The Y.

by - November 03, 2011

A month ago my family joined the YMCA. The Baby wasn't enjoying Mom's Morning Out, so I decided to withdraw him so we could use the money on a family membership. I've always scoffed at the idea of joining a gym. It's been since undergrad that I lifted weights and swam regularly, and since then I've had the mindset that my daily activity level should be enough to stay healthy and fit.

Well it wasn't.

For three weeks now I've done a swim workout followed by a dance class, and it's whipping me into shape. When I enter the women's locker room, I suddenly feel carefree (child free), and for one small slice of the week able to hear my own thoughts. I can breathe my own air (I take it the women's locker room isn't quite as "interesting" as the men's). Cutting through the water, not having little hands grab at my arms and not hearing voices whine at me is so refreshing.

I don't think I'm fully aware of the stress that kids bring. I do know that when I'm trying to focus on writing or work, my whole body tenses up and I hold my breath when one of the boys comes over to demand attention. I realized early this morning when my preschooler climbed into bed that there is very little space in my life that is mine. Even sleep isn't my own. My treasured once a week chocolate croissant gets shared.

It's my joy to share my life with these two little guys. However, I must learn to create spaces in my life that are sacred, places I can go to when the home gets just a little too crazy. Right now, that's the pool. Zumba is where I cut loose and laugh at how uncoordinated I am and let the jiggle, well jiggle instead of always trying to suck it in - metaphorically and physically.

... and now, I am being summoned to go wipe a butt. That's my life.

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4 comments

  1. Great post! Thank your for sharing! I, too, am learning that "me" time is very important. A few weeks ago, I got to drive in the car all-by-myself (what a concept)! When I arrived home, I was so refreshed and full of ideas for home, writing, and ballet classes. In glee, I told my hubby how excited I was. He gave me a weird look and said that he needed to give me more "me" time. Haha! Like you said, we sometimes don't know how stressed we are until we have a minute to think.

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  2. I love this. I am enjoying the gym more now than I ever have. Yesterday I put both boys in the nursery and even though I was a sweaty mess, having that hour all to myself was wonderful.

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  3. YES! This is the reason I too joined the Y and I love it. I often forget how much of a stress reliever it is to workout by myself. It's sometimes a struggle to get out the door with both boys but in the end I always feel that it's worth it, if not only for my sanity.

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  4. ... and that little shred of sanity we have is SO important!

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