But this is a blog about fitness. What does a fit mom with a fit mom blog write about when she's hasn't had a "legitimate" workout in a week? Well, I had to be real with myself about that word, "legitimate." There is a strange perverse acceptance in ticking off the days without a workout. Yesterday I missed my barbell strength class. Today I missed my morning run with Pam. When will it end? Sure, I've spent long stretches without fitness (me not being one of those moms who exercised until the day she delivered), but currently I'm in pretty good shape. I've got a great routine going. I'm feeling stronger than I've ever felt. I've been highly motivated to keep up with my running and strength classes and everything else because I feel so darn good. With each passing day without a workout, though, I feel I'm losing a layer of fitness (although probably not as dramatic as I think). But it's as if I'm watching it go like someone observing a mudslide. There's a little bit of helpless wonder and tragedy from my detached viewpoint. And that's what's odd, I feel a little detached right now. Is that a coping mechanism?
But about that word "legitimate." I spend a lot of time convincing other moms that their activity counts as exercise. I heard from a friend who checked out my blog but reported she didn't workout--she just played competitive tennis once a week. Now why would she think that's not working out? I completely believe that counts toward Mama Sweat status! In those days when I had three kids under two and I couldn't do more than take walks hauling them around the neighborhood, I didn't think of myself "exercising," but looking back on it, of course I was exercising! When it comes to being a fit mom, every little bit counts and we all have to be more forgiving about what "counts."
My friend Tara, who is currently staying with us, is a friend I met about 15 years ago at a cross country race. She was a triathlete, too, and we began training together, among other things common to 20-somethings (I just have to stand back and shake my head at some of those memories). Our last race together was Ironman New Zealand in 2002. We have logged a lot of miles together. She, too, struggles with Mama Sweat issues, compounded by the fact that she runs her own successful business, which requires a lot of travel. She talked about how hard it is to keep up with her fitness, especially when she's on the road. But, if she takes 10 minutes to stretch, or 2o minutes on a treadmill, or 15 minutes for strength work, she feels like she can hold it together until she can return to a better routine. Those 10 minutes help her feel like she doesn't have to "start all over again." It doesn't seem like much, and maybe it doesn't do much physically, but mentally it helps her maintain her fit mama status.
So considering the last week... there was that day at the park when my kids and I worked on our pull ups (I'd fail that Presidential Fitness Challenge I once prided myself on in elementary school). There was the day we walked all over the zoo. Yesterday we had a push up contest in the hotel room (Tara's kids are equally active as mine). All that didn't amount to much but it did amount to something. Now I have to convince myself I that have been working out all week.