things in my triathlon training past. What normally happened was that restorative exercise got pushed right off the schedule in place of faster, longer, harder workouts. Now, when I do get out there for a run or ride it's mostly because I want to see friends.

Exhibit A:
What else is more important on a sunny, 75-degree day?
In addition any swimming, biking, or running I do is always stress reducing, not stress inducing. Remember a few years back when I swore off summer races? It was too hard to squeeze in my workouts and feel like I was being present as a mom. But now, this isn't so hard, not only because of the rate at which I'm training, but also because I only go when I want to go, not because I feel I have to go. So subtle, but oh so powerful.

All that to say I'm having fun, which I'm pretty sure is how I felt when I became a triathlete more than 20 years ago.

I don't think I would have remembered that had I not started over. Before I could start over I had to give up, something I didn't believe I could do. It took giving up faster, longer, harder workouts two years ago; it took a period of mourning (with a dash of anger and despair); it took day after day after day after day of reprogramming my body and mind. Now, finally, I can approach the sport from a place that allows me to feel good and have fun.

Sometimes a triathlon isn't a triathlon. Sometimes a triathlon is a big bold statement to the world that you can do anything.

Monday, May 18, 2015

We All Have Our Moments

As proof that I have moments when my motivation is in the ditch, I bring you this screen shot from last week (my comments are in blue). If you think you're the only one who struggles to get your butt up and out the door, rest assured, you are not.

Next week I'll explain how I am (sort of) training for a triathlon.

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Party's Over

Did you have a happy Mother's Day? I did, I really did. Filled with homemade gifts and cards, hugs and kisses, restraint from whining and sibling fights, a hands-off day in the kitchen and demands to not do laundry on that sacred day for mothers.

And then you wake up the next day. And if you were like me, that was at 1:30 a.m. when the clock alarm in my son's room went off unexpectedly. (The Boy never budged.) Still I was up with the sun and--good morning!--a vomiting dog. That stubborn pile of laundry had not disappeared in the night, children bickered as they ate their breakfast, dirty dishes remained scattered across the kitchen island, and I smiled. I wouldn't have it any other way. I love my life. (Yoga helps). No matter what comes my way I am a happy mom.

I was also very happy to get this card in the mail from a creative, thoughtful mom friend. I laughed. I cried. I shared with my blog readers:

I hope you had a loving Mother's Day, too. But here's the thing: Mother's Day is a year round holiday (in your head). Take care of yourself and appreciate all you do for your family every day. For what it's worth, yoga helps.