And for once I was SuperMom

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Get Down

"Man, when I'm their age I want to be able to do that," I was looking forlornly at the backs of a 60 year old couple.  We were visiting their neck of the woods in South Africa and they had taken us on a hike.  They were about fifty yards in front of us, or just me, Scott was probably staying behind just to make me feel better.  He did assure me that they were hiking rather fast.
Again, he probably said that just to make me feel better.

Last Tuesday I wheeled Carys into the library playgroup that we've been attending, the lady spotted my flushed and probably sweaty face and said,
"Did you just go running?"
"No, I just took a Spinning class," I responded.  She rolled her eyes, a gentle tease for my overachieving,
"I know, I'm that person," I joked.  I didn't take offense.
I had been tired that morning so chose to attend the class, normally I make up my own workout and then shower before playgroup, but the class is scheduled so that I don't have time to shower.  Arriving red faced and disheveled was not a normal occurrence.  I had debated quite a bit about this decision.  Showering usually wins.  I kept thinking that this was superficial, but really there are only a few times during the week that people I didn't birth see me, so I would like to look presentable.
That Tuesday I chose working out over hygiene.  The next conversation that followed was between myself and two other moms; I was encouraging them to do the things that I had so that they could workout.  They were telling me lots of reasons why they could not or would not.  I let it go, I didn't want to be that person again.
Over the past few months, as I've joined the YMCA and gotten back into fitness, I've had to think through why I am doing this.  I'm in my 30s, and I'm already married, so it's clearly not to attract a man.  He is still interested, so maybe it's to keep him interested, but as I've found with other things if you do something purely to please someone else it doesn't last long.
Am I doing this to look like Jillian Micheals?  Well, that is impossible.  I like bread too much.  I have finally realized that I really cannot compare myself to other women when it comes to looks.  No matter how much fat I lose off my body I am built differently, I won't have my friend's nice long slender waist, I am short, she is tall.  If fitness is based on looks then I better focus on looking like the best 'me' I can.
But eventually looks fade.  No matter how much Spinning, or running, or weightlifting, or yoga I do I know that there certain things about aging that I cannot control.  My skin is looser than it was ten years ago.  I have some permanent lines over my eyebrows that make me look like I am perpetually sarcastic.  (Which I kind of am, so I deserve those.)  This body is going to get looser and gain more lines.

In that same playgroup one of the children had come with her Grandma, I heard the Grandma say this,
"Well, I'll be the first to admit that getting down on the ground gets harder as you get older," I then watched her slowly get down on her knees, like watching a creaky gate close.  The woman that teased me about Spinning is about the same age as this one, she is down on her knees with the little kids all the time.  Probably because she does it all the time.  She works with little kids.  They're on the ground a lot.  I think the body has kind of a 'use it or lose it,' policy.

Then I thought,
'That's it...that's why I do this, I want to be able to get down on the ground with my grandkids.'
In my head I tell myself that I work out to prevent premature aging and disease.  Somewhere in my heart I know that I cannot completely control all of that.  Even though I've been a regular exerciser for my entire adulthood I know that I might pull the cancer card.  I do like to think that I've all that I can.  I would hate to get cancer and know that chemotherapy might not cure me, I should have just eaten more kale all those years ago.
I also like it, exercise, that is.  I like the way my body feels when I push it a little farther.  Achieve that distance I never thought I could.  Get into that yoga pose that seemed impossible six months ago.  Life that weight that wouldn't move a week ago.
Being fit comes in handy too, in my life of lifting children and, well, lifting children, a lot.
I need a macro excuse though, a realistic one.  Getting a six pack in six weeks seems a bit silly, but being able to get down on the ground with a two year old when I am well into my seventies, that seems honorable.

No comments: