A friend, fellow runner and Mama Sweat reader told me a long while back that “Mama Sweat,” is the term she now uses to explain the absurdities or hassles or craziness of trying to get in a workout. I’ve highlighted a few of my workouts as an example of Mama Sweat. Note these workouts weren’t what I originally intended, but due to circumstances (most involving children, but sometimes I’m at fault, say when I sleep through my alarm) this is what I got instead:
I really needed to vacuum the dead bugs, cob webs and other filth from the basement: a space that is host to kids who want to play and grown ups who want to sweat. I cannot express how much I did NOT want to do this and had been avoiding the job for weeks (O.K. six months). My compromise: Warm up by vacuuming 3/4 of the area, then reward with a TRX workout of 3x15 of reverse push ups, push ups with feet in stirrups, lunges with back foot in stirrup, topped off by squat jumps. Then the remaining vacuuming. All while my son played. I could not have felt more capable.
I drove to the auto shop ready to run. Packed the stroller and timed the oil change for the possibility of a nap for my cranky, newly minted 3-year-old (who will only doze off in the stroller if he’s really really pooped). So off we went, intending to run 4 miles, allowing plenty of time for the oil change. The Boy nodded off two miles in. When I returned I was told a light needed to be replaced and would take another 15 minutes. Wait? Sit inside on such a glorious day? Or, score two more miles and 20 more minutes of sleep for the cranky passenger? You know the answer!
One morning that offered warmer-than usual weather for a Minnesota spring, my son and I went to the backyard for some fresh air. He toddled between the playset and the sandbox while I picked up dog poop. Rather than go to the gym, I decided to get my workout in right then and there. I pulled out a dumbbell from the basement and proceeded to do five rounds of 10 one-arm dumbbell snatches on each arm, 10 squats holding the dumbbell, 10 burpees and one lap down the driveway and back.
This workout is over so quickly even you’re not sure it really happened. Here’s the scene: I had one hour while my youngest daughter went to swim practice. However, I had to check in kids in the child center on the front end and return to “real clothes,” as stinkless as possible, by hour’s end. I hit the treadmill. Warm-up for 1/2 mile, then I alternated 1/2 mile fast with 1/4 mile recovery four times, followed by a 1/2 mile cool down. I arrived poolside with 5 minutes to spare and watched the end of my daughter’s practice; as far as she knew I was there the whole time. I was, wasn’t I?
With sick kids home from school (including one raging case of pink eye) I couldn’t, in good conscience, bring them to the gym’s child center. This is where you hope you’ve been to that favorite fitness class enough times to replicate the moves at home. In my case I pulled out my yoga mat, laid it on the driveway, and did my best to find zen.
These are some examples of how I find fitness in the chaos of motherhood and create some “Mama Sweat.”
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