This morning Justin and Gwyn were comfortably ensconced watching parallel versions of Saturday Morning Cartoons (Fallout: New Vegas for the grownup and Curious George for the toddler), so I asked for an hour in the exercise room. I went down, flipped out my yoga mat, and pulled out the Yoga Studio app on my phone. I made a class called “Salute and Twist”, and filled it with all the blocks of twisting poses and sun salutations that the app has to offer. I threw in a standing balance block and a Warrior block for good measure.
Nothing I did was hard. I would say it was solidly beginner stuff — literally just sun salutations and warrior sequences and lots and lots of twists.
I hurt a lot.
Some of it is good hurt — muscles that needed to move, that needed to be used that way. My quads are going to tell me about those warrior sequences tomorrow, and my lower abs, newly loose, are telling me that they were the source of my low back pain this week.
Some of it’s not so great. A couple of nights ago I told Justin that I woke up and Gwyn had snuggled up to my back and was resting her face on my shoulderblade. And it HURT. I had a muscle spasming so hard that the pressure of a toddler’s snuggle woke me up. And so in the first five minutes of the 40 I did today, I felt that same muscle go. Now it’s just a dull throb, a low background notice that my body is not where I want it to be.
My friend Mary Carmen has been posting links to the videos her trainer shares on Facebook. Mary’s story is hers to tell, but after years of health issues and carrying two babies, she’s getting up every morning at 4:30 and doing a bootcamp workout at a gym before she spends the day parenting those two kiddos. And I am so proud of her. SO PROUD! Because I know how fucking hard that is. I know. Our mix of challenges is different, but I know. I get it.
Today Justin let me lie in bed and read for a couple of hours before I got up and went down to exercise. It felt like a gift. I’ve been either at work or doing a family thing or at LARP for every weekend since… forever. I am, in fact, typing this in my office on a Saturday afternoon. And that pattern is going to continue for the next several months. Next weekend I have to prep for a week of work travel. The one after that I have to work. After that we go to Rhode Island. Then it’s Halloween. Then it’s LARP. Then I have to work two weeks in a row. Then it’s Thanksgiving in Illinois. Then LARP. Then Christmas in Vermont.
There’s not much lying in bed in that picture, when you toss “toddler” on top of it all.
And there hasn’t been much exercising, either.
But I’m listening to my body today. I feel energized, and strong, and good. I have a dull throb in my left shoulder and my quads are trembling with muscle fatigue, but I feel good. This needs to happen. I know who I want to be. I have to try harder to make myself a priority in all of this happy chaos that is our life.
Why walk when you can fly?