Hello and welcome to a cheerful Saturday at the Wannaskan Almanac. Today is May 22nd.
My happy news for the week is that I renewed my membership at the local fitness center.
According to the Kindergartener, truth-teller in all things, I have gotten fat. His siblings agree. And I have to agree. There's no wishful thinking here. My pants still fit - how I don't know - but I am grateful.
It's been over a year since I've properly exercised or had an ongoing exercise regime. The pandemic spurred many backyard adventures but none that elevated my heart rate for any significant amount of time to count as cardio.
I walked our little neighborhood loop. A LOT. But still. Not the sweaty, satisfied exertion from an honest-to-goodness workout.
Pre-pandemic, I reasoned that I no longer needed to go to the gym because everything I might use for a good workout - exercise videos, hand weights, yoga mat - I had at home. And when the weather warms up, why would I walk three miles on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike when I could do the same things outside for free?
Because I'm a busy woman, that's why.
Despite my good intentions and well-laid plans, exercising has been a daily bust. My thought process goes like this: "Tomorrow morning I'm going to wake up at 5am and jump around in front of the TV." When the alarm rings, however, it is already 6am because I never set the alarm for 5. Then I swipe right for snooze and get up at the last possible moment.
Then I tell myself, "Take a break from work and exercise at noon. It'll feel great and you will be refreshed for the afternoon." I barely stop for a lunch break let alone a short HIIT stint that I quickly realize is going to make me all flushed and sweaty for my next Zoom meeting. And that meeting starts in five minutes so I don't have time to shower, either.
Then I tell myself, "Okay, Kim. Exercise at 3pm." This gives me half an hour of transition time between my workday and when the kids get off the bus. Three o'clock rolls around, I develop a serious case of JOMT Syndrome (Just One More Thing). My blood pressure rises. I occasionally break out into a sweat. I might burn some calories, but I don't think they qualify as the kind I could enter into the My Fitness Pal app.
Exercise with the kids, you say. What a great idea! We'll be spending time together and their mother will be a great role model for lifetime fitness.
Except that I get really crabby when the Kindergartener wants to sit on my back while I do push-ups or wants to lay under me while I'm doing planks and downward dogs. If it's outdoors, I'm much too slow for the teenagers, and if it's indoors, mom's exercise DVDs are way too lame-o.
Besides, it's time to cook dinner.
For a brief stint, the Kindergartener and I tried doing exercise videos of his choosing. Physical Education teachers across America have been posting a myriad of YouTube videos that pair popular video game characters with physical activity. My little guy picked a Super Mario workout. And it worked! Except that, it had now been well over a year since I'd done any jumping jacks, jogging in place, squats, and ice skating lunges. I was pooped after 10 minutes. You know you're out of shape when you're counting down the minutes of a measly 10-minute video. I use to do 60 minutes of cardio, no sweat!
The Kindergartener loved it, though. After his grand entrance and royal announcement, "I'M HOOOOOOME!" upon returning from school, he'd throw down his backpack and say, "It's time for Mario Exercising!"
"Oh, that's so sweet honey. I love your enthusiasm. I'm sorry, but I don't have time today."
I thought after dinner might be a good time. I'm a nighttime snacker, so if I exercised in the evening, I would burn that dinner, curb my appetite, and it would even be relaxing because the day's work would be done.
Who am I kidding? It's a zoo at our house after dinner. Clean up the kitchen, finish the homework, check the calendar for any evening kid activities, (go to said activities and hope we're not too late), pray as a family, brush teeth, wash feet, watch a short Czech bedtime cartoon (večerníček), tuck little kids into bed, a few more bedtime stories, high school homework, and - oh, by the way, I should probably spend some quality time with my husband. When all that's done, I think, "Aaaahhhh...now I can finally read." Then I remember. I haven't exercised!
"I'll get up early before everyone else and do it in the morning."
The sad part is that I fall asleep as soon as I start reading so I don't make much progress in that department, either. So now, I have two problems: when to exercise and when to read without falling asleep.
This predicament has plagued me the entire pandemic. Then, a week ago, it hit me. If I renew my membership at the gym, I can read while I exercise on the elliptical.
Problem solved! And bonus points for getting two things done at once.
Now, I just have to figure out what time of day to go.
On This Day