Tough Mother/ It’s About Time

I’m a busy Mom. But finding time to work out is easy as long as I make it a priority and set a schedule. For example, the schedule for the last seven days of the 4-week summer challenge looked like this:

Tuesday: Run early in the morning
Wednesday: Hit the gym before 9:30 meeting
Thursday: Run early in the morning in my sister’s neighborhood, where I was taking care of my nephews for the weekend. As long as I was back by 8- in time for their Dad to leave for work, I was golden.
Friday: Take a yoga class at my sister’s YMCA in Alabama.
Saturday: Work out at YMCA while boys are at child watch.
Sunday: Rest
Monday: Run in my friend’s neighborhood. She lives a bit north of Nashville and I was visiting her overnight before flying out Monday afternoon.

If everything went according to plan, I’d complete the workout schedule in my free time. No one would be put out, and I’d be on schedule, ready to start Week 2.

In our family things go according to plan as often as four or five times a month.

My actual schedule looked like this:

Tuesday: Ryan needed to go to work early leaving me to do school prep and drop-off. I set my alarm for 6 AM. But didn’t actually turn it on. Woke up at 10. Lily, who doesn’t do well out of routine, spiraled into a fit that lasted a few hours. I took her to school at noon, losing the entire morning.

Wednesday: After a late night up with a girl still recovering from her Tuesday morning fit, I decided I needed to sleep in a bit. I missed my meeting.

Thursday: Weather-related flight delays meant getting into bed at my sister’s around 3 AM. Less than five hours later it was time to get up with the boys. Only one had school, leaving me home with the little one. I briefly entertained the notion of getting out the jogging stroller. The idea was quickly dismissed.

Friday: I decided to run during the few hours I had to myself while both boys were at school. I made it about thirty minutes before succumbing to sunburn and nausea. Did you know it is hotter in Alabama than it is in Connecticut? And that brand new housing developments don’t have trees?

Saturday: I took the boys to the YMCA as planned. I worked out while they played at child watch. Success.

Sunday: I am happy to report that I followed through with my plan of not working out on Sunday. Yay me!

Monday: I visited with a friend overnight on Sunday. We were up drinking tea and sharing stories until nearly 3 AM. I would not trade this time. But running on Monday morning was certainly not an option. A Bloody Mary on the plane ruled out running once I got back home. Looks like another day of rest.

The best laid plans, eh?

The thing is, I really did complete all of the workouts for Week 1. Quite successfully, in fact. Tuesday. I ran in the evening instead of the morning. Following Week 9, Day 1 of the 10k training program (5 minute warm up, run for 10 minutes/ walk for 1 minute, repeat for total of 4 times, 5 minute cool down) I ran 4.3 miles. This is the further I have ever run. I felt like a rock star. My husband reacted as if I had finished a marathon.

Wednesday I completed the arm workout during the time when I was scheduled to be at a meeting. I only had time for 2 sets of each exercise instead of 3. But I did it.

Thursday I did the stretches planned for Friday, and Friday I did the cardio scheduled for Thursday.

And Saturday and Sunday went as planned. Two days out of seven. Bam.

When I look at it all laid out like that, I’m really proud of myself. I’m 1/4 of the way through the four week program. I’m totally doing it! But I have these persistent naggy thoughts.

“Ryan shouldn’t have had to be home with Lily for an hour after working all day, just so I could run. I’m being selfish.”

“I only did 2 reps instead of 3. So I didn’t really finish the workouts.”

“I should have gone to that meeting instead of working out. There I go being selfish again.”

“I had to stop early on Thursday because of the heat. It was not a successful run.”

As I look at these thoughts now, rationally they seem absolutely false. Emotionally, they seem absolutely true.

It takes a lot of work to override emotional lies. Fortunately, I have a lot of practice.

So. To my emotional lies, I counter with the following:

I have a husband who supports me. He supports my writing. And he supports my healthy decisions. I have friends and readers who look to me for inspiration. And I have friends to whom I can turn for inspiration and guidance. (And for help determining what some of the exercises in the plan are supposed to be!) This year is important. I am becoming a healthier version of myself. I am doing the best that I can. I am flexible with my time and plans, and I am making healthy decisions about priorities. And. I am succeeding.

And then there’s this little girl.


She wants to go running with Mommy. We usually make it once around our complex. It’s about a third of a mile. She thinks I’m fast. And she thinks I’m strong. And she wants to be like me.

And that is motivation enough.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Project 40 so far | Thoroughly Modern Mommy

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