I’ve gotten soft. No, not in terms of business or parenting or life in general. It’s much worse than that.
My body has gone to mush.
I was a jock growing up. Whether it was tackle football, basketball, volleyball, or pretty much anything that involved a round orb, sports were my refuge. Don’t get me wrong — this was not all child’s play. If I didn’t leave a game with some part of my skin in need of stitches, I had let down my team and myself.
When I was not on the field with the boys, I was a fierce competitor in gymnastics and dance. Throughout the years, I performed twists, twirls, and stunts that I could never imagine having the strength or courage to do today. In fact, I now skip past the gymnastics meets on TV as quickly as possible, hoping my daughter won’t become aware of the sport until she’s at least 20.
What I loved about competitive sports was how rapidly the initial anticipation and anxiety — along with a nagging fear of failure — melted into utter exhilaration. During those moments, time slowed down, and I could feel my heart pounding inside my chest. Yet once in motion, my mind and body settled into the deepest level of concentration imaginable, followed by nothing less than pure elation. Magic.
Fast forward past the college, the post-college, and the post-pregnancy years to the present (now that the little one is 5, I have to admit it’s time to give up the pregnancy card). What was initially a pause in my exercise routine has now become a chasm, a vast gulf between me and a firm tush. I used to think it wouldn't bother me if my derriere got a little mushy (out of sight, out of mind), but it turns out that yes, in fact, I do care. I care a lot.
And it’s not just a vanity issue. It’s also a health issue and identity issue. I miss the challenge that sports presented, the chance to push myself past what I perceived to be my limitations. I still remember my gymnastics coach telling my ten-year-old teammates and me that the words “I can’t” were banned from the gymnasium. (Being your typical smart-ass, I regaled my friends with replacements such as “I am not able to” and “I am physically incapable.”)
Can you imagine how awesome it is to learn, before you even hit puberty, that all you need to do is wipe out one little phrase and the world is yours?
Well I want it back. I want to feel fit again. I want to stop smushing down the muffin tops (which are surprisingly springy) after I put on my jeans to see what I would look like if I shed a few pounds. It’s time to bring exercise back to my life. No scales, no diet, no tape measure - just healthy, heart-pounding, butt-firming fitness.
So today, March 27, 2012, I’m putting forth a challenge for myself and for you too, if you’re in. For the next 60 days, I’m going to get healthy. I will do something each and every day to say "c-ya" to the mush and hello to the magnificent. Zumba, pole dancing, Wii exercise games, anything with the word “method” (GH, Daily, Bar); I'll try it all. And I’ll come back here to share what I’ve learned, as well as bitch and complain that it’s too hard, I want to quit, and that I'm afraid I'm going to let myself down. I may even say “I can’t.”
To get through it and have some fun, I’m going to rely on you to join me, either as a reader, a teammate, or both. Yes, I’m talking to you, fellow mush ball, the one with the gym membership and hand weights gathering dust on the shelf. It’s time to get healthy, have more energy, and feel fantastic. I'm ready. Are you? Let the games begin.
~Wendy Widom, Families in the Loop
Filed under: Mama Gets Her Groove Back