I used to be apprehensive about the softness of motherhood. Not just the fleshy jiggle that comes with sacrificing your workouts and your hard earned miniskirt to birth a human but also the loft that begins to define your social life and the unabashed need to be emotionally available when raising a child. In fact, I thought I would hate myself for the compromise (that and the elastic waistbands) I associated with the gig because I feared it would make me loose my edge. In truth, I was happy to part ways with some of the edge, and some of it is slowly coming back or getting reinvented from a new perspective. I'm finding there are still nights to be had though the outings are fewer and farther apart. Sometimes we trade nights so we each get an escape and sometimes our beer money goes to the babysitter.
Now as I try to work back into a body I fondly miss, I find the challenge more mental than it ever was before. A good friend told me she realized the other day that she felt she was working out like a mother rather than working out like an athlete (I imagined some 80’s hair-banded woman in a leotard lightly sweating to an aerobics video and cooling herself off with a white towel and some iced tea. P.S. My friend is not that woman. She is an ass kicker. She slings her two bitties on both hips and gracefully takes them on outings all while looking pretty slamming in a cute pair of skinny jeans). In any case, it got me to thinking about the excuses I've been using. Not that it’s all about loosing weight but rather it’s all about owning where you are at. I know these months at home with M are beautiful but they are also challenging as I search for work and get reacquainted with with the clothes I packed away nine months ago. It's definitely a work in progress and I'm committed to getting back on track with my goals.
I finally went on my long run today. It had something to do with parallel events that happened yesterday: getting the Cuban from Masterpiece Deli and packing my maternity jeans away. It felt good: the sandy and the tight cinch of a button on a pair of jeans I used to wear in a previous life. Both experiences inspired me to push for the long run against the blatantly obvious lack of time this morning, my hubby's conflicting schedule, and my aching body. Once I got going, it felt like home: the weather was an old friend back from snowbirding in Arizona; the songs on my "Run Your Arse Off" playlist, silent for 8 months, were there when I needed the beat; and even the sick, sadistic backache (that almost stopped me in the third mile) assured me I was doing something right. I finally felt like I was completing a real run and I was physically on board with the mental commitment to loose the baby weight. Those endorphins kicked in and it got me to thinking about running like a mother: one bad ass mother that only has one hour of free time to escape her home, her family, and get it done; a woman that doesn’t have time to give in to the desire to rest because there's way too much to do and if it’s not a good run now, who knows when it will be a good run again. I am that mother and this is my new edge.
I embrace the softness that came along with my daughter. She has helped me rediscover happiness and inspiration and made me feel more alive emotionally. I too am inspired to get back in shape to serve as a good role model for her because working out helps me feel balanced and more confident. I will get back to 7-mile hikes and a black and white mini that was short lived but oh so good. It is the woman I want to be for myself, my husband, and my daughter. That woman is strong and confident and sexy. Whatever that means for each and every mom out there, I hope you find an hour to push yourself towards yourself as often as you can.