Who Needs a Stinking Gym Membership, Anyway??

I just realized that I haven’t worked out in a gym in A DECADE; I let my last gym membership expire in the spring of 2002, when I got pregnant with my daughter (morning sickness was so not conducive to lifting weights and pedaling a stationary bike, at least not in my world). This feels rather pathetic on my part, as I used to be fairly fit. Heck, I even managed to run two marathons before I had kids… Not fast, mind you, but I did run (and, shockingly, finish) them. But now? I think the only formal “workouts” I’ve done in the last ten years are the prenatal yoga classes I took during each pregnancy. And though great for stretching sore muscles, I’d hardly call prenatal yoga a workout…

No, these days, my workouts are relegated to a more circuit-style training regime. Take yesterday, for instance…

I started the day out by vacuuming the house, quickly working up a sweat just trying to get ahead of the 21mo who was preceding me, room by room, happily pulling all the bins of toys he could reach off the shelves and oh-so-not-helpfully dumping dinosaurs, cars, and puzzle pieces out into the puffs of dog and cat hair that I hadn’t yet quite managed to suck up.

I moved on to the laundry room, where I did at least thirty sprints between the dryer (where I was folding the 5yo’s clothes in double-time) and the cats’ litter box, trying (thankfully successfully – this time, anyway) to keep the curious toddler from playing in the in-house sandbox. I know: it looks like fun! But no no. Gross…

Next up was stairs: always a killer. A 25lb weight on one hip (aka, the toddler), and a full basket of clean and folded clothes on the other hip, hauled all the way up two (very long, as it turns out, very, very long) flight of stairs to the toddler’s bedroom, where…

I do more leg work, rocking the equivalent of a medicine ball (aka, the toddler) back-and-forth, back-and-forth, back-and-forth, until sleep takes over. Takes over the toddler, that is – there’s no rest for this weary Mama; there’s still cleaning to do that only naptime will allow. Do you have any idea how much fun a toddler thinks it is to walk on your still-wet, freshly washed wood floors?? Or worse yet, how much fun a toddler thinks it is to splash in the toilet you’re trying to scrub?? Ewwww!!! No, as much as I’d like to take a breather, naptime is the only time for certain chores.

So, let’s call the cleaning session that followed endurance training, shall we? (And still there are dust bunnies in my bathtub!! They are stronger than me; I think they’re on steroids.)

Just as I sit down to refuel my rapidly tiring body with some lunch, the baby awakes. How do kids always know when you sit down with hot food???

More stairs, then finally a quickly-inhaled, now-cold lunch (really, I should just stock up on the Gu energy packets I took with me on my long marathon-training runs; the chocolate ones aren’t sooo very terrible), and then on to playtime with the toddler. Or, rather, what’s usually playtime with the toddler… Yesterday, clearly annoyed by the persistence of a cold he’s been fighting, Broder just wanted me to hold him and snuggle. Which was totally fine by me; I love snuggles! Especially when it involves sitting my weary bones down on the soft, cushy couch hours and hours before I usually get to sit my weary bones down on the soft, cushy couch (after the kids are all tucked into bed for the night). But, no… for whatever unknown reason, Broder had no interest in the couch; the only time grumpy tears weren’t flowing was when I was snuggling with the little guy – while walking around the house. Around and around and around and around the house.

Thinking that my arms needed a break and that the toddler would benefit from some exercise of his own, I packed us up and headed off to Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo, a perfect place to run around and take our minds off stuffy noses and aching muscles (do you have any idea how sore your upper back muscles can get, carrying around a 25lb toddler all day??). And my plan worked! For all of five minutes. At which point Broder insisted on being carried again. Through the entire zoo. Of course! He did have fun, though (no more grumpy tears – yay!). And hey, I just kept reminding myself what a great workout is was, speed-walking to the next animal while holding a toddler who was way cuter than any set of ankle weights I could use to up the fitness factor. I totally earned each and every one of those Girl Scout cookies I’ve been inhaling – I mean eating (and in a very lady-like manner) – lately. Right? Right?!

Broder at the Zoo

Trying to catch the penguins! (One of the very few times Broder let me put him down while at the zoo, yesterday.)

So, yeah, after yesterday’s workout, I’m thinking that no… I don’t really need a gym membership. I mean really… who needs a gym membership when you have a toddler??

I’ll take a zoo membership every time.