“I’m thinking about joining a mom & baby fitness group. Wanna come with me?”
I stared at the text for two seconds, then typed out a one-handed response saying YES YES YES while I balanced Natalie on my hip. Playing “phone keep-away” is exhausting but it doesn’t really get my heart rate up.
And so I found myself running suicides in a gym last week, tagging Natalie’s little feet on every return trip as she gnawed on Sophie the giraffe and watched me with a bemused expression.
Yeah, kinda like that.
Several years ago I spent a summer doing bootcamp-style fitness classes that had us army-crawling through the grass, doing endless pushups and situps, and racing across the soccer field. I LOVED it. I’ve tried lots of different workout programs on my own, but nothing motivates me like working out in a group.
I am fiercely competitive (and not in a healthy, “I’m competing with myself!” kind of way – more like “I WILL BE THE VALEDICTORIAN OF THIS WORKOUT OR DIE TRYING.”) and so I push myself a lot harder than I would if it were just me and an on-demand workout video in my living room.
I haven’t gone to any fitness classes since Natalie was born (and I haven’t done much on my own), so I was nervous about being able to keep up. I was relieved to find that everyone looked quite normal and came in varying shapes, sizes, and fitness levels. They were all in WAY better shape than I was, though.
We started off with an easy warmup, walking around the gym in a big circle while pushing our strollers like a pioneer wagon train that stampeded through Babies R Us. From there we ramped it up a bit with some sprints (sans strollers) and resistance exercises before moving on to a workout circuit.
(That was such a short sentence considering it represents about 30 minutes of torture.)
The circuit was – well, let’s go with challenging. That’s a family-friendly word that sounds a lot better than it made me want to die. We raced from station to station, throwing ourselves on the floor to do pushups, gritting our teeth as we held our wall sits, and pounding up and down the stairs. The stair climbing was the worst part, because the stage area at the top was a good ten degrees warmer than the rest of the gym. It was like ascending into hell, and paying for the privilege to do so.
My goal was to not be the slowest person in the class, and I accomplished that – barely. I juuuuust managed to stay ahead of one other mom and I was so proud of myself.
Right up until the instructor pointed out that that particular mom was ONE WEEK postpartum. And that she had been attending fitness classes just days before delivery.
Congratulations, Alexis. What a victory! For my next act I’ll be bullying toddlers into giving me their favorite toys.
Despite being slow and squishy, I’m totally hooked and signed up for a two-month pass. I’m fired up. I’m ready. I’m…eating cake on the regular.
One step at a time.