I took the dog for a walk the other day — probably not much more than a mile down Pleasant Valley Road. It felt great; out in the open air, some sunshine, cold breeze, happy dog. And I realized I hadn’t been walking since probably October. And that my feet, calves, shins, and quads were aching by the time I got back. And I was sweaty. And breathing hard. I felt almost as exercised as if I’d done my old loop, which is 4 miles down PVR to Adams and back up 56 to home. I wasn’t quite as noodly-feeling as I would be after four fast miles, but…
What the hell. I am in AWFUL shape.
When I commented on that on Twitter (Facebook, etc, since Twitter populates all my other social media), someone somewhere commented “you’re in mom shape!” and I did not reply with my initial thought. See, I know that was meant as encouraging kindness, so my knee-jerk reaction would have been both unkind and uncalled for. But seriously: If this is “mom shape”, then moms are fucked. Because this is no good. Yes, pregnancy can be hard on a body, and early parenting is chaos and stress incarnate, but seriously: Moms deserve better. Moms deserve — nay, NEED — to be mighty. Because this parenting thing? Not easy.
I mean, I’m not sure it’s a prereq of parenthood to be able to do a pullup, but still: being able to do pullups can’t hurt, since they usually come with other fitness-related benefits. And it sure seems, from where I perch on my couch next to a sleeping infant, that some added stamina and energy would be an entry in the plus column, as would the zen of endorphins and better balanced hormones and more even brain chemistry and all the other things those kooky scientists tell you regular physical exercise does for you.
Added bonus, if you’re like me, your level of fitness and your commitment to an exercise program is something you have control over. And there’s very little I have control over right now… I have no control over when I sleep, when I wake, what I do at any given moment of the day, or how I feel about any of it. I am adrift on a sea of hormones, in a leaky ship steered by a six week old blue eyed tyrant who regularly pees her pants and then yells because she’s understandably unhappy about the consequences of her actions. So, I can make some choices with my free time. I can be in charge of that. I can value it, and myself, and try to strengthen all my resources to keep bailing out that leaky boat, to learn to swim in the hormones, and to steady my resolve for dealing amiably with my adorable little tyrant captain.
So, yoga, then. And a nice walk with the dog. I won’t dive straight back into the 30 Day Sculpt — I’m not a masochist — but I’ll add some planks and assisted pull-ups for good measure. We all start somewhere.
Because I’m going to be mighty again, if it kills me to get there. My definition of “mom shape” is going to include the ability to do pull-ups. Unassisted.
So say we all.