I’m on the treadmill at 8:15AM. I’m exhilarated. I love it. Huh? Have I lost my mind?
You have to understand; I DON’T use the treadmill. I’m allergic to exercise. But then on September 28th I had Ryan, my adorable, sweet, delicious, EXHAUSTING baby boy, and I lived practically like a shut-in for the next three months. After a winter of long days and longer nights, I needed to get out. Fast. Being new to this whole “stay at home mom” thing, I did not realize how important, fleeting, and mostly exciting “alone time” would become. Only I didn’t know how to find it – I didn’t know many people locally and besides, what would I do with a four-month old who screamed as if he were training to do it professionally?
Suddenly exercise has become my savior. I’m as shocked to write it as my family will be to read it, but it’s true. Amazingly, the gym provides, for a fee of course, exactly the respite I need to stay (relatively) sane. I gleefully drop off “Man” (as we call him) at the childcare center, pop my headphones in and wave goodbye as Man is pulling off another mother’s glasses, undoubtedly while pooping. I’m beaming from ear to ear, as I walk – no, run – out the door for freedom (knowing full well that the glasses have been thrown across the room by now). Kanye blasts over the headphones and I race to nowhere on the treadmill.
I look around; I’m surrounded by a lot of VERY FIT people. I quickly increase the resistance level on the machine; I surreptitiously glance at other people’s settings to see how I measure up. I notice a woman going to spin class; she is bedazzled in a fully aerodynamic cycling outfit… why? Does she not realize that she’s indoors and the bikes are bolted to the floor? My thoughts drift to my son; when did he wake up from that nap? How much did he eat for breakfast? But inevitably endorphins pulse, the music pulls me back in and all thoughts of motherhood again dissolve. It occurs to me that my old self would have found it pathetic that this could be a highlight of my day…but my old self didn’t change diapers at 3 am. The gym gives me the ability to care for Man, by giving me a break from Man. I love Man, more than anything I’ve ever loved in my life…but I really, really love the gym.
What did you do to stay sane in those first months of being a new mom???