Last night I was in bed for nine hours. Every mother knows I didn't sleep nine hours. Two separate children with night calls segmented my sleep, but that was still more rest than I've had in the last few weeks. I've been feeling it too, and so have my children due to a forgotten playdate one day and hauling them to a day camp a week early on another. (All mommies are like this, I tell them. Don't roll your eyes at me!) Then there was the well-visit I scheduled for my son, thinking I was a month late. When the nurse walked in she looked at me funny. "It says here you were in 2 weeks ago for his 15-month check up." The room filled with silence. Crickets chirped as I struggled to recall that appointment. And then I struggled to come up with a reason why I scheduled it twice, even though I still couldn't remember being there in the first place. The crickets kept chirping. Nervous laughter. I'm losing my mind, and it's no longer a secret!
Simply put, I have been too busy (as if this doesn't happen to people all the time). But I knew I was reaching the outer limits of my ability to cope. I was already giving up sleep. I was maxing out babysitting time for work. Last week I managed to keep up with my regular workout schedule, but this week something else had to give. So for the last few days I was not able to find fitness in the chaos of motherhood; not something I like to admit, seeing as I write a blog about finding fitness in the chaos of motherhood.
I entertained a little negative internal dialogue with each passing day, but I tuned it out. I just had too much going on to fight with myself and I knew if I could press on with the work before me I would get to that workout sooner rather than later. Finally, this morning, I managed to get in a challenging masters swim class, proving to that negative little voice she needs to be more kind and patient.
I think a lot of women, once they get on a roll with exercise, ultimately get faced with these "blips" to their workout routine. All too often a series of missed days slides down that slippery slope into months or years without fitness. This doesn't have to be. A lifetime committed to fitness has plenty of room for a few days off--even a week or two, if you must--here and there.
If you hear a negative voice berate you for missing a workout that you know will cause stress instead of reduce it, remind her this choice is temporary and you'll find a way to sweat soon, even sooner if she stays off your back!
What about you? Can you interrupt your fitness routine and get right back on the horse, or does a few days off push you into a sedentary black hole?
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