So, I work out now.
Everyone who has ever met me if probably laughing at that last sentence, but I really do.
I don’t like it. I am uncoordinated by nature, tripping over my feet while walking in a straight line kind of uncoordinated. I have tried lots of workout classes, but I can’t seem to get the hang of Zumba or other aerobic or dance classes. I know they are supposed to be fun, but here’s how it usually goes down for me:
- Watch in bewilderment as the instructor demonstrates the move.
- Try move. Get it backwards.
- Try again and run into the person next to me.
- Try once again and get the first half but fall down on the second half.
- Finally get the move!! Oh crap, everyone else is done.
- The instructor is demonstrating the next move. See step 1.
I also don’t really like sports. (Except American Ninja Warrior, which I LOVE!) I like going to games or playing sports for fun, but the lack of coordination I mentioned earlier does not help me do anything useful in a team situation. I’m that person you see who looks like they are playing a different sport. The rest of the team tolerates me at best and I do nothing to contribute to winning besides the odd encouraging comment. The only athletic thing I am good at is running, because you don’t have to throw or catch anything. (At least I don’t. Am I doing it wrong?)
Strangely though, despite my terrible athletic ability, I have moments of absolute sport brilliance. For example, after dropping every single ball thrown to me in a baseball game, I did a diving catch to prevent a home run. The batter yelled, “You don’t catch anything all game, but this you catch??” Then I tried to high five someone to celebrate my catch and missed. Yup, that’s how I roll.
So, anyway. I started going to a mom and baby work out class in December. It was hard. I was terrible at the exercises and didn’t finish any of the reps. I was sore for a week. I could only do one push-up. Actually, just the down part, not the pushing up part. I may have just fallen down. After the workout I was sweaty and gross. After 3 weeks, nothing seemed to get easier. The baby was better at doing the plank than me. And if he wasn’t showing me up at exercise, he was crying and I had to pick him up and do the workout with a 20 pound baby strapped to me. It seemed impossible.
I didn’t like it, but I didn’t quit. Why? Well, I am worse at quitting than I am at sports. But that wasn’t the reason.
Something funny happened after a few months. The exercises became easier and I found that I could do all of the repetitions. I learned the names of the muscles that I was supposed to be building. I wasn’t even stiff for as long. One day when presented with multiple exercise options, I actually picked the most difficult one – voluntarily! I signed up for another class when my first one finished and another after that.
I started the class because I felt so weak during my terrible pregnancy that I was dying to move again. I wanted to get out of the house and talk to other moms. I told myself I would just do one class, but after 8 months of sticking with it, I find that I am actually seeing results. I have lost weight and gained muscle. I am stronger, have more energy and am more positive after doing a workout than I am most days.
I will never be a super model, but I don’t care. I will be strong for my son and for myself. I will make my husband feel my newfound muscles with pride. I will enjoy that amazing feeling that comes with doing something you didn’t think you could do. I will bask in that post-exercise high and laugh at my son as he claps for me at the end of each exercise.
So, I work out now. I don’t like it, but I do like the things that come with it.
Oh, and cake. I like cake.