By Cat Poland, a work-at-home mom blogging at CatPoland.com.
Car doors closing quietly, subdued greetings, sneaker-laced feet shuffling as stretches begin, hands slapping at mosquitoes eager for an early-morning snack. At 5 a.m. on a weekday morning, these are the sounds of the Fitness Junkies, all mothers (or grandmothers) who are committed to pushing their bodies to the brink of collapse all in the name of getting a good workout.
I went once, puked twice, and haven’t returned. That was before my second child, and despite my utter and complete failure during my first go-round, I’m considering giving it another try. Why?
Well, I have a confession to make. Sometimes, I want to run away from my children. No, not “Thelma and Louise” style running away, but good, old-fashioned, feet-pounding-pavement running away. I just want to escape, feel blood coursing through my veins, and just be alone. Completely and sweetly alone.
Of course, I would eventually run back (if I didn’t collapse somewhere along the way). I love my darling babies, but as a new work-at-home mom, I need “me” time. Not only that, but I need more energy (and strength, mental clarity, etc.). I went from sitting at a computer for 50+ hours a week, to chasing around a one-year-old and three-year-old overnight. As much as I love my new gig, I’m not physically prepared!
“Moms on the run” is certainly not a new concept. All across the country, moms are running away from their children. And running with their children. And running for their children. And, well, just running.
Lucy Hooper (with Stroller Strides in Houston) falls into the “running with children” category. She’s a working mom who feels that running is an ideal workout.
“It works for me because I have serious mom guilt!,” she confides. “Running allows me to get in a great workout and bring my daughter along for the ride. It all started with wanting to be healthier for [my daughter] and it has completely changed our lives in every way. I already know she picks a fruit cup over fries every time so I consider that a win!” Lucy recommends joining a mom’s workout group in your area, noting some groups are called Stroller Strides or Baby Bootcamp.
Her insight reveals another important reason for why I want to get this post-baby body moving. With grim predictions about the obesity epidemic, what better way to pave a healthy path for my girls than to actually lead a healthy life?
Leah Segedie (of BookieBoo and Mamavation) has a compelling story of weight loss over the course of two pregnancies (see her story of losing more than 170 pounds here at DIR) and now inspires thousands of women across the country online.
“I see a healthy lifestyle as an opportunity to become a better mom,” Leah expressed. “First off, after you exercise you are able to handle more stress and difficult situations. Secondly, children always follow in the footsteps of their parents. So leading a healthy lifestyle serves as a way for you to role model behavior you want them to adopt. And third, you can change the direction of your health.”
With two young boys and a third set to arrive any day now, Leah has become a role model not only to her sons but to moms everywhere. She’s proof that you can have a career, care and attend to your family, all while taking care of yourself first!
“Let’s face it. We live in a society that isn’t quite as healthy as it used to be,” she continued. “When you commit to health, you can reverse that quickly and add YEARS to your life and be there longer for your family. And last, you can get your family involved in the things you do and save them from a future of obesity.”
Obviously, Leah is a wealth of information when it comes to moms getting fit. Her story and advice have really inspired me, especially the part about handling stress better. Lord knows there are days when I need my own “time out” before I dole one out to my children.
While I might be more of a Fitness Flunkie than a Fitness Junkie, one thing is certain. I need to start moving in one way or another on a regular basis. Whether it’s running alone, with friends, or with my girls, getting fit is critically important to being a happy, healthy momma.